Ferndale launches new parking website

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 6, 2016


FERNDALE — The city of Ferndale launched a new website earlier this month that deals with business and residential parking.

The new website, located at www.parkferndale.com, allows people to view an interactive map of parking spots, pay a parking ticket, subscribe to any alerts about parking, and send in any unanswered questions they might have.

“We hope that it will be a convenient and easy place for residents and visitors to get all the information they need about parking in Ferndale,” Mayor Dave Coulter said. “That was really our goal with creating the site.”

Coulter said that the City Council gave direction to the staff to try and make parking as easy as possible, but he gave credit for the site’s implementation to Assistant City Manager Joseph Gacioch.

“(The site is) easy to use on your smartphone or your tablet as well as on the computer,” Coulter said. “I think people are really going to find it helpful.”

Gacioch said the importance of parking in the city for visitors, residents and businesses alike led to the city developing its own communications channel.

“Because this is such a popular issue, we found that any news updates relating to parking or event parking or business parking or parking programs could get lost in the city’s website,” he said.

One special feature gives users an interactive map to see all the parking lots in the city, how many spaces they have, what the parking enforcement hours are for that lot, and how much permits cost for it. It also shows where one can find electric charging stations, residential parking zones, pay stations, bike racks and Zipcars.

Gacioch said the map was designed with the mobile user in mind so that someone can pull it up on a smartphone and see exactly what parking options are in Ferndale.

“In the future, we have the ability to actually integrate our parking data into the site,” he said. “You could click on ... (a) parking lot and see how many spaces are actually being used in real time. Now, we don’t have that on the boards yet, but that is in our road map for improvement in the next year.”

It also allows people to sign up for texting alerts so users can get parking information relating to residential parking, special events in the city, construction alerts or weather alerts.

One thing the site can’t do as of now is allow people to get a permit for parking in the city, but that’s something that’s on the horizon, according to Gacioch. People will be able to fill out an application on the site and get their permit sent in the mail.

“We’re preparing within the next four weeks to launch an online permitting application for residential parkers,” he said. “Anyone who has a residential parking zone permit or residential permit-only parking … will be able to apply for and renew their permits online without ever having to go to City Hall.”