Motorists in Coolidge Corner, JFK Crossing and Washington Square may see something different when they park today: single-space parking meters are back.
IPS Group and the Department of Public Works went out yesterday to install the new IPS smartmeters in Coolidge Corner, JFK Crossing and Washington Square, mostly curbside on Beacon and Harvard Streets. Town Administrator Mel Kleckner updated the Board of Selectmen on the progress of this rollout last night.
IPS Smartmeters look similar to the traditional single-head meters, but are solar-powered and accept credit or debit cards (with a Visa or MasterCard logo), PXT cards and coins--but no bills.
See the video above for more on how the IPS meters work.
These meters are replacing the upgraded, but still unpopular multi-space meters in those locations. The town plans to sell off the multi-space machines to recoup some of the costs of installing new meters, if the trial is a success.
Parking lots with multi-space meters will still have the machines, but officials plan to upgrade those to a pay-by-space system--instead of purchasing a slip to stick in your car, users will pay at the machine for a numbered parking space.
This is the beginning of a trial period at no cost to the town, during which time residents are invited to provide feedback on the new parking meters. Kleckner added, “we will evaluate things some time in the fall.”
Police Chief Daniel O'Leary said that the town had seen a decline in parking revenue during the last year, after multi-space meters were installed. The department mitigated a number of parking tickets because of confusion and issues with the meters as well.
O'Leary added that the parking control officers were excited about the new meters, saying, "these will make their job a little bit less intolerable."
The next few days will be a "break-in period" for the meters, running until Saturday, July 14.
"Their job will be visibility; they will assist motorists, so they know [about the smartmeters]," O'Leary explained, "their job is not to issue parking tickets."
The multi-space solution was unpopular enough to warrant a warrant article directing the town to improve or remove the meters (which passed), and a task force exploring ways to improve the multi-space meters.
If you have feedback on the meters, you can email SmartMeters@BrooklineMA.gov, or leave your thoughts in the comments.