Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to discuss important issues facing the residents and business owners of Medford. A concern has been the evolution of the Parking Program throughout the city. The Program was rolled out last winter during one of the most brutal winters on record and it has been communicated to me by the residents of Medford as well as business owners that there is confusion and a misconception surrounding the Contract, Mobile App, how to use the Kiosk’s etc.
The contract stipulates that in order to remove the equipment, the City of Medford would be responsible for the payment of the cost that the Contractor incurred which is in the vicinity of $800,000 to $1 million dollars. It has been suggested by individuals that are not licensed to practice law in the state of Massachusetts, that there has been a breach in the contract. This is unsubstantiated by legal research. This issue should be decided by the City Solicitor of Medford who is chief legal counsel by law to the City.
In the City’s best interest, I would suggest that the following steps be implemented immediately:
1. Re-introduce the Ambassador program on the streets to assist customers in the use of both the kiosks and the Mobile App.
2. Update the Brochure that was mailed out last winter and mail to all households and place in convenient locations around the business districts.
3. Create a YouTube video on how to use both the Kiosk and the Mobile App and promote it!
4. Complete a full audit of every Kiosk to determine its working condition with a City assigned person present (this should be done on a regular basis going forward). At the same time, determine if signage is understandable.
5. Determine if screens are accessible for vision impaired individuals and enable the voice button to be activated for assistance.
6. Allow shop owners to establish accounts whereby they can add to a patron’s time at a space above the limit if customer is delayed at the business. The shop owner should be able to do this through a Mobile App and/or online.
7. Scatter more single head meters around the squares for convenience; especially around the quick stop businesses (coffee shop, convenience store etc).
8. Tickets should be affixed to windshield with envelope.
9. Of particular concern to the West Medford business district, is the use of the parking lot by both business owners with a permit and customers. The lot does not have a Kiosk and therefore, there is greater demand for it. If a Kiosk was in the lot, more customers would use the on-street parking. Further, the lot needs to be re-striped to create the most parking spaces.
10. All of the City municipal lots including South Medford, Haines Square, West Medford, Medford Square and Hillside need to be cleaned regularly and better lit for public safety.
11. Lastly, I urge Republic Parking to create a ParkMedford Card (similar to the Charlie Card) that contains the plate associated with the card. This will make the kiosk visit much quicker and less confusing with only a “time needed” to be selected.
These changes cannot wait until next January; they need to be implemented as soon as possible. I urge the Mayor, the Traffic Commission and Park Medford to sit and review these recommendations and others. Further, I want to continue to listen to your suggestions to make the City of Medford a better place to live, work and own or develop a business. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at Stephanie@Burke2016Mayor.com or 781-391-8864. I will continue to be the qualified candidate that is respectful, informed and will always use a positive approach.