Northbrook parking meters go high-tech
Cheryl Fayne-Depersio (right), Communtiy Manager, gets some direction from Paul Livieri, Northbrook Community TV producer, on how to demostrate paying with coins and credit cards in the new machines. Village employees make a video to teach residents about the new parking meters that are being installed in downtown Northbrook commuter lots.. | Geoff Scheerer~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:23AM
NORTHBROOK — The village’s new commuter parking meters, to be installed by next Monday, will greet drivers with 21st century technology.
Motorists now will be able to pay the parking fee using cash, coins, credit cards and even their cell phones.
The eight new meters planned for about 700 spaced in the downtown parking lots will replace deades-old boxes that needed refurbishment or replacement, said Andrew Letson, an administrative analyst for the village.
Though the meters cost $12,000 each, the village will not increase the $1 parking fees for residents or non-residents who use the spaces, he said.
“Going to automated meters has been discussed for years. We decided this was a good time to switch. The reason is to provide enhanced customer service for our commuters,” Letson said.
“Those who pay by cell phone will be charged a 37-cents convenience fee, but it is beneficial if a commuter is running late and can pay the parking fee in seconds.”
The new parking machines also will provide several other benefits, Letson said.
They will provide a receipt to prove that each commuter has paid for his parking space, so that if a ticket is given it can be non-suited.
Also, commuters now must pay for parking at a single pay box, but the new machines will allow them to pay for any space at any of the eight locations. They will no longer have to wait in line, he added.
The automated machines will be in and around the train station, at the shelter on the east side of the tracks, and at the northwest corner of the Shermer Road and railroad intersection, Letson said.
Commuters also will have to become accustomed to parking spaces that are identified differently. The existing system uses a letter to identify the lot and a number to identify the space.
The parking meters don’t use letters, so the spaces will consist of only numbers, he added.
“People will like the meters, because they are more efficient and will be a great improvement,” said Kelly Hamill, the director of Northbrook’s department of public works and engineering.
“Commuters are creatures of habit,” he added. “And it is just a matter of them getting used to the changes.”