COLORADO – Durango likely to replace new ‘smart’ parking meters after issues

Durango likely to replace new ‘smart’ parking meters after issues


Updated: 09/29/2015 7:09 PM | Created: 09/29/2015 6:59 PM
By: Devin Neeley, Eyewitness News 4

DURANGO, CO — It has only been a year, but the City of Durango is already having second thoughts about “smart” parking meters installed downtown.

“There have been a few issues that we have been unable or unsuccessful at solving with our vendor,” said Amber Blake, with the City of Durango.

The meters accept credit cards, reloadable “smart cards” and change. But the city has been getting a number of complaints.

“Issues like not knowing that you need to press the accept button to accept the time, and people end up with a parking ticket people thing they shouldn’t have because they thought they paid for the meter,” said Blake.

Other complaints they have received are the glare on the glass making the screen hard to read, or the glass just fogging over.

“It was a little hard to look though the menu and see how much you are paying and how long you were paying for,” said out-of–town visitor, Luly Miller. She and her husband were both seen squinting and shading their eyes in downtown Durango Tuesday. Others adopted similar stances or leans to see the trouble meters.

Locals and visitors are fed up and it seems that the new meters have run out of time. Now, after less than a year, Durango is already looking to replace the 365 downtown smart meters.

“It is really about the requirements in our contract that aren’t being met and we need to make sure that our community and visitors are happy and meet their needs,” said Blake.

Next year, the city will solicit bids for new meters. By mid-2016 they hope to have prospective vendors install meters downtown for a trial period of six months to a year: like test driving a car, but longer. Public feedback will be factored into the decision to replace the meters.

So why didn’t the city try before buying last time? Reps say the city didn’t know that was an option.

The city says there is still usable life in the smart meters and will sell them once they are replaced as a way to pay for the new ones. Infrastructure upgrades to poles and meter boxes will be included in the new meters price.

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