New Haven will launch a test program near Yale University that will eliminate any leftover time on parking meters.
When you park in a city or town with parking meters, you sometimes have the happy circumstance of finding a meter with time left on it because someone paid for more time than he or she needed.
Or, maybe you've made someone else's day by leaving a spot before your time expired.
Those days will soon be over in part of New Haven. The city will launch a test program near Yale University that will eliminate any leftover time on parking meters.
The New Haven Register reports that magnetic sensors will be placed in a two-block area near Yale University.
When a car leaves a spot at parking spaces on Chapel Street between York and College streets, the sensors will automatically reset the meters.
City officials said the system records how long each car is using a meter and is designed to determine how many cars are parking in the high-traffic area and how long they stay there.
IPS Group Inc. provided the pilot sensors at no cost to the city and those sensors will collect the data for 90 days, Jim Travers, director of the city's the Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking, said.
“The data will be useful to tell us if the area should be one-hour parking or two-hour parking,” Travers said. “If people are spending three hours there, maybe we need to revisit the length of time.”
Adjusting meter times for the average turnover can help promote traffic to local businesses, he said.
The city eventually may also be able to use the sensors to develop a cellphone application that will tell drivers where they are likely to find a free parking space, Travers said.
“This gives us a gateway into information we've never been able to see before,” Travers said. “What we'll do with it, I don't know.”
The response is mixed.
“I think it’s awful,” Ashley Caron said. “I just think it’s discouraging for those who love to come down and grab a cup of coffee, or anything really.”
Robert Freitas, of New Haven, said people should not be benefiting off other people.
“If you want to park in a parking space, pay for your parking space,” Freitas said. “I think it’s good, good for the City of New Haven.”
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