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New parking initiatives introduced

Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy on Wednesday unveiled a series of initiatives designed to improve the city’s parking system and close a $3 million gap in the Parking Enterprise Fund. 

Duffy said the initiatives are expected to generate $3 million in revenue for the fund.

Beginning today, the City Bureau of Parking will begin operating the SmartBoot License Plate Recognition System to identify its most egregious parking scofflaws. Vehicles with three or more parking tickets, 90 or more days old, are eligible to be booted. In the past, vehicles usually were towed. The SmartBoot immobilization device now will be attached by a parking enforcement officer. The device weighs about 16 pounds and has an electronic lock that may be unlocked by the car owner after payment is made.

The average parking scofflaw has a balance of $485, according to a release from the city.

The bureau also is moving forward with plans to accepted credit card payments for metered, on-street parking. Following a four-month trial period in which five pay stations were tested, the City Council will vote Aug. 17 on whether to approve funds to purchase 100 more. The 100 solar pay stations would replace about 1,000 older, single space meters.

Drivers will display pay station receipts on their dashboards, enabling paid meter time to be portable, until the receipt expires, instead of leaving unused time on meters.