Hundreds of smart parking meters in works for downtown Boise

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Parking officials plan to buy and install about 800 new smart meters in downtown Boise that users can pay with smartphones.

City officials signed off Tuesday on the $310,000 needed to buy the meters that currently accept coins or a credit card and will eventually allow users to pay with a smartphone app.

"In a perfect world, we'd have one application that would deal with parking on the street, parking in the garages, riding the bus, renting a bike, anything that has to do with transportation, we'd have one transportation app," city administrative services manager Craig Croner told KBOI-TV ( ).

He said the app release date is still being determined.

For much of the past year, the city has been in a dispute with the Ada County Highway District concerning the embedding of sensors in streets to make the system work.

The hockey puck-shaped sensors can detect when a vehicle enters or exits a space, resetting the meter when a car pulls away.

The highway district has authority over streets and objected when Boise altered streets by embedding sensors without an agreement.

An agreement was reached in February and a couple hundred smart meters have already been installed. The full 800 new ones are expected to be installed in October.

Salt Lake City resident Katie Flanagan has used similar meters in Utah.

"You're like, 'Oh my gosh, I have 15 minutes, there's no way I'm going to make it to my car, so I'm just going to use my app and add some money,'" Flanagan said.

Colleen Richard of Boise liked the idea of remotely adding time to a meter using a smartphone but had safety concerns.

"If you're driving around looking for a parking spot, and you're on your phone looking for a parking spot, I mean — really," she said.


Information from: KBOI-TV,

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