cool except the fact that parking costs so much you might as well just park in a lot and pay like $6 for the day or whatever it is instead of 25c for 15min
The thing I particularly like is the idea of being able to get more time from anywhere in the city. This seams like a move to make public transportation, and walking around the city more attractive. You no longer have to worry about leaving your car in one place too long, if it’s getting close to your time expiring, just go to any point in the city and pay for more parking time.A change in parking meters as Stamford goes high tech
By Mark Ginocchio
Published October 24 2005
STAMFORD -- Parking in Stamford is about to get brainy.
Tomorrow, the city will install its first three state-of-the-art "Smart Meters" in the surface parking lot on Bedford Street.
Officials say the "Smart Meter" kiosks are more convenient for users and better for the city's bookkeeping.
"This is innovation put into action," said Frank Fedeli, supervisor of the Citizens Service Center. "This is part of a first step to modernize some of the city's parking meters."
Once they're functioning, the meters will accept cash, coins and credit and debit cards. They are connected to a network that will make it easier for city officials to track revenue and monitor maintenance from the government center, Fedeli said.
The three Bedford Street meters are part of a pilot program before the city determines how many to install, he said. Initially, the meters will not be able to read credit cards, but as the kinks are worked out -- it should take about three months -- they should be able to accept plastic, he said.
Ernie Orgera, supervisor of traffic maintenance, encouraged the city to try the meters after some research, Fedeli said.
Each unit cost about $11,000, said Tim Curtin, director of the Office of Operations.
Eventually, the city plans to install new meters at main parking venues downtown, Fedeli said. Once that's accomplished, shoppers will be able to refill their parking time from any other kiosk in the city, he said.
"You won't have people running out to feed the meters any more," Fedeli said. "You could park on Bedford Street and purchase additional time at the Bell Street garage."
Business leaders like the idea.
"This is great that it's happening now and it should prove to be very convenient for consumers," said Jack Condlin, president of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce.
Giving customers the option of using cash or credit cards will make parking easier, he said.
"To me, it's a win, win, win, win, win situation," Condlin said.
Sandra Goldstein, executive director of the Downtown Special Services District, said she's reserving judgment.
"It seems that they are a step ahead, but until I actually see it in practice, and get feedback from patrons, the jury is still out," she said.
Other towns in lower Fairfield County are looking to modernize parking meters, too. Allen Cory, head of parking services in Greenwich, said the town's mechanical meters are antiquated and he would like to install electronic kiosks that accept credit cards.