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City Parking Enforcement Transitioning to New Citation Management System

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Beginning September 10, 2013, the Asheville Parking Services Division will transition to an upgraded parking citation management system.  The adoption of the technology will increase accessibility when paying or appealing parking tickets and enhance efficiency on the part of parking enforcement officers.

Parking enforcement officers will be equipped with handheld devices equipped with cameras and wireless capability that will allow instantaneous transmission of information, making it easily available to the citizen for review. Cameras are often used by parking enforcement officers to record violations and provide accurate and reviewable records.

Brekford Corporation – a leader in law enforcement, parking, and traffic safety systems and services – has been selected to provide state-of-the-art processing and collections systems and services including providing mobile computers and hosting web-based software that will handle printing and mailing of tickets and issuing reminders.

Outwardly little change will be apparent.  City personnel will continue to control and operate the parking citation program, enforce parking regulations, write citations, provide customer service, handle in-person payments, and determine all appeals. However the new system will allow citation appeals to be taken online instead of only in writing.

“This is going to be a big step forward in convenience to the citizenry and maximizing our ability to provide quick and accurate information,” said the city’s Parking Services Manager Harry Brown.

In an effort to streamline procedures for greater efficiency, parking citation payments will no longer accepted at City Hall.  Citizens are encouraged to mail them in or use the on-line options.  Payments will be accepted in the City owned parking garages and at the Parking Services office at 45 Wall Street.

Downtown Pay-by-Phone-Parking Now at All Metered Spaces

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The yellow parking meter stickers are going up all over town as the City of Asheville expands pay-by-phone parking to all of its 750 meters in the downtown central business district.

The service allows drivers to pay for up to two hours of on-street parking using a credit or debit card number and their cell phone. The move enhances the accessibility of on-street short-term parking by extending it to people who are not carrying change. In September, the City of Asheville’s Parking Services Division launched a three-month test phase involving 104 parking meters, and the success of that phase has led to an expanded trial run throughout all of the City of Asheville’s meters.

“It was pretty popular right from the beginning!” said the City’s Transportation Director Ken Putnam. “One of the things we heard right off the bat was that people wanted to see the pay-by-phone feature on more spaces downtown.”

The expansion is part of a larger trial run and will last for a year. Last year’s initial test revealed a revenue increase of about three percent, Putnam said. Data from both trials will be used when making a recommendation about whether or not to make pay-by-phone a permanent part of Asheville’s parking offerings.

The yellow stickers and signs provide information about how to set up an account. Once an account is established, parking customers can simply pay for metered spaces on their phone by entering a zone and meter number and the amount of time needed. Customers can also request a text message alerting them that their meter is about to expire.

A fee of 25 cents will apply for each pay-by-phone transaction, which offsets the cost of the service. All parking meters will still take coins.

For more information about the City of Asheville parking services, go to http://www.ashevillenc.gov/Departments/ParkingServices.aspx.

Asheville Pay-by-phone Parking

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Don’t have change? A new pilot program by the City of Asheville’s Parking Service Division implements new technology for a sample of on-street parking meters that will allow customers to pay by cell phone or smart phone.

Beginning Thursday, September 6, 104 meters in one section of downtown will be designated by stickers explaining how to set up an account and pay for up to two hours of parking by phone using a credit or debit card. The system gives customers another option when parking in downtown Asheville.

“We are excited to offer this service to our residents and visitors as a way to make parking in downtown Asheville more accessible and user-friendly,” said Ken Putnam, the City’s Transportation Director. “The Parking Division continually looks for ways to improve the customer’s experience.”

Meters that are part of the pay-by-phone pilot program will still accept coins and will have a time limit of two hours.

The test phase of the technology will run for three months, from September to November, and will be active on 104 parking meters along Hiawassee St., Haywood St., Battery Park and Wall St. Meters that are part of the pilot program will display yellow stickers with instructions showing how to set up an account and pay for parking. Once an account is established, customers can simply pay meters on their phone by entering a zone and meter number. Customers can also request a text message reminding them that a meter is about to expire.

The parking pilot program will provide Asheville City staff with the information it needs to make a recommendation about whether or not to establish pay-by-phone services throughout downtown.

For more information about the City of Asheville parking Services, go to www.ashevillenc.gov.

Downtown Asheville Sidewalk Repairs

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville will make sidewalk improvements in three downtown areas through the course of the next month.  Sidewalks damaged by tree roots outgrowing planting areas will be repaired and trees causing damage will be replaced with more appropriate species.

