Free At Last: Parking Fees Lifted in Time for Block Party

first_imgDeactivated parking meters line Ocean Avenue in Ocean City, NJ. The meter heads will not return until May 1, 2015. The men and women in yellow have gone into hibernation, and the frantic search for quarters is over.City crews are removing parking meter heads for the season, and all municipal lots will be open with free parking until the spring.Parking is big business in Ocean City, and the municipality expects to surpass last year’s record $2.8 million in revenue from meters and municipal parking lot fees this year.Parking in municipal lots and on the streets will be free in time for the Fall Block Party in Ocean City, NJ on Saturday, Oct. 11.But even though the season for parking fees extends from May 1 through Oct. 31, the city is hustling to deactivate parking meters in time for this weekend’s Fall Block Party, an event that draws tens of thousands to the downtown in the shoulder season.“We’re trying to make it easier,” Ocean City Finance Director Frank Donato said.He said May 1 and Oct. 31 are the “outer limits” of the parking season, but that municipal lot fees and parking meters are generally enforced from Block Party to Block Party. Ocean City’s Spring Block Party is typically held on the first Saturday in May, and the fall event on Columbus Day Weekend.Residents and visitors breathe a sigh of relief at this time of year as the parking enforcement crews clad in yellow polo shirts disappear, and trips downtown or near the beach and boardwalk don’t require a credit card or lots of coins.Ocean City replaced 800 traditional meters last summer with new meters that accept credit cards. The new meters were placed on most streets close to the Ocean City Boardwalk, on the north-end beachfront along Beach Road and E. Atlantic Boulevard and on the far south end along Central Avenue and 59th Street. The program also included parking lots near the Ocean City-Longport Bridge, across from Ocean City High School, and at 14th and 59th streets.An amended ordinance raised fees for the new credit-card meters from 25 cents per 15 minutes to 25 cents per 10 minutes (or $1.50 per hour).Meters in the downtown shopping district remained at 25 cents per hour. Fees for municipal parking lots vary depending on time and location.last_img

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