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New parking regulations, smart meters coming to Helena

Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 00:25:20-04

HELENA – Helena will be implementing new, upgraded smart-parking meters this summer that will allow drivers to access their parking fees through an app.

The upgraded meters will be beneficial to not only those who visit the Gulch, but also to business owners.

Speaking from the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Dave Hewitt, director of parking for Helena, said, “You do that through the kiosk — it’s paperless, so you don’t have to go back to your car. And number two, if you’re on the south end of the Gulch or the north end, and you find yourself wandering and maybe having lunch or what not and you’re completely at the other end and you know you’re running out of time, you can find another kiosk that’s close to you and reprogram that to your license plate; you don’t have to go all the way back to your vehicle.”

There are currently 250 meters in town. Some of those meters have been in use for the last 30 years.

This change was to help alleviate stress for current business owners as well as customers who have pushed for this initiative, according to Hewitt. They told MTN they feel that the one-hour parking restrictions affect their customers and businesses.

Hewitt expressed that businesses feel like their customers are rushed; especially when visiting for a quick lunch, one hour is just not enough time.

Now, drivers will have the ability to pay up their parking passes right from where they are without having to race back to their cars. The smart kiosks will start being installed in downtown at the start of June.

For more information on the future smart meters and parking around town, please visit the city’s website here.

-Reported by Christine Sullivan/MTN News