Time may be running out for Milwaukee's high-tech parking meters

Posted at 10:17 PM, Aug 19, 2016

MILWAUKEE - A trial project underway in the Third Ward could foretell the end of problematic multi-space parking meters, according to the Department of Public Works.

The city is considering replacing the multi-space parking system unveiled in 2006 with "smart meters" installed at every parking spot.

The multi-space meters have numbered signs at every parking spot and require payment at kiosks scattered nearby.

Those kiosks can be slow to process credit card transactions and lines can form at busy times of day.

Because parking checkers write tickets so efficiently, that leaves some people who paid at a kiosk with a ticket they do not deserve.

In 2014, the city voided 2,977 tickets related to flaws with parking kiosks. In 1,107 of those cases, a parking checker wrote a ticket faster than the system could process the payment.

The current system cost $4.2 million, but DPW describes the multi-space meters as near the end of their useful life.

"Smart meters" would allow payment by coin, credit card or through a smartphone app.

The city had a no-cost estimate on converting all multi-space meters to "smart meters."