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New Parking Meter System in the Works: Extended Hours, Fewer Quarters

Details to be worked out, but Sundays will likely remain free.

After Town Manager Ron Van Winkle proposed extending parking meter hours to increase revenue, a plan has emerged to end the quarter hunt as well as the dash out to the meter halfway through a restaurant meal.

The council's budget approval on Tuesday night includes the assumption that parking meter hours will remain free on Sunday but will be extended on Monday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. During the evening, however, patrons will be allowed to stay at the meters for four hours instead of two.

Mayor Scott Slifka said the details will likely be worked out in May, but the plan is to install kiosks so that restaurant patrons won't be required to carry pockets full of change.

"We are going to get out of the business of quarters," Slifka said on Tuesday before the meeting.

The meters will have a two-hour limit during the day, Slifka said, because businesses need the turnover. The kiosks, similar to the ones now used in Hartford, will allow drivers to pay with a credit card, cash or coins. The driver will have to print a slip at the kiosk and place it on the car's dashboard.

Slifka said that installing the kiosk system will also eliminate the need to collect and process change from all the meters.

The kiosks "will provide more opportunities to pay outside of coins," Slifka said.

Keith Griffin April 27, 2011 at 10:56 AM
The kiosks are a great idea. I'm glad to see West Hartford following Hartford's lead on this. It will make parking in WH Center and BBS a lot easier.
Betty Ann Grady April 27, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Why haven't the parking cards been more successful? They were a great idea, but didn't seem well promoted, and it seemed difficult to find places to re-load them. So convenient, though!
Susan Schoenberger April 27, 2011 at 04:03 PM
I think you nailed the problem -- no one seemed to know where to re-load them or it required a special trip.
jim dabino May 04, 2011 at 07:19 PM
i think this is opportunistic and wrong. the town of west hartford is riding on the shoulders of merchants that work(ed) long and hard to make west hartford successful. it is not the town planners and leaders that changed the town in the '90's it was the committed merchants. merchants and town residents pay enough taxes to support parking. if they didnt have meters (or parking attendants in booths with heat, phone and cable tv) then there would be no associated costs. and to make matters worse, they rent the land the parking lots are on for $1.00 per year - a long standing deal. i see the increased hours for meters as a greedy action by greedy people.
Aaron Sarwar May 28, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Extending meter hours = HORRIBLE IDEA! This is specifically going after restaurant patrons. Its like they are purposely making whc a less attractive place...

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