By JOHN BRANDI
The Village of Bronxville is implementing some changes to its parking regulations, which will be rolled out in the coming month.
Bronxville is embarking on changes to its meters and parking lots to address concerns from residents over coin-operated limitations and to tackle long-standing problems with parking in a municipality that hasn’t found a solid solution yet, according to village officials.
Mayor Mary Marvin, a Republican, said enacting these changes will also encourage more space turnover to increase retail business, bring about uniform parking regulations across the village and make meters more understandable, customer friendly and technologically advanced. The mayor also believes August is a good month to enact such reform because fewer people are in town during the summer.
“August is the quietest month in the village, so we hope to figure out any kinks before everyone is home and in the village post-Labor Day,” Marvin said.
The village is working with Israel-based Pango, a mobile technology company, so residents can now pay for meters from anywhere using their smartphones or handheld devices. The app is already in use in neighboring Eastchester. However, Marvin said, a ban on meter feeding will also be enacted through the Pango system to prevent someone from occupying the space all day. A law discouraging this has been on the books for Paxton Avenue, Park Place and Pondfield Road, but a recent push by village officials in April has revived enforcement as the behavior persists, according to the mayor.
The mayor said working with Pango stemmed from resident concern over having to physically feed the meter when at the nail salon or using the bank for additional, unforeseen time.
“Residents asked us to look for an alternative to always needing coins,” Marvin said. “Also we just want to keep up with the new technologies and offer options to parkers.”
The time to park at a street meter will also change from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., adding an additional three hours of enforced parking. The village lots, however, will remain free past 6 p.m., according to Village Administrator Jim Palmer.
Marvin said this change will prevent those who enjoyed free evening parking but were not actually using the establishments they were parking in front of. Moreover, with additional meter time, Marvin said this will decrease village taxes by 1 percent with the increase in revenue. The efforts here should generate around $100,000 annually, according to Palmer.
Though the mayor said that this change came about from speaking with merchants, Kevin McNeill, co-owner of Dobbs & Bishop Cheese Shop on Pondfield Road, said meter feeding isn’t a noticeable problem.
“Workers all usually park away from Pondfield and the topic of feeding meters by shoppers isn’t one that’s come to my attention over the years,” McNeill said.
Though the shop owner said he was supportive of the Pango system, he didn’t want the topic of vacant storefronts to be overlooked as an issue that contributes to parking headaches.
“If they were all filled, we’d have more foot traffic,” he said.
Changes will also be implemented in the Cedar Street and Garden Avenue parking lots.
The Cedar Street lot currently has 76 spaces, all available for two-hour limits. But according to Palmer, 61 spaces will be transitioned into three hour parking spaces, and of those 61, seven will be reserved for residents. Eleven will remain on two-hour limits and four will be reserved for merchants.
The Garden Avenue lot has a total of 36 spaces that currently have a two-hour limit. With the upcoming changes, Palmer said 18 spaces will be moved to a three-hour limit and the remaining 18 spaces will have a four-hour limit.
“Parking in the village is a constant balancing act between the needs of residents, customers and merchants,” Marvin said.
Tammy Ehrenfeld, owner of NORTH, a Pondfield Road merchant, could not be reached for comment as of press time.