Revenues from parking fees are on the rise in Breckenridge with the use of new, more advanced technology credited with improving parking enforcement and efficiency in town.
A series of solar-powered pay kiosks along with an
automated license plate reader system have amped up parking rule enforcement in
Breck over the last year.
Following last year's launch of the license
plate reader system — technology that can recognize when a vehicle has violated
the three-hour parking limit — the number of parking tickets issued in
Breckenridge increased 38 percent.
The police department also reported a
78 percent increase in the number of three-hour parking warnings issued in town
from 2011 to 2012.
Before the system was implemented last year,
community service officers frequently walked upwards of six miles per day around
town using chalk to mark vehicles, and were generally only able to conduct
parking time-limit checks twice daily.
The majority of free parking
spaces in Breckenridge are subject to a three-hour time limit, intended to
ensure new spots regularly open up for shoppers and diners, town officials have
The system has also been able to spot stolen, missing or suspect
vehicles parked on Breckenridge streets by their license plate numbers, which
had been entered into the program's “hotlist.”
The license plate reader
system went active a few months before the new payment kiosks were installed.
The 13 pay-and-display machines, located at various pay-parking lots around
town, process credit cards in real time, increasing revenues once lost when
cards declined, officials with the Breckenridge Police Department said.
“Our new pay-parking machines have really been an improvement,” police
chief Shannon Haynes said. “We haven't had any machine failures and we've seen
an increase in revenue data and reporting. Those have just been a complete
turnaround for the parking program.”
The new machines are also easier
for customers to use and designed to function in sub-zero temperatures. Although
powered by solar energy, the machines passed the cold weather test in
Breckenridge earlier this month, when temperatures fell to -20 and the machines
reportedly continued to operate without problems.
The older pay kiosks,
replaced in November, were falling into disrepair, Breckenridge officials said.
Parking is an ongoing topic of debate in Breck, with lots and street
spaces frequently approaching capacity on busy winter weekends.
Breckenridge Town Council has added the issue to its list of top priorities for
2013, commissioning staffers to do an analysis of the town's current parking
system to determine whether the existing lots are the best use of land.
But town leaders have been vague on possible solutions and this summer
face the loss of 17 existing parking spaces from the Tiger Dredge Lot with the
construction of a new roundabout at the intersection of Four O'Clock Road and
Members of the town council say the town's parking problems
are still on the radar and that the town is considering possible locations for
new parking reserves.
“That little Exchange parking garage is a really
nice neighborhood parking solution, and we've been looking hard at whether or
not there's a couple of other places around town to have a similar solution,”
Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe said. “It's musical chairs on the parking. It's a big
Wolfe said she hopes to see any parking places lost replaced
elsewhere as the town develops.
Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit