New parking meters in downtown Potsdam on hold until spring
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 5:22 pm

BY CRAIG FREILICH
NorthCountryNow.com

POTSDAM -- A trial run of a new parking meter system downtown that was to begin this month is on hold until March.

A 90-day trial of a “smart parking” digital kiosk was to start early in October, but will now “be put off until the first of March,” said Village Administrator Greg Thompson.

“As we were planning this trial it became evident that the timing we had chosen was not good due to the Village offering free parking through the holidays,” as is traditional, Thompson told trustees Monday night.

The trial was to be held on one block of Market Street downtown to demonstrate a new kiosk for collecting parking fees with coins, debit cards, by noting a parking space number or relying on a license plate reader to charge an account.

But the holiday parking fee suspension “would only allow us accurate figures on 45 days of the 90 day trial,” Thompson said, so the delay until March is in place.

IPS Group will put one of its kiosks near the street for people to try. One kiosk will handle a street block of parking spaces.

Village officials believe the new system could save time and money by eliminating the need to empty coins from the old meters, counting the money up and depositing it. It will also make it a lot easier to maintain sidewalks, including snow cleanup. And it could be easier for drivers.

If the kiosks are eventually installed around the village, the rates will be the same, Thompson said: a nickel for 15 minutes, a dime for half an hour, and a quarter for an hour and 15 minutes.