The Daily Gazette
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Schenectady parking stations still in neutral

After snags, installation set for June

A parking meter is missing in front of the Schenectady Police Department located at the corner of LaFayette and Liberty Streets.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
A parking meter is missing in front of the Schenectady Police Department located at the corner of LaFayette and Liberty Streets.
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How long does it take to install a new parking meter? After most of a year’s debate over how much to charge for parking, and a year to discuss whether to buy new meters, they still aren’t in the ground. City officials intended to install new parking stations on 19 blocks downtown in October. Then they hit more snags. “We had some difficulties with the manufacturer,” said Director of Operations William Winkler. “By the time ...

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April 26, 2014
11:12 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

In other cities that wanted to experiment with using variable rates that depend on demand for parking spaces, or that wanted to delegate the power to a Mayor or commission rather than the City Council to set rates, they 1) looked at their entire parking and meter law in order to make sure the pieces fit together; 2) set guidelines and stated goals for rate-setting, so that the delegation of the legislative power would be legal and the rates set would be consistent with city council policy; and 3) often wrote amendments that were several pages long in order to assure that all necessary topics were included. Good luck finding any discussion of that topic by our City leaders.
In Schenectady, they spent months futzing around and ignoring both the illegality of the delegation to the Mayor and the weakness of revenue expectations, and came up with an amendment that was one sentence long and had a typo (which they included even after the typo was pointed out), with no guidelines other than setting a $2 maximum.
Apparently, no one in the Mayor's office or the Corporation Counsel's office, nor on the City Council thought it was his or her job to read the relevant parts of the City Code (and NYS law) and to write a law that made sense, despite the importance of parking rates to attracting people downtown and to revenue generation.
Besides the requirements in the Code for the closeness of a meter to a vehicle, common sense suggests that our weather conditions could often make having to walk to a kiosk and then back to one's car quite difficult for some members of the public.