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Iowa City City Council authorizes parking meter upheaval

BY NICK HASSETT | MAY 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa City City Council authorized a revamp of the city’s parking meter system at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Transportation Services Department issued a request for proposal for the replacement of the existing on-street parking-meter system, and five proposals were received in March.

The project includes the replacement and upgrade of 1,175 single-space parking meters, management software, and vehicle-detection sensors.

City staff recommends the city award the contract to Duncan Parking Technologies Inc. for a cost of $546,375. Annual operating costs are expected to be $77,550 per year.

The new meters would utilize payment methods other than quarters, including credit cards. Though councilor Jim Throgmorton had some concerns about possible credit card theft via electronic devices placed on the meters, Chris O’Brien, Iowa City Parking and Transit director, said the city would take safeguards against theft.

“We’re going to check to make sure no skimmers are placed on the equipment as you leave, we’ll collect from the meters and check weekly or twice a week,” he said. “You have to have an external device [to steal credit card data], it would be extremely evident.”


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