This project is part of an ongoing effort to improve the pedestrian experience downtown and create a healthy and attractive urban forest by planting and maintaining species of trees that are best adapted for urban conditions.  It is a coordinated effort between the city’s sidewalk crews and arborist to create safe, ADA-compliant sidewalks while maintaining the charm of Asheville’s tree-lined downtown streets.

Additional sites will be identified and repaired between now and early spring.  Trees will be replaced as quickly as possible although, at times, there may be a delay due to the availability of selected species.  “This is a great opportunity to merge safety and beautification efforts,” said Greg Shuler, streets and engineering manager for the city’s public works department.  “Trees play an important role in the city’s urban  landscape and can thrive without impacting infrastructure when the right species are planted.”

Project areas for the month of January:

  • North side of Patton Avenue between Clingman Avenue and Main Street
  • North side of Patton Avenue between Otis Street and 101 Patton Avenue
  • Walnut Street between Broadway Avenue and North Market Street

For more information on this project visit www.ashevillenc.gov/progress or contact John Gavin at [email protected] or 259-4580.

Asheville City Offers New Downtown Parking Option

Friday, October 21st, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville has opened a new 45-space parking lot, in the heart of downtown’s Battery Park.

Asheville Lot #17″ is located on O’Henry Avenue, on the AT&T property. Its 45 spaces have the same rates as on-street parking – $1 per hour. The lot offers a solar-powered multi-space meter machine that accepts coins, bills and credit/debit cards.

The hours of enforcement are also the same as on-street meters: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The lot is being leased from AT&T at a cost of $2,585 per month over five years. The lease is being paid out of the Parking Services Fund, which is derived from parking revenues.

“We are very excited to offer this option to the public and to increase the convenience and accessibility of parking downtown,” said Harry Brown, parking services manager for the City of Asheville.

These additional spaces near the historic Grove Arcade will bolster the existing 700-plus on-street parking spaces in the city, as well as the more than 1,000 spaces in the Civic Center, Rankin Avenue and Wall Street parking garages and permitted lots.

To learn more about the Parking Services Division, visit:

http://www.ashevillenc.gov/Departments/ParkingServices.aspx

 

Shindig on the Green Returns to Pack Square Park – July 2nd!

Friday, June 17th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Shindig on the Green returns for the second season back at the heart of downtown Asheville at the new Pack Square Park’s Roger McGuire Green for the 2011 season starting July 2nd from 7-10pm.  The stage shows will take place on the new Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage, named for the founder of the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the nation’s longest running folk festival.

Bring your instruments, families, friends, lawn chairs and blankets and join us for good times at the new Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage. In 2011 Shindig on the Green, which features a stage show and informal jam sessions around the park, continues at its original location — formerly known as City County Plaza, now transformed into the new Pack Square Park. Locals and visitors alike come together downtown “along about sundown,” or at 7:00pm for those who wear a watch, until 10:00p.m. Concessions are available. Come experience the beautiful music and dance traditions of Southern Appalachia on a summer evening in the mountains.

Shindig on the Green has been voted “#1 Local Outdoor Concert” three years in a row — 2006, 2007, and 2008 — by readers of Asheville’s independent weekly newspaper Mountain Xpress in its annual “Best of WNC” edition.

The Folk Heritage Committee produces Shindig on the Green and its sister event, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, to support the preservation and continuation of the traditional music, dance and storytelling heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Between 3,000 and 5,000 people attend Shindig on the Green evenings for free throughout the summer. In addition to throngs of locals, visitors routinely travel from out of state, across the country, and even around the world to make their way to downtown Asheville for Shindig on the Green.

Shindig on the Green occurs thanks to the talent and generosity of its volunteer musicians and dancers who span several generations much to the delight of those in attendance. From young children perfecting their square dance steps to great-grandmothers singing ballads passed down through the years, the region’s wealth of traditional talent takes center stage.  Since the outdoor event’s inception in 1967, hundreds of thousands of individuals from across the region and throughout the world have shared and enjoyed the rich traditional music and dance heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in this outdoor setting.

Raffle: The 2010 season’s Raffle items were a Martin D16-GT guitar with a hardshell case and a handcrafted clay and walnut mountain banjo from Mangum Pottery. 2011 items will be announced here as available.  Raffle tickets are available at each Shindig evening and at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival and the winning tickets are pulled at the end of the summer Shindig season.

Eats and Treats: Concessions are provided by Okie Dokies Smokehouse and The Hop Ice Cream Cafe.

