Delray takes steps to install $725,000 parking meters, eliminate ‘boots’


DELRAY BEACH — City leaders set the framework Monday for a parking transformation in downtown Delray Beach, including eliminating free parking along Atlantic Avenue, installing smart meters that alert drivers to available spaces and getting rid of the age-old penalty of “booting” cars.

As the long-discussed plan takes shape, however, problems with smart meters already are looming. Even after several discussions, the city commission hasn’t decided what it will charge for parking, whether there will be time limits or how they’ll strengthen what is now a weak enforcement system. 

Those decisions have caused a stir among commissioners and the public.

“It’s problematic because we’ve tried to appease too many groups of people,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said of the parking system that hasn’t even rolled out yet.

The commission agreed Monday to spend $725,000 on smart parking meters for the downtown. The meters will have the ability to read license plates and feed information into regulatory parking system, managed by an outside contractor.

It is similar to the parking system used in downtown West Palm Beach, where meters can be fed by mobile app.

The city also took steps to change decades-old ordinances that will allow the commission, rather than city staff, to set the price per hour and time limits for downtown parking. 

The commission aims to place meters along East Atlantic Avenue between Swinton Avenue and the beach, as well as intersecting streets one block north and south of The Ave.

There would be a two-hour time limit that would be a headache to enforce, city commissioners said. 

If a patron came to Atlantic Avenue in the morning and spent an hour and a half there, then returned in the evening and nabbed a spot on the same block, they likely would be ticketed once they exceeded the 2-hour limit. The smart meter system technology system can’t distinguish between a parking offender, and a return visitor.

That could force the city to eliminate the parking time limits. Those details will be ironed out at a future meeting.

The city will soon prohibit private companies from “booting” cars in downtown, commissioners decided. 

Once the smart meter tech is installed, private owners will have the option to partner with the city and place meters on their lots as well. The private owners will keep the parking revenue, and the city will monitor the lots and keep any citation revenue.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

NEW: 2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections
NEW: 2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections

Two of the newest ships in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet have received failing grades in health inspections designed to control the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses.  Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze both scored below a passing grade of 86, the Miami Herald reported. Vista, the cruise line's newest ship, received a 79 while Breeze...
Georgia man who set ex-girlfriend on fire sentenced to life in prison
Georgia man who set ex-girlfriend on fire sentenced to life in prison

A Georgia man who poured gasoline on his ex-girlfriend and set her on fire was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility for parole, according to the Clayton County District Attorney’s office.  Mervin Woodard, 40, was found guilty of multiple felonies in the 2016 crime, which left Melita Curtis in a coma for two weeks. Curtis was...
Why was a plane flying circles over Boca? Broward Sheriff’s drill causes stir
Why was a plane flying circles over Boca? Broward Sheriff’s drill causes stir

BOCA RATON — A low-flying plane circling Boca Raton late Monday caused a stir on social media, prompting city police to reassure concerned residents that it was just a Broward County Sheriff’s training exercise. Several residents turned to social media to report a small, but apparently noisy plane flying in circles around south-central...
Delray spent $2.1 million after storm sewage chaos, with more costs expected
Delray spent $2.1 million after storm sewage chaos, with more costs expected

DELRAY BEACH — Delray Beach spent $2.1 million on generators after widespread power outages following Hurricane Irma caused waste water to spill into some streets.  And the city will have to spend even more if it wants to avoid the sewage problems during future storms. For a week after Hurricane Irma in September, Delray Beach residents...
NEW: Palm Beach State College to stop operating Gardens preschool
NEW: Palm Beach State College to stop operating Gardens preschool

Palm Beach State College will close a preschool on its Gardens campus and convert it into office space, despite pleas from parents who offered to pay higher tuition to keep the school open. RELATED: Parents persuade college to postpone closing beloved Gardens school Late last year, President Ava Parker told parents she planned to close the Center for...
More Stories