Payment Alternatives Considered For Parking Meters
October 3, 2005
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer
Instead of sifting through dirt and trash on the car floor for
that all-essential dime or 10-minute quarter for the parking meter,
motorists in Hartford sick of being short on change may soon have
The alternative is called Pay-and-Display,
computerized parking "meters" into
which patrons would put either coins or credit cards. In return, they
would receive a receipt confirming their payment, which is then placed
on the dashboard.
"You don't have to carry the volume of coins that we never seem to have
enough of to feed the parking meter," said James C. Kopencey, executive
director of the Hartford Parking Authority. "We want to make it easier
On-street parking has long been a bogeyman for the city, dating at least
from the inception of the parking authority itself, Kopencey said. That's
why his office has issued a request for proposals to tackle the issue.
First, the authority plans to assume oversight responsibility for on-street
parking and the city's estimated 2,000 meters. To coordinate enforcement,
maintenance and billing for metered parking, the authority wants to hire
an outside management firm to a five-year contract.
Within six months of beginning work, the management company the authority
chooses will have to supply specifications for the Pay-and-Display system
of parking, Kopencey said.
"The big picture really is to promote access to destinations in the
downtown," Kopencey said.
One part of the delay in getting to this point has been negotiating with
the municipal labor unions that now attend to parking. But those negotiations
are slowly winding up, said Matt Hennessy, chief of staff to Mayor Eddie
"It's ... a way to increase the city's revenue from parking meters," he
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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