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Validations coming for Salt Lake City's blue parking kiosks

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SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City soon will introduce a way for small businesses to offer parking validations for those blue kiosks downtown.

City leaders acknowledge they have had complaints about the kiosks and parking downtown over the years. When the blue parking kiosks arrived, they say, so did a perception that it's harder to park on the street and visit your favorite restaurant or small business.

Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance, said this new initiative with small-business owners should help.

“The idea is you would come in, you would pay and give your ticket to the merchant. The merchant, with new technology, would be able to provide that validation so your card would never be charged," said Mathis.

Mathis said it should be rolled out soon, though not every merchant will chose to participate.

"This way it allows the merchants to validate with a purchase, and it will be before your card is charged. So the charge never shows up on your card, and the merchants with some technology will be able to provide that service to their customers,” said Mathis.

He said overall perceptions and experiences with parking downtown are improving. For example, City Creek Center and the Gateway report a lot of people using their stalls free for the first hour.

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