News Release - Mayor Duffy Announces Initiatives to Improve Parking in City

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010) – Mayor Robert J. Duffy unveiled a series of initiatives today that will improve the City’s parking system and close a $3 million gap in the City’s Parking Enterprise Fund.

“The vast majority of our customers rely on their vehicles to conduct their daily activities, whether it’s for work or play,” said Mayor Duffy. “If we want them to conduct those activities in our city, we must give them a place to park that is convenient, safe and affordable. The Bureau of Parking is doing just that.”

The initiatives, which include the launch of a new enforcement tool to crack down on illegal parking, are expected to generate $3 million in revenue for the Parking Enterprise Fund. Other initiatives include providing motorists the ability to use credit cards for metered on-street parking spots; a new pricing structure at City-owned parking garages; and improved customer service at City-owned garages.

On Thursday, Aug. 5 the City Bureau of Parking will begin operating the SmartBoot License Plate Recognition System to identify the city’s most egregious parking scofflaws and hold them accountable. The SmartBoot system is provided by PayLock IPT LLC of Somerville, N.J., which also provides a 24-hour live-operator Help Center for booted motorists.

Vehicles with three or more parking tickets, 90 or more days old, are eligible to be booted. In the past, vehicles were usually towed for these outstanding parking tickets. Now, when a vehicle is identified for non-payment of delinquent parking tickets, a SmartBoot immobilization device will be attached by a Parking Enforcement Officer. The PayLock SmartBoot immobilization device weighs approximately 16 pounds and has an electronic lock that may be unlocked by the motorist after payment is made. The average parking scofflaw has a balance of $485.

Upon payment of the outstanding balance, the SmartBoot can be released by the driver, without waiting, in most cases. The booted motorist can then be back on the road in about five minutes.

“When drivers park illegally, they inconvenience other drivers and hurt businesses, especially those businesses that rely on turnover to survive,” said Parking Director Sue Olley. “Potential customers will just drive by if they can’t find a convenient space.”

Motorists with outstanding tickets are encouraged to pay their balances in order to avoid being booted. Vehicle owners who currently have parking tickets can check their outstanding balance on-line at

The Parking Bureau is also moving forward with plans to offer credit-card convenience to metered on-street parking. After a 4-month trial period in which five pay stations were tested, the City Council will be voting on Aug. 17 to appropriate funds to purchase 100 more. If approved by Council, the 100 solar pay stations would replace approximately 1,000 older single space meters. Drivers will display their pay station receipt on their dashboard. This allows the paid meter time to be portable, until the receipt expires, instead of leaving unused time on the meter.

At the same meeting, Council will also vote on legislation to contract with Allpro Parking, LLC of Buffalo to provide customer service staffing and maintenance in six City garages.

And in July, the Parking Bureau began offering the first two hours of parking in City garages for just $1 to encourage longer visits to downtown Rochester during the workday.


News Media: For more information, Contact Parking Director Sue Olley at 428-7484.