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Time on Brookline's multispace meters expires this winter

Posted by Brock Parker  December 19, 2012 03:07 PM

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Brookline officials said a trial program that began in the summer replacing some multispace meters with new single-space meters that accept credit cards has been a success.

After a successful trial of new single-space parking meters, Brookline is moving forward with plans to replace its remaining multispace parking meters along local streets this winter.

Selectmen Tuesday approved a contract with San Diego-based IPS Group Inc. to replace the multispace meters along Brookline streets with a total of 405 single-space meters that accept coins and credit cards.

About 100 of the single-space meters that were used in a trial program this year are already in place, and the remaining meters will be installed this winter, said Town Administrator Melvin Kleckner Wednesday.

“I believe these meters are much more user friendly and appropriate for on-street parking,” Kleckner said.

At the beginning of 2011, the town spent more than $1 million on a plan to replace single-space meters that only accepted coins with multispace meters in the town’s largest business districts. But when meters were installed residents complained the machines were slow, confusing and burdensome for older drivers, who must walk from their parked car to the multispace meter, print a parking receipt, and return to the vehicle to put the slip in the window, even in inclement weather.

Kleckner said the town will continue using multispace meters in town parking lots. But in the spring of 2013 those meters will be converted to a pay-by-space system in which parking spots will be numbered, and motorists can enter which spot they are parked in at the meter without having to return to a vehicle to put a parking slip in the window.

Multispace meters will also continue to be used along a median stretch of Beacon Street near the St. Mary’s MBTA stop, where special rates are charged during Red Sox home games.

A total of 58 multispace meters located curbside along Brookline streets will be removed and replaced, and the work is expected to be done in mid-March, said Andrew Pappastergion, the town’s commissioner of public works.

While the cost of replacing the multispace meters would have been about $230,000, Pappastergion said the town is offsetting most of the cost by trading in 49 multispace meters. As a result, Pappastergion said the town will only spend about $29,000 on the contract with IPS Group. The town’s leftover multispace meters will be used in parking lots and for spare parts, he said.

Kleckner said he was concerned about the cost of replacing the multispace meters, but the town’s ability to resell the used meters, though not at their full cost to the town, made the move acceptable to him.

He said the new single-space meters will also make it easier for the town to address parking violations.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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