New parking machines approved for Downtown lots
Updated 10:35 am, Friday, January 13, 2017
NEW CANAAN — New user-friendly parking machines will soon be coming to town.
The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in favor of entering into a $51,303 contract with New Jersey-based Parkeon for seven new solar-powered pay machines.
According to Parking Bureau Director Stacy Miltenberg, the machines are as user-friendly as they come. Unlike the current machines, which have received complaints, the new models prompt users and walk them through payments with words and animations on a seven inch screen.
“You have to read instructions on the current machines, they don’t prompt you,” Miltenberg said. “They want to be prompted right on the screen and Parkeon will do that for you.”
Another perk, according to Miltenberg, is that customer service will be improved with Parkeon.
“The first plus is they’re on the East Coast. They work when we work,” Miltenberg said, as opposed to tech support for the current machines, which is located in Europe.
Morse Court and Park Street lots will each get two machines. Locust Avenue., Playhouse and Center School lots will each get one new machine.
Miltenberg also said that eventually a mobile app could be used, though the details have not yet been worked out.
According to First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III, the funds to purchase the machines have already been set aside.
“It’s not coming out of the taxpayer, the general fund budget. This is money that we have set aside for infrastructure and parking through the increase in the fees we set aside. So we’re taking that money to invest in these new machines,” Mallozzi said, referring to the increased parking fees that went into effect in 2016. Updates on machines the machines at the railroad station lots are next to come, Mallozzi said, but because that money would likely come from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, progress is slower.
Miltenberg said she’s hoping to debut the machines in the early spring.
“They take about eight weeks to put together and program. So it depends on when we get the official go ahead. We’re going to need to be trained in collection and maintenance on the machines, and the weather will be breaking at that point,” Miltenberg explained.
At the latest, Miltenberg said the machines should be in use by April.
“People were not very happy with our meters here in town, and that’s an easy solution,” Mallozzi said.