Evanston officials consider Chicago-style parking kiosks
Evanston officials are considering using Pay & Display boxes, such as this one used on an experimental basis on the 800 block of Church Street, as their new "parking meters." A decision will be made later this year. | Bob Seidenberg~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 8, 2013 6:16AM
EVANSTON — Traditional style parking meters versus Pay & Display parking payment kiosks, such as found in Chicago?
Evanston officials are moving closer to a decision in plans for a changeover of 2,400 meters in the city, starting this summer.
In an update to the city’s Transportation & Parking Committee Wednesday night, Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons, and Parking Systems manager Rickey Voss said the city has received responses to bids in a $1 million overhaul of the city’s parking system.
Officials said the bids were open to proposals to replace the current meters with similar style (though with the option to accept credit cards) as well as the boxlike Pay & Display kiosks.
During citizen comment at the Evanston City Council meeting two days before, Evanston resident Priscilla Giles had asked about the kiosks, after seeing one used on a trial basis on a street near the library.
Giles, who has spoken out in the past about disabled access concerns, said the kiosks could present “another physical inconvenience,” forcing people to scuttle from the boxes to their cars, to place receipts on dashboards.
She questioned whether residents were going to be given a choice on the proposal, responding to officials’ statement that they planned to use social media sites Twitter and Facebook to spread the word.
“Twitter and Facebook – that’s the kind of thing Northwestern University students use, and they’re transient,” responded Giles. “They’re going to be here and then they’re gone.”
At the Transportation & Parking Committee meeting, officials said they had received nine responses to the bid requests and that installation could begin this summer.
Lyons told committee members that cost savings would not be “the driving force,” moving to the kiosks, with changeover to that technology only making a 10 to 15 percent difference.
“It’s decluttering,” said Alderman Melissa A. Wynne, chairman of the committee.
Following the meeting, Voss said that some of the Pay and Display meters are already in use on the 800, 900 and 1000 blocks Church Street.
“They’re in place because we want to see how people react,” he said.
He maintained that officials are open on the issue.
The bid proposals asked vendors “to give us your best proposals,” including all options, he noted.
“We still want citizen resident input, customer input,” he said.