Longer grace periods and max parking times coming to Royal Oak

After months of complaints from residents and visitors, Royal Oak has unveiled new rules for its city parking spots that are set to go into effect later in April.

They include extending the grace period for on-street parking and boosting the maximum time someone can be parked in a single spot.

The city commission approved the measures after feedback from stakeholders all around Royal Oak, the city manager said. 

"We understand that there have been some frustrations and challenges around the MPS (Municipal Parking Services) parking meters, and ultimately, our goal is to make parking as user-friendly as it can be, and we believe that these two things will improve the user experience," said Paul Brake.

The changes only apply to the street parking and not the city's downtown garages. 

The on-street parking will allow for a 15-minute grace period and three hours of maximum parking. The city commission also make parking free on all civic holidays, which now includes Juneteenth. 

Frustrations over the city's parking bubbled over early this year when a study commissioned by the city found 43% of all visitors that used street-parking were ticketed - about 32,500 a month. 

MORE: Residents worried Royal Oak has a parking enforcement problem

That's about $3.5 million in revenue for the city, but it also left a sour taste in many people's mouths over worries the city could develop a reputation for being too strict. The study also determined that most people had violated the original grace period or were parked for an hour longer than the allowed time.

Those two reasons helped guide the city toward its changes.