High-tech plan hopes to improve Decatur parking - FOX 32 News Chicago

High-tech plan hopes to improve Decatur parking

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City of Decatur officials hope a high-tech plan will improve parking downtown.

On Monday, city commissioners approved a new downtown parking management program that will replace the city's 200 meters. The decades-old equipment will be swapped out for machines that give drivers more options than loose change.

"The new technology will allow payment with debit cards, credit cards or smart cards," said city official Lyn Mene.  "We will also be using cell phone technology so that you can load an account on your cell phone and use your phone."

When a two-hour period is about to expire, parkers will receive a text warning.

Some residents said the new system has its pluses and minuses.  That's because the new technology will make it easier for parking officials to track time, tickets and court dates.

An educational push will begin in January. The new meters will be put in place in February and March.

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