NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH/AP) -- New Haven is launching a test program that will eliminate any leftover time on parking meters.
The New Haven Register reports the program will be launched soon in a two-block area near Yale University.
"Every now and then, if I leave I'll flag someone down while she's parking, like, 'come here,' you know? Help my buddy out," Yedidya Ben-Avie said.
The city has added magnetic devices to parking meters on Chapel Street, between York and College Streets. The pilot program's purported intent is to measure parking volume and stay times. It just so happens, the meters also detect when you leave and zero out any remaining time you paid for, which means no more coattail parking.
"I think it's highway robbery," Sean Zhubrak said.
"It seems like they're stealing your money," Reed Adler said. "I mean, you know, because the money should go to use. It should go to the next person, I mean, even though you don't know them."
The pilot sensors were provided by IPS Group Inc. at no cost to the city, which will collect the data for 90 days, said Tim Travers, director of the city's the Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking.
"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."
New Haven parking officials weren't available to talk with News 8 Thursday morning, so it's unclear what the future plans are.
"The Man owns the streets' parking lot. I guess he can charge as much as he wants," said Carol O'Keefe. "It's better than charging higher rates for the same amount of time."
Travers said that 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.
"This gives us a gateway into information we've never been able to see before," he said. "What we'll do with it, I don't know."
"Finding a little bit of time on a meter is just one of those fortuitous events that makes a good day," Carol O'Keefe said.
"I don't know why they're trying to squeeze people. That's really it," Zhubrak said. "They don't do that in New York, I know that much."
Information from: New Haven Register
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