October 21, 2021

2nd look at paid parking

Hearing set on plan for Prospect Terrace, James Street

Jacob DeRochie/contributing photographer

Traffic moves up college hill near the SUNY Cortland campus in Cortland. The city of Cortland is revisiting the idea of paid parking along Prospect Terrace and James Street in Cortland. File Photo.

For the second time in as many years, the city of Cortland will discuss requiring paid parking along Prospect Terrace and James Street. This time, however, the proposal will get as far as a public hearing.

Residents will have the chance to voice their opinions on paid parking along the two streets — adjacent to SUNY Cortland and dominated by college buildings and student housing — during the Nov. 6 Common Council meeting.

The city is revisiting the idea, which was brought forward in 2017 by the Downtown Partnership, but putting its own stamp on it, Mayor Brian Tobin said. “It’s similar but not the partnership’s.”

“We talked about it before and now we’re bringing it back to the forefront again,” Tobin said at a city council meeting Tuesday night.

The city hopes to gain between $75,000 and $80,000 a year, said Alderman John Bennett (D-4th Ward).

The paid parking would be handled through a downloadable app from Park Mobile.

The city of Ithaca and Cornell University are among those that currently use the app, Bennett said.

“It’s mostly for students and employees of SUNY who park on the streets,” he said. “Very few residents park there.”

There is also little cost to the city for the parking app. There will be a small surcharge on top of the parking fee, Bennett said. Park Mobile would also provide the parking signs, while the city will add parking stripes for at least 80 spots.

Bennett wanted to set the public hearing as soon as possible to get the ball moving. “It’s at a point where the city is looking for added revenue,” he said. “Hopefully, we can bring in added revenue.”

“I just want to make a point that I am in favor of this,” Alderman Thomas Michales (R-8th Ward) said during the meeting about the plan to offset other city costs.

Public hearing

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 6
Where: Council chambers, City Hall, 25 Court St.
To discuss: Proposed paid parking for Prospect Terrace and James Street.

Alderman Gary Thomas (D-3rd Ward), who represents the neighborhood, was not at Tuesday’s meeting.

If the plan is approved, the city will post a message board at the base of Prospect Terrace informing people that the paid parking will go into effect at the beginning of 2019.

The topic most recently was discussed in August 2017 after it was brought before the Common Council by the Cortland Downtown Partnership as a revenue source for the partnership, which manages the city’s nine public lots and about 400 parking spaces.

At the time, the partnership hired Chicago-based SP Plus Municipal Services for $18,000 to conduct an analysis of the city’s parking regulations and suggest improvements.

Downtown Partnership Executive Director Adam Megivern said in August 2017 he wanted to implement the partnership’s current parking permit system for Prospect Terrace near the campus and surrounding streets, including James Street and Tompkins Street near James. That totals about 125 parking spaces.

The city has a paid parking program for municipal parking spots.

Cars can be parked on Main Street for a maximum of two hours while cars can be parked in the downtown free parking lots for up to three hours before risking a ticket.

People can buy a resident, monthly or daily parking permit through the Downtown Partnership.