Downtown Marquette adds 10 new "smart meters"
The Marquette Downtown Development Authority added 10 new parking meters to the city Wednesday, but these are different - they're "smart meters". Smart meters allow for greater flexibility because users can pay with their credit card. The meters were built by the IPS Group, a San Diego-based firm.
Two were installed at the 100 block of West Main Street, four in the Upper Commons parking lot across from the downtown Post Office, and four in the 200 block of West Barage Avenue. The cost of using any of the meters is 25 cents an hour.
The meter installation is part of a 2 month trial, during which the DDA will gauge the community's feedback.
"We are asking for feedback from the community," Marquette DDA Assistant Director Becky Salmon said. "With this trial period, we're kind of using it as a way to gauge if this is the right technology for the Marquette community moving forward. And if it is deemed to be so, we plan to then replace all of our existing parking meters that are old and outdated with this new technology."
There's no official timeline on when the old meters would be replaced with smart meters, but Salmon speculates it would likely be in 2017.
The DDA has put a survey on the new meters on their website, https://downtownmarquette.org/, and are encouraging residents to complete the survey.
The new meters are part of the DDA's strategic parking plan that came out of a parking study they conducted with a national parking consultant a few years ago. The consultant recommended the new technology for both customer convenience, and efficiency at monitoring and solving any maintenance problems. Eventually, the DDA plans to add a pay-by-phone application to the meters.
More information on the meters, including demonstration videos and instruction sheets, is on the DDA's website, https://downtownmarquette.org/.