Danbury parking garages to implement electronic kiosks

The Danbury Parking Authority is moving towards high technology for Patriot and Bardo parking lots.

We spoke to Danbury Parking Authority manager Deborah Pacific, who said Hat City has long needed to put obsolete gear in the rearview mirror, Pacific told I-95:

“The Parking Authority is very pleased that the City of Danbury has recognized the need and provided funding for the updated equipment at the Patriot and Bardo garages.

We’ve been struggling with outdated equipment for some time, with the most common customer complaint being the inability to use credit and debit cards.

The new equipment will take advantage of some of the latest technology available in a parking lot. License plate recognition cameras will monitor vehicle activity; whether it is a permit holder or a passing user.

License holders will no longer need a key fob as the system will recognize their license plate. Passing car parks will be required to prepay for parking, just like a street counter, in a kiosk or via a mobile application. The advantage of mobile app payments is that you receive a notification that your time is about to expire, providing the option to add more time, thereby avoiding a ticket.

For those who do not pay, they will receive a ticket on their vehicle and / or a notice in the mail. ”

Thanks to Deborah Pacific for her quick and thoughtful response but I don’t like these electronic kiosks. I understand the need to update technology so people can use debit / credit cards no one is carrying cash anymore but it can’t be the best way.

My experience with electric parking stations in other cities has been terrible. On several occasions I have had problems in Poughkeepsie, NY, Norwalk, CT and Boston, MA. The machines rarely work and when they are down there never seems to be anyone to help you with your transaction. All roads here lead to more tickets, not less.

In Poughkeepsie, I had several skirmishes with the machines. In one case, I parked the car, walked to the machine, put my money in, took my ticket, walked back to my car to put it on the dashboard and I took care of my own business. I came back to find a parking ticket anyway and was given no explanation why. Another time none of the machines in the parking lot were working, everyone was walking away and coming back to the tickets.

In Boston, we used the app to pay for the seat, got out of the car, entered a restaurant, and sat down. My wife completed the payment transaction as we entered the restaurant, I left something in the car, went back and guess what, a ticket! The time it took us to get into the restaurant and for my wife to make the payment (one minute), someone was waiting to place a ticket on the car.

In Norwalk, you pay at the end of your trip, so I assumed you did when exiting an old toll booth. Instead, I had to go to the third floor to get my car entrance ticket and bring it back to the first floor lobby to pay. There were two machines, one was broken and there was a ridiculous line for the other machine. The process was inconvenient and confusing and there was no one to help customers.

I recently spoke to a downtown business owner who told me that one of the challenges he faces in attracting customers from surrounding towns is parking. He said the people of Bethel, Ridgefield, New Fairfield and Brewster don’t want to come downtown because they think parking is confusing or there isn’t enough. I don’t think these electronic kiosks make it better.

When I wasn’t living in the Danbury I felt parking here was boring so I relied on the parking garage as a safe and easy place to park where I was almost sure of ‘have a place. I think it makes the parking lots less attractive, not more.

It looks like the new system will work well and be easy for license holders, but heinous and costly for everyone. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe the technology will work just fine, maybe there will be people to help when it doesn’t and maybe it will reduce parking tickets? What are you putting your money on?

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