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New high-tech parking meters coming

A program to replace the city’s 45 old parking meters (above) with modern multi-space units is scheduled to begin in January of 2013.  - Matthew Hoekstra photo
A program to replace the city’s 45 old parking meters (above) with modern multi-space units is scheduled to begin in January of 2013.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra photo

Motorists confounded by Richmond’s parking meters could find relief in the new year.

The City of Richmond is planning to replace the 45 pay-parking stations that collect payment at approximately 400 on-street spaces and 175 stalls in three lots.

The phased replacement project is budgeted at $537,500.

Current meters were originally purchased in 2003, and city hall wants the new ones to be higher-tech. According to a request for proposal, new meters should be solar-powered and be wireless and multi-payment capable.

“The city expects significant improvement in parking operations,” states the document.

Staff have some ideas, including flexible payment methods and better street aesthetics. New units are also expected to offer increased reliability, security, advertising opportunities and greater ease of use.

“All user interfaces shall be familiar, intuitive and require minimal human interaction.”

The city is also asking firms to recommend some new innovations, such as GPS tracking, licence plate recognition, screen and ticket advertising, parking validation and mobile payment options.

Richmond is accepting proposals until Dec. 4. The first phase of installation is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2013.

The city earned $430,760 in parking revenue in 2010, the most recent statistic available.

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