Deerfield Beach, Florida

The parking enforcement division of Deerfield Beach, Florida was faced a good problem to solve—accommodating growth in their town. Along with that growth came the increased need for easier and more efficient parking—both on water and on land.

Problem

On Land

With 775 parking spaces on land and 775 parking meters before the update, things were bound to go wrong once in a while. Where individual meters were concerned, it was easy to manipulate them to gain free parking. Plus there were always a few broken meters which made them unable to track parking space effectively.

This situation led to issues with patrons being unable to use the meters and parking enforcement officers being unable to follow-up on broken meters because of the number of other meters to be checked. With so many meters, it was also difficult for patrons to know which meter to use for which space, causing difficulties in identifying which meter to feed.

On Water

Before Deerfield Beach switched to the pay-by-plate and pay-by-space solution with gtechna, there were no metered boat slips. With very few boat slips near the newly renovated and very popular Sullivan Park, this caused issues with people parking their boat for free and letting it sit there all day while they walked across the bridge and spent the day at the park, leaving other boat users to try to find accommodations elsewhere.

Deerfield Beach is a coastal town near the southern tip of Florida with a population of around 65,000. Their tourist season takes off right after Christmas when the majority of the snowbirds migrate there for the winter. The season usually wraps up in April, though with the addition of a new restaurant and hotel right across from Sullivan Park, it’s anticipated that this area will remain busy over the weekends throughout the year. As you can imagine, boating is a very popular activity during tourist season and on the weekends. Whether it’s cruising the intercoastal, taking your boat to a restaurant, or fishing, the parking authority saw a great need for more accessible and convenient boat parking, as well as car parking for those who drive to Sullivan Park to spend time at the park or drive to the nearby Pioneer Grove to put their
boat in the water.

 

Deerfield Beach parking authority configured gtechna’s pay-by-space technology to fit their boat slip parking.

Solution

The parking enforcement team decided on gtechna to help them implement a new technology that would be fast, easy to use, and effective for their needs. Deerfield Beach parking authority configured gtechna’s pay-by-space technology to fit their boat slip parking. Using the make of the boat in the place of the car, and the boat registration number in place of the license plate number allowed Deerfield Beach to introduce 11 pay-by-space boat slips that are designed for 25-foot boats. The spaces can be monitored and controlled by the same system that manages the off-street parking spaces.

The Changes

On Water

“It’s a lot easier to pull your boat into a slip, tie it up, and go to a pay station, than it is to deal with the people who are docking your boat,”
said Darryl Secrist, City Parking Manager.

While Deerfield Beach does not have any dedicated handicap parking spaces for boats, a service button is available for boaters to indicate that they are in need of handicap parking. They then receive a discount on their parking meter charge, so long as they display a handicap sticker. Patrons who park their car and put their boat in the water at Pioneer Grove also have the option of topping off their meter from their phone. This allows them the convenience of staying out on their boat for a longer period of time. It also takes away the stress of getting a ticket if the boat happens to break down.

On Land

In place of their single-space meters for on-street vehicle parking, Deerfield Beach implemented the gtechna pay-by-plate technology, installing 45 pay stations to control their 775 parking spaces. This technology has allowed them to avoid inconveniences such as having their single-space meters break, wasting time and resources trying to repair them, and getting the spaces back up and running. “In this instance, if one meter is broken, there are a dozen more in…walking distance they can go to,” said Secrist.

The upgrade to gtechna has been a great solution because the new meters light up, allowing them to be more easily found and seen at night during turtle season, when most of the lights near the beach are turned down very low to accommodate the turtles—a unique situation when it comes to parking. The new parking spaces also have pay-by-phone capability, giving patrons the convenience of topping off their parking session right from their phone.

“We plan to purchase new signage next year to help inform our patrons in the best possible way while avoiding sign pollution. Right now, we have changed out our camera LPR system and added new software,”
said Secrist.

Happy Customers

“Now you don’t have to leave the restaurant because your meal came late, and it’s taking you longer than you thought, and you don’t want to get a ticket. The app will also text you when your time is almost up,”
said Secrist.

With the new parking system in place for boats and cars, Deerfield Beach has had over two million successful transactions grossing them over $2.5 million so far. Their revenue before the new system was implemented was around $1.5 million. Especially where the boat parking is concerned, the new system allows a higher turnover for patrons who are wanting to use the 11 boat slips – this brings in more traffic and allows more opportunities for growth.

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“Now you don’t have to leave the restaurant because your meal came late, and it’s taking you longer than you thought, and you don’t want to get a ticket. The app will also text you when your time is almost up,”
said Secrist.

Deerfield Beach, Florida

Conclusion

Overall, the parking enforcement team at Deerfield Beach is happy with the updates they’ve made to their parking technology and plan to implement more improvements. “We plan to purchase new signage next year to help inform our patrons in the best possible way while avoiding sign pollution. Throughout Deerfield Beach, parking is being enforced with gtechna’s pay-by-plate system. Parking enforcement officers use gtechna’s LPR software to scan plates either from the camera-equipped vehicle or an Android phone, a proven leap in productivity when compared to non-plate based solutions. The pay-by-plate software is also handy for the patrons because it allows them to top off their meter when they see it’s getting low, which drastically reduces their chance of getting a ticket because they forgot to extend their parking session at a meter. The future of parking is exciting. When you think about all the ways that parking affects day-to-day life, it’s encouraging to see teams like the one in Deerfield Beach doing their best to make life easier for their patrons.

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