LAKE GEORGE — Paying to park in the village just got a whole lot easier, although finding a spot along Canada Street may still be a challenge, even with the pandemic.
The village has recently partnered with ParkMobile, a smart phone app that allows users to pay for parking without having to search for quarters or dig out a credit card. The app also allows users to extend their stay without having to run back to feed the meter.
“We believe it will make it easier for the folks to pay for a meter and make it a lot more convenient,” Mayor Robert Blais said.
The app can be used at more than 700 metered spots throughout the village, including spots along Canada Street and several back roads. The company keeps 35 cents of each transaction.
More than 1,800 people have already used the app since the partnership was rolled out earlier this month, Blais said during a Village Board meeting Wednesday.
After downloading the app, users just need to enter their license plate number, parking zone and a valid credit card, and then choose their length of stay. The parking zone is displayed on a green sign affixed to meters throughout the village.
Visitors are being asked to use the app to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
But the virus didn’t seem to be on the mind of those visiting the village on Wednesday afternoon. Instead, people seemed more focused on enjoying Shepard Park Beach and fishing along Beach Road.
Mask-wearing was limited among the people on the sidewalks, although they were keeping their distance.
Cars lined both sides of Canada Street as tourists waited to be let into several shops and restaurants. The village’s parking lot on Beach Road across from the Lake George Steamboat Co. was full.
Parking on several side streets was ample, although traffic was beginning to pick up as the afternoon wore on.
Blais said he thought the village would be quieter than usual this year because of the pandemic, but it has been busy — and the parking meter revenue proves it.
“We anticipated that our parking meter revenue, because of the pandemic, would be down considerably this year from previous years, but what we’re finding so far is our parking meter revenue is actually running almost identical to last year,” he said.
Revenue from side street meters is lagging behind slightly, but the lot on Beach Road is nearly 20% ahead of last year for July, Blais said.
In total, parking revenue is within 2% of what it was this time last year. The village typically collects around $800,000 in parking revenue each year.
“It’s just remarkable,” Blais said. “The crowds have been much larger than expected.”
Although the village’s partnership with ParkMobile won’t make finding a spot any easier, Blais said he hopes it will cut down on the number of parking tickets and keep people in the village a bit longer.
“We hope that it’ll cut down on the number of tickets we have to give out because they can pay for the meter if they’re stuck at a restaurant or stuck in a store or want to spend a little longer on the beach,” he said.
Chad Arnold is a reporter for The Post-Star covering the city of Glens Falls and the town and village of Lake George. Follow him on Twitter @ChadGArnold.
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