City parking payment systems to launch in early December

Several new automated payment systems for downtown parking, one of several parking-related measures approved by the Common Council earlier this month, are expected to go into effect the first week of December.
middletown foto.jpgThe payment systems, located between the recently revamped lots at Melilli Plaza and at the Arcade, will take cash and credit cards. There are also pay-on-foot stations where drivers can pay before actually getting into their cars.

At their monthly meeting held on Nov. 9, council members approved spending $740,000 on parking improvements to bring the citys parking lots up to industry standards. The amount will go toward multiple upgrades including repaving, the installation of emergency call boxes, improved lighting and signage. Hartley said these items will all be addressed by the city in the coming months, according to an article published by the Hartford Courant.

A message left for Hartley was not immediately returned.

Another proposal has been the increase in parking rates, something the council may consider at their Dec. 6 meeting. If approved, meter rates throughout the downtown Main Street area will double from 50 cents to $1 an hour while off-street parking will see a reduction of 25 cents from $1 an hour with the first two hours free to 75 cents an hour with only the first hour free.

Hartley also recommends increasing prices in the Broad Street lot from 50 cents to 75 cents an hour, and in the Grand Street parking lot from 25 cents to 75 cents an hour.

The change in parking rates is designed, in part, as an incentive to park off-street for shoppers and employees. Another reason is because many of the most in-demand parking spaces are also some of the most inexpensive, Hartley said. Whats more, Middletowns parking rates have not been changed in about 26 years, since 1984.

The central business bureau of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce announced in a press release earlier this year that it supports the boost in fees, and recommends a gradual increase over the next two years.
The city of Middletown, Connecticut
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