by Pete Mazzaccaro
Installation of the long-promised pay kiosks for the six lots maintained by the Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation will begin this week with the kiosks expected to be up and running by the beginning of April. The new system, according to foundation president John Ingersoll, is expected to go live on April 15.
“Things are moving right along,” Ingersoll said.
The introduction of kiosks – the same as those found throughout the City of Philadelphia – represent a change from other systems used by the foundation, which has run the lots in Chestnut Hill for more than 50 years. The Parking Foundation had long been funded by Hill merchants, first in the purchase of stickers that were given to motorists and then to a voluntary annual assessment method in which merchants paid an annual fee to cover the expenses of maintaining and insuring the lots.
Last year, the foundation decided that the assessment model was not working – nearly 25 percent of merchants on the Avenue did not participate – so it decided to install the kiosks, switching the costs of lot maintenance to the shoppers and others who park on the lots. The lots will be patrolled by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Ingersoll said that once the Kiosks are up, parking foundation employees would be available to show users how to use them. They will be up and running for approximately two weeks before enforcement begins on April 15.
Parking will be 50 cents for a half hour at the kiosks, which will accept credit cards, debit cards, dollar bills or tokens that will be available for purchase to motorists and merchants alike. The machines will not take $10 or $20 bills. Smartcards will not work, either.
They will take $5 bills in the evening, at which time people can buy a pass to park all night – 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. – at a flat rate of $5.
Another new service will be a monthly nighttime parking pass for $50 that will allow unlimited parking during the hours of 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.