Reasons why we should delay the vote to bond parking kiosks
We are asking the common council to either delay the vote on bonding the parking kiosks, or vote no on bonding the kiosks. Bringing the matter back to the table the very next month, before the new parking task force has even been established seems shortsighted and rushed. Concerns over meeting the budget that has already been approved have been cited as the biggest reason for this. We are convinced that by enacting the new increases on existing meters, the city will still meet its budget. This would allow the parking task force to be established and a couple of months to find a solution that works for us all. The current model of meters and tickets is one of force and punishment imposed on our citizens and visitors by the city. We can do better. If we work together, citizens and city together, we can meet our financial needs and create a better atmosphere and quality of life for the people.
1. Increasing EXISTING meters to $1.00 is enough to prevent budget shortfall.
A big part of the reluctance to push the bonding for the kiosks through is because of concern for the budget that was passed last fall not being met. After looking at the projected numbers, it appears that by only raising the existing meters to $1.00 per hour, we could still anticipate $608,309 - $627,991 in revenue. This more than covers the $588,989 needed for the budget, and some of the $100,000 allotted for “Const. Materials & Supplies” If we pushed the pause button on this purchase of the kiosks at least until the new parking task force has been formed and given an opportunity to find real solutions that work FOR the people of Kingston we could still be on track to meet the budget, still do whatever construction is being planned in the second half of the year, and potentially save the city money. For more information on the breakdown of these numbers please see the end of this page..
2. Alternative kiosks may be better suited and less expensive
Parkeon offers an alternative solution called “Mini park”, intended for off-street parking that the website states is a lower cost option. If we are working towards a different model of parking solution, these may be better suited. We know that 13 kiosks is only enough to put in the municipal lots. When is the city intending to replace on street parking meters? The Mayor has said the kiosks are needed because our meters are outdated, but the kiosks currently being bonded are not intended to replace those.
3. Alternative Solutions
We believe, and we think most citizens agree, that the government is supposed to work to make lives better for the people. We agree to pool our money to do things collectively that we can not individually do on our own in a cost effective manner. As the people on the ground who are dealing with this situation every day, we are telling you that we are concerned these changes will make it even harder for local business to attract and keep customers, and make the quality of life for those of us who live and work here worse, not better. We have recently declared our city welcoming and inclusive. Let’s show the world just how welcoming and progressive we can really be. Let’s change the model from one of force and punishment, to one of voluntary altruism. The 2016 budget shows that the on street meters only made $36,000 profit, while the city collected at least $400,000 in violations. We think this is the wrong model. Our experience with the O+ festival is that when we stopped setting the entrance fees and instead asked people to pay what it is worth to them, we started making more money. People freely give more than you would have asked them to, and they do it happily and without resentment.
Expanding on the idea of moving from a force and punishment (meters and tickets) based system, to one of volunteer altruism, an idea has been brought forward, and then has been expanded on to make it even more exciting and revolutionary. We could have an opportunity to create a true progressive model that benefits all of us, the citizen, the visitors, as well as the city. It is time to unite Kingston and we see this parking issue as a way to do just that. Instead of dividing us and turning outsiders away due to extra fees we have a not-so radical plan for you to consider: KPASS
We are in a new economy and recognize as entrepreneurs that some solutions have to be outside of the box. We recognize that the city government is the box. So let's work together.KPASS is based upon the simple ideas that we all want to help make Kingston the best it can be, and be a welcoming city for all tourists, residents and new business.
KPASS will achieve this by offering all Kingston City residents a chance to "Donate" to the city for a parking pass and receive so much more in return. We can also invite commuters to participate as well, increasing the potential number of passes sold. We believe that we are all the solution. If there is a little old lady who doesn’t drive and only uses her car for emergencies, she is not being forced to donate, and she will get free 2 hour parking in the event she ever does venture out. If families have multiple cars, they need not donate for every car, maybe they only get 1 pass and move it between cars. There are many options, but best of all we all get to feel good, knowing that we are all willingly contributing to the success of our city.
You receive a orange hang tag for your card and one for your wallet when you donate at these levels for KPASS. Our levels are packed with incentives that we know will lead to more revenue, increased bus ridership and a feeling of community inclusion.
- 1 Star: $50 a year permit gets you a pass to park in city lots and a two hour spot on the street
- 2 Star: $75 a year gets you the above and includes a KPASSS that will allow you to ride the Citi Bus system and the UCAT (if we get approval from the county)
- 3 Star: $100 a year all of the above plus unlimited on street parking (except for designated “prime locations” which would still be 2hr parking) and a Business district Discount Card.
- 4 Star: $150 get's you all of this and the knowledge that you are "paying forward" one spot for the city.
The Business District Discount Card will be a way to finally unite the three districts. Present your KPASS Card at any business that displays a KPASS Sticker and get a 10% discount. This will increase business and inclusion in the business district organizations from merchants.
Wait there is MORE!
All meters and parking lots become "Donation" points. Each meter is now limited to Two hours and you the visitor can pay "What it is worth" to you. Our parking "Enforcement officers" now become KPASS welcoming employees. They can chalk tires and give a first warning if someone parks past two hours in one spot. We can easily keep that plate on record and if they do it again they receive a ticket and a KPASS 10% discount card to use when they return to our welcoming city.