Pleasantville officials agreed last week to ask the village’s planning consultants to explore revising the layout of different types of downtown parking spaces because of the sharp drop in parking permit and meter revenue.
BFJ Planning is also expected to return with a new set of parking regulations, including hours of operation, enforcement and parking fees, along with presenting post-pandemic revenue projections.
Village officials are hoping the consultants reconfigure the spaces for permit parking and 12-hour and two-hour spaces to generate revenue from underutilized spots.
BFJ’s study is expected to start in the fall.
“Commuter activity on Metro-North is coming back but it isn’t anywhere near what it was,” Mayor Peter Scherer said. “Lots of people I talk to are saying they will work from home two or three days a week.”
Like many other communities, Pleasantville has seen a large swath of its downtown public and commuter parking lots remain largely empty since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, leaving officials scrambling to figure out how to recoup lost revenue.
There has been a $23,000 drop in parking permit sale revenue compared to before the pandemic, said Village Administrator Eric Morrissey. Parking meter revenue is off $93,000. About 3 percent of the village’s annual revenue comes from parking permits and meters, he said.
Another question is future short-term parking demand and what the mix of hours limits should be. Scherer said previous studies have shown that the village lacks short-term parking. Pleasantville’s meters are located along downtown streets, including Wheeler and Washington avenues and a portion of Manville Road.
Scherer said that parking on Wheeler Avenue is difficult to find on Friday nights, in part due to concrete barriers that take up spaces.
“There are a lot of spaces used at the south end of Wheeler and only a few spaces available at the north end,” Scherer said. “The village has found a new vibrancy and we are seeing lots of cars near restaurants.”
The Village Board discussed eventually removing the concrete barriers from Wheeler Avenue to accommodate more vehicles. The barriers were installed in front of some restaurants last year to create space for outdoor dining.
BFJ’s report will cost $1,800 and an in-person presentation by BFJ will cost the village $2,200. BFJ was hired to study Pleasantville downtown parking in January 2019.
Morrissey said before the pandemic, the village would see about 19 paid permit spaces go unused each day.
Now the village is considering a hybrid approach where the village sells daily commuter passes for spaces that would be available until 10 or 11 a.m., he said.
Parking permits cost $600 a year for village residents and $650 for local businesses. Permit parking is allowed Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is free after 3 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends.
Abby is a local journalist who has reported on breaking news for more than 20 years. She currently covers community issues in The Examiner as a full-time reporter and has written for the paper since its inception in 2007. Read more from Abby’s editor-author bio here. Read Abbys’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/ab-lub2019/