The following is a republished press release from a the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at msmith@ithacavoice.com.

ITHACA, NY – Last summer, the city of Ithaca introduced a paid parking program along with new payment equipment that makes paying to park on the streets and in the garages in the city and Collegetown more versatile and efficient.

To ensure that locals understand the new structure and the parking payment options that are available to them, the city’s Department of Public Works is hosting two workshops.

The first workshop is set for 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24 and the second session will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Both workshops will be held in the Borg Warner Community Room in the Tompkins County Library, 101 E. Green St., Ithaca. Director of Parking Frank Nagy will lead the talks.

During the workshops, Nagy will discuss on-street parking and on-street parking payment options. Locals are encouraged to come and learn more about the variety of on-street parking and payment options available and how they work. Nagy will demonstrate how to pay for on-street parking at a paystation, of which the city currently operates 46 of them located on the streets in downtown Ithaca and Collegetown.

Nagy will also explain the city’s prepaid parking options for on-street parking: Parkmobile and scratch off cards.

Parkmobile is a smartphone application that allows its users to prepay for on-street parking in designated zones, of which Ithaca currently has two.

The Parkmobile service is being offered at approximately 1,000-metered spaces on the streets in downtown Ithaca and Collegetown. Customers may register for this service online at www.parkmobile.com or download the mobile app in their phone’s app store. Once registered, they may use the mobile app, internet, or a toll free number to pay for parking. After setting up their account, customers can immediately start using the system with their registered mobile phone. Enforcement officers will be able to see that a motorist has paid with Parkmobile using a wireless handheld device.

The scratch-off parking system is the newest change to on-street parking in Ithaca. Patrons can purchase scratch-off cards in a range of five different denominations at nearly all locations where City of Ithaca trash tags are sold – City Chamberlain’s Office inside City Hall, Tops, Greenstar Cooperative Markets, Pete’s Grocery, and Route 13 Agway, both the East Shore and Downtown Visitor Center, with more locations like the Tompkins County Office for the Aging coming soon.

Parking scratch off card purchasers can use these cards when they arrive at a metered space on the street in downtown Ithaca or Collegetown. The cards come in pre-paid 5 different metered time increments (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hours, and 2 hours). People simply scratch off the date and time of use to activate the card and hang it from their rear view mirror or place it on their dashboard in clear view.

“The last major piece of the puzzle is here,” Nagy said. “We can now offer our citizens and visitors a complete payment option – coin, cash, credit card, cell phone, app, laptop, tablet, and computer.”

Lastly, Nagy will discuss at the workshop the automated parking program inside Ithaca’s 4 city garages – Green St., Seneca St., Cayuga St., and Dryden Rd.

As an additional effort to explain all of the new parking procedures to locals and tourists, the city created a website, www.parkithaca.com, that provides information about parking availability, payment options, and regulations. In addition, the city offers three light-hearted video guides to parking featuring Hilby the skinny German Juggler. They can be viewed online at parkithaca.com or the downtown Ithaca website, www.downtownithaca.com, under “Parking in Ithaca” on the main page.

Parking information pamphlets are also widely available throughout shops and restaurants, inside city buildings, on street paystations and inside information centers.

Also, Nagy sets up an information table during several Downtown Ithaca events so people can come learn about the program. Parking information tables will be at Welcome Weekend, Aug. 27 and Sept. 3; Apple Harvest Festival, Oct. 1 and Oct. 2; and at Ithaca Brunch Festival, dates to be announced.

(Featured photo: parkithaca.com)

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.