December 12, 2019
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A Huge Mistake

Published July 17, 2019

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“Poor execution” are the two words that come to mind to describe the recent transition to the new beach parking pass system. Why the need to move to a municipal parking garage system for 13 weeks in the first place? The addition of technology to replace a gate guard staff, giving up any physical gate presence to enforce admittance and rules and regulations, is a huge mistake.

The final product is nothing like what was communicated in February. The hours of operation for guest fee collection were reduced instead of extended as promised. A guest parking fee of $3 per hour was never communicated? This bargain is now all over social media for out-of-town beach goers to see. The new system does not have visibility to available parking spots, which can cause an over-sell situation leaving residents out of luck.

Our weekly ($25) and weekend ($40) fees are much lower than Clinton’s ($50 and $75 respectively). The new system makes sign ups more difficult for residences and much easier for nonresident guests. The lines for the holiday were longer not shorter. Less confrontation with staff was not achieved and the ability to collect parking tickets remains to be seen.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Return the scanners, bring back gate guards and car passes, and charge nonresident guests at the gate. Let’s stop misinterpreting the Greenwich ruling. Charging premium parking fees is not denying access for premium facilities. Our beaches are a treasure that we need to maintain and protect.

David Labanara

Editor’s note: Madison raised its non-resident daily beach parking rate to match Clinton’s rates after this week’s letters deadline.