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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 an alternative.

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 for people."

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 A. Perez.

"It's ... a way to increase the city's revenue from parking meters," he said.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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