Parking: Parking is available in marked and metered spaces throughout downtown Asheville (free after 6pm) and the city’s municipal decks (evening rates vary.) Very convenient to Shindig, there is a new Buncombe County parking deck, the College Street Parking Deck, directly across College Street from Pack Square Park and the Buncombe County Courthouse — $1.00 per hour.

Summer Schedule:
Shindig on the Green takes a break from its regular Saturday schedule just twice during July and August: once on July 29th to make way for the city’s Bele Chere festival and again on August 6th when the musicians and dancers head to Shindig’s sister event, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. The 84th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, a ticketed event at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place, takes place nightly Thursday through Saturday, August 4 – 6. Tickets are available from the Pack Place Box Office at 828-257-4530 or online at www.dwtheatre.com.

The Folk Heritage Committee produces Shindig on the Green 2011 and the 84th annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival with support from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Asheville Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Arts Department, and Buncombe County, and by several corporate and media sponsors as well as many individuals. The Folk Heritage Info Line is: 828-258-6101 x345.

Click here if you are interested in performing

The Hardlox Jewish Festival Comes to Downtown Asheville This weekend

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Come out for an afternoon of potato latkes, challah bread, noodle kugel and other delicious Jewish fare at the Hardlox Jewish Festival, this Sunday October 17th. Besides over twenty different kinds of food, the Hardlox festival will feature klezmer music, Israeli folk dancing, a Kids zone, crafts, and face painting. There’s fun for the whole family. The fun begins at 11 am in pack square in downtown Asheville, and lasts until 4pm. Many Jewish organizations from the area will be present.  It’s opportunity to learn about Jewish culture, while participating in Asheville’s vibrant Jewish community. Open to the public and for all ages.  More information at http://www.hardloxjewishfestival.org/index.html

Asheville Art in the Park to Take Place Saturday

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Come out for a Saturday afternoon of art in Pack Square. For the month of October, local artists from the area will be featured at an art market in downtown Asheville every Saturday. The event is free and open to the public. 10% of proceeds will be donated to charitable organizations. Come and see talented glass workers, potters, designers, metalsmiths, and other artists.

To find out more information, please visit: http://www.ashevilleartinthepark.com/

Asheville Art Museum Presents Urban Loft + Art Tour, Oct. 14

Friday, October 1st, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Join the Asheville Art Museum at its annual Urban Loft + Art Tour in Downtown Asheville on Thursday, October 14, 2010 from 4:30 to 9:00 p.m. The cost of tickets is $50 for Museum Members and $55 general admission. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the non-profit Asheville Art Museum and support its exhibitions and programming for the community.

Highlights of this year’s tour include the new buildings 60 North Market Street and the Pioneer Building. Sixty North Market Street has never been on the tour and includes a wide variety of homes with great style and views as well.

The Pioneer Building has a great range of homes. Every unit and floor plan is different by design. Steve Parker, Interiors Director of Urban-Suburban Design Inc., is staging a unit in the Pioneer Building showing guests how to do interesting things in their space on a limited budget. Parker repurposes and recycles for an eco- and wallet-friendly design.

We are also including 32 Broadway on this year’s Loft Tour. View a home in 32 Broadway featuring unexpected and breathtaking big, open spaces with incredible roof access.

The White Trolley is another new feature this year, shuttling guests in style between The Pioneer Building and 60 North Market Street. The art in all of these buildings and lofts is diverse. The styles range from traditional to art deco to more personal tastes. The goal is to give guests on the tour an idea of how people live in downtown Asheville’s art-filled lofts. The reception will be at Private Mountain Communities in the Grove Arcade.

For more information, reservations and to purchase tickets, please call 828.253.3227. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly suggested as this event sells out every year.

Presenting Sponsors: The Asheville Real Estate Studio “specializing in downtown urban living” and Private Mountain Communities “the region’s most comprehensive cost-free buyers’ resource.” This event is also supported by The Pioneer Building.

Image credit: Urban Loft + Art Tour 2010. Libby de Caetani’s loft.

Election Services Office is Moving

Friday, August 6th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The offices of County Election Services will be closed on August 9 and 10 in order to move to their new location at 35 Woodfin Street (former Health Center) in downtown Asheville.

They will reopen for business on August 11 in their new offices on the main floor at 35 Woodfin Street.  Parking for Election Services will be in front of the building or in the parking deck just adjacent to the building.

For questions or assistance with Election Services, call 250-4200.