Manager's Report - November 22, 2013
Pay-By-Phone Parking Service Coming to Alexandria
Starting the week of December 9, motorists will be able to pay for on-street metered parking using a “pay-by-phone” smartphone app or by calling a toll-free phone number. Alexandria will be the first locality in Virginia to offer pay-by-phone for on-street parking. This service, which will be offered in addition to existing pay stations, will be operated by Pango USA. This vendor was selected after a competitive bidding process in which all major pay-by-phone companies participated. Pango was selected in part because the convenience fee charged to users will be 29 cents, compared to the 45 cents charged by Washington, D.C.’s vendor and the 35 cents charged by Montgomery County, Md.’s vendor. The City will receive the normal hourly parking fee, and there will be no cost to the City to provide this pay-by-phone service. Pango USA will pay for all necessary software, signage, and marketing materials.
With the Pango app, a customer can end a parking session upon return to their vehicle which allows the customer to pay for only the actually time used to park. As part of the City’s launch, Pango USA will provide two hours of free parking to the first 5,000 users, and will waive the convenience fee for all users through March 1, 2014. This system will also let restaurants, shops, and other businesses provide complimentary parking promotions to their customers via prepaid codes, and will include a map of City-operated and privately operated parking garages.
Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony
On Friday, November 29, the City will kick off the holiday season with the annual City Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall’s Market Square (301 King Street). Entertainment will feature a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, performances by the Alexandria Harmonizers and the Alexandria Choral Society, caroling, and a community sing-along. Admission is free and festivities begin at 6 p.m., rain or shine.
Alexandria Health Department Provides Influenza Vaccinations to School Bus Drivers
On Tuesday, November 12, the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) partnered with Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) to provide free flu vaccinations to ACPS Transportation Division employees, which include bus drivers and maintenance staff. AHD has been providing the flu vaccine to these vital employees for the past six years. The clinic was also evaluated to assess our emergency mass vaccination plans. The vaccinations took place in the employee lounge of the Wheeler Avenue bus barn where drivers were able to come in between their routes for their vaccination. Attendance was brisk; at once point, more than 40 shots were provided in one hour.
Alexandria Health Department District Response Team Participates in CHAOS Exercise
On November 14, the Alexandria Health Department District Response Team (DRT) participated in the Northern Virginia regional full-scale exercise named CHAOS. This exercise involved a simulated radiological dispersal device and tested the Alexandria Heath Department’s Emergency Response Plans. Players gained hands-on experience with communications systems and equipment in response to various situational injects. More than 25 Health Department employees participated by simulating the response of an actual large-scale emergency. CHAOS also included Emergency Management Team staff at City Hall to address broader City-wide policy issues.