Town To Eliminate Parking Kiosk

FENWICK ISLAND – Fenwick Island will eliminate a parking kiosk and modify its parking signage following a unanimous vote of the town council.

Last Friday, the Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously to remove its parking kiosk outside the police department building. Councilman Ed Bishop, chair of the town’s pedestrian safety committee, said the pay station was rarely used and would cost the town money to change its parking times.

“The company that ran that, Parkeon, wanted to charge us $450 just to update the parking time,” he said. “Last year, we only had 143 transactions at that kiosk versus 2,800 transactions for people using ParkMobile … They also charge us a minimum fee of $120 a month for taking credit card payments, even when we don’t use it.”

Bishop noted the kiosk only takes payments four months out of the year and that monthly fees take up roughly one-third of the town’s income.

“So the recommendation is we remove the kiosk,” he said. “They don’t even want it back.”

Bishop noted that the town will still use ParkMobile, which will allow people to buy daily and weekly passes using a phone app, QR code or text. Summer passes, he added, can still be purchased at the police station.

“It didn’t work more than it did,” Mayor Natalie Magdeburger said of the kiosk. “So it was not functioning as easily as it was intended to do.”

Bishop noted the kiosk took 221 transactions in 2021 and 143 in 2022. To that end, a motion to eliminate the parking kiosk passed in a 7-0 vote.

The council this week also voted to modify its parking signage along the town’s side streets. In a pedestrian safety committee meeting late last month, Bishop said a survey revealed there were more than 400 street signs in town.

“The whole goal here is to declutter our streets …,” he said at the time. “The parking signage is far too redundant. We need to make it as simple as possible to the visitors of Fenwick Island.”

Bishop told council members last week parking signage needed to be improved to better reflect parking hours, permit requirements, and ParkMobile information. To that end, he forwarded the committee’s recommendation to modify the existing signage, incorporating that information into one sign instead of the current three.

“Everyone knows our parking signs are quite confusing,” he added.  “As you drive down the street, you would see ‘parking by permit only’ on the sign yet we take ParkMobile at every one of those spots.”

Bishop said the public works department would need funds to place stickers over the existing signs. A motion to approve up to $500 for new parking stickers passed unanimously.

“Where it says ‘parking by permit only,’ it will now say ‘or ParkMobile,’” he explained.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.