Since they got the go ahead from the citizen’s of Galveston to charge for parking along the seawall, the city has been trying to figure out a way to do that. The harsh sea elements prevent them from setting up basic parking meters.
Now, they’ve agreed on a system that uses software where you can call or go online to register your parking fee.
Assistant City Manager Brian Maxwell says the Galveston Police Department will take it from there.
“There will be police officers with license plate recognition equipment installed on the vehicles that patrol the seawall and they will pick up on the people who either have expired parking or did not pay to park.”
This equipment will also pinpoint cars with outstanding warrants and vehicles that might be stolen or involved in an Amber Alert case. Maxwell says that might be a red flag for some tourists.
“There are some people that feel like that may be unwelcoming, we feel it’s just good business. We wanna keep our beaches safe and that just adds another layer of safety for our visitors.”
Kelly de Shaun with the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees says that while the police’s main focus is safety, hers is on the tourists.
“The seawall in Galveston Island is an important tourist amenity and the park board is concerned with simply how that seawall program is going to be communicated to visitors to the Island.”
De Shaun emphasizes that the City of Galveston is working closely with the park board to iron-out any kinks before next year’s high tourist season.
The cost of parking will be $1 an hour, $8 for the day or $25 for an annual pass. The launch date for adding the paid parking is early 2013.
City Officials estimate generating $1.7 million dollars annually from this new system and the money will reinvested in beach-related services.