Parking woes to be eased in Lake George

LAKEGEORGE-The streetscape in downtown Lake George village will likely be less cluttered beginning this summer, following a decision reached Monday, April 4 by the village trustees.

The Village Board authorized the purchase of seven coin-fed digital pay-and-display parking meters for installation by mid-May along the west side of Canada Street.

The board also ordered an additional similar meter - which accepts credit cards as well as coins - to be installed at the village's boat docks.

Apparently the enforcement of parking ordinances, criticized by some as over-aggressive, is likely to ease up. Mayor Robert Blais said Monday that the number of parking enforcement officers the village will have patrolling will be reduced from eight to five.

The board also talked of relaxing the enforcement, following comments by Village Board member and business owner Ray Perry, who said that he's heard the meter-minders write tickets while drivers are ducking into a local shop to try to get change to feed the meters.

"The officers have to cut people some slack," he said. "They can't be writing tickets while they see people moving toward them."

Also, he suggested that the meter-minders "go easy" on parking during the off-season on back streets, when parking spaces are plentiful, in order not to discourage tourism.

The new pay-and-display meters will require a person to go to a nearby parking kiosk, which digitally prints out a ticket, to be displayed in one's windshield. These new kiosks may be upgraded at a later time to accept credit cards, so motorists don't need to be armed for a handful of quarters.

The board decided to wait on the credit-card upgrade, citing they were concerned about the service fees on credit cards, and required Internet connection. The cost of parking is $1 per hour for parking on the streets and $2 per hour for boats at village docks.

Last summer, the village reaped $458,500 from parking meters, including about $337,000 from Canada Street. The village also collected $26,000 in parking fines, which are due to increase from $10 to $15 this summer.

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