The following story was part of this week's village memo.
Over the past two weeks, staff has received both positive and negative comments from commutersregarding the new parking machines. Of the criticisms, many have focused on the amount of time that it takes to complete a transaction and that lines have been forming in some locations during peak times. Some individuals have requested that the Village purchase additional machines to relieve congestion.
Staff has responded by reminding commuters that they can pay for parking at any machine and the pay-by-cell option is convenient when they are running late. Maps of machine locations have been posted near the parking machines.
Each of the parking machine vendors who provided proposals recommended that the village purchase one machine per 100 commuter parking spaces. The village’s commuter lotscontain 698 parking spaces. Eight parking machines were installed, providing a ratio of 87.25 spaces per machine.
Working with Total Parking Solutions, it was determined that the amount of time it takes to complete a transaction varies, but credit cards normally take the longest at about 23 seconds.
For security purposes, credit card information is not stored in the machines. Therefore, there is a need to communicate with the customer’s bank and our credit card processor in real time over the cellular network before the transaction can be completed. This is the reason for the time it takes to process this type of transaction. The average transaction time for coin or bills is about 18 seconds.
Over time, staff will be able to collect data such as how frequently specific parking spaces are used and the peak payment times. This data, along with continued commuter comments, will be used to review the implementation of the new parking machines. Staff will provide a report and any recommendations to the Village Board in three months.
Have you tried using the new parking meters? Share your experiences in the comments below or on the Northbrook Patch Facebook page.