PENINSULA, Ohio — Almost three months after paid parking enforcement began in downtown Peninsula, Mayor Dan Schneider told News 5 the initiative has generated about $12,000 in revenue so far.
Council signed off on the parking program earlier this year as a way to increase revenue. Peninsula carries a population of only about 600 but averages 7,000 visitors a day.
“Over 50% of our village is national park property, which is not taxable where we collect no property taxes on it,” Schneider said.
The news came as a surprise to many, especially those who enjoy the nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. About 300 parking spots were switched to paid parking, many of which are located along State Route 303 and Akron Peninsula Road.
“There were quite a few upset people,” Schneider said. “We can’t even say some of the things that were painted on our signs. The first couple weekends, we had our signs destroyed, stolen, crumpled up, and put into trash bins. Now it’s settled down and I think people are educated a little more.”
Winking Lizard Tavern even posted their own signs notifying people about the change in parking, after also posting on their door a letter detailing the number of complaints and concerns they had received.
Schneider told News 5 the revenue generated is already being used to increase part-time Peninsula police officers’ pay up to $16 an hour. At the start of 2022, he said full-time officers should see an increase in pay as well as a way to improve employee retention.
“We have good officers train them here and they move on to better-paying jobs in other communities,” he said.
Drivers are charged $2 an hour through the website paybyphone.com. The service is enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you don’t pay, a citation will run a driver $25 for the first 10 days. After that, the fine will increase to $35. After 30 days, that unpaid ticket will go up to $100.
Schneider said so far, about $1,000 in citations have been collected so far, in addition to the $12,000 in parking revenue.
Going forward, Schneider previously told News 5 the hope is that the revenue will help pay for other aspects of the village, including the police department, roads, and overall finances.