High-Tech Parking Meters Arrive in Downtown Duluth

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Jordyn Kirk  - Student Journalist -
Photo credit to www.duluthnewstribune.com

Photo credit to www.duluthnewstribune.com

Downtown Duluth is getting a street-side update by replacing the quarter-only pay meters with new, electronic meters like the ones that are currently in place in Canal Park.

"Beginning in February, the City of Duluth will be replacing the quarters-only meters with a four to seven month trial installation of state-of-the-art on-street parking payment technology downtown between 3rd Avenue West and 4th Avenue West on Superior Street," said DuluthParking.com.

The electronic meters in Canal Park work quite well, as it no longer requires drivers to carry quarters whenever they wish to park their cars on a city street.

"Each parking spot on the block will have a number; after parking, customers will need to enter that number at any of the payment kiosks, which will accept $1 bills, $1 coins, quarters, dimes, nickels and most credit and debit cards," said the Duluth News Tribune. "The parking prices, the 80-minute time limit and the hours of enforcement won't change."

Knowing that not much will change about parking, except that sleek kiosks will replace the generic quarter-meters and that the new meters will accept more forms of currency, a good sign for many people who have abandoned their heavy change-purses for lighter debit and credit cards.
"The new kiosks may save drivers some money," said the Tribune. "Matthew Kennedy [Duluth Parking Manager] said they can be programmed to not accept any money outside of the hours of parking enforcement - unlike the existing meters, which accept quarters from unknowing parkers at any time, day or night."

DuluthParking.com lists the goals of the trial as:

  • Gather customer feedback as compared to using current quarters-only meters
  • Evaluate how many pay stations are required per block for optimal customer convenience
  • Test cold weather performance of the pay stations 
  • If successful, utilize trial findings to plan for staged citywide replacement of quarters-only meters with new multi-space technology