Where do you park?

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Where do you park?

Employees conflicted about downtown parking options
With limited parking and expensive meters downtown, Durango employees park along East Third Avenue, leaving few spaces for residents. More than 9,800 people work in downtown Durango, and many of them are having trouble finding spots to park.
Parking code enforcement officer Jerrin Roukema catches an offender Thursday afternoon on Main Avenue. Since the price of metered parking increased, some drivers are going elsewhere to park their cars.

Where do you park?

With limited parking and expensive meters downtown, Durango employees park along East Third Avenue, leaving few spaces for residents. More than 9,800 people work in downtown Durango, and many of them are having trouble finding spots to park.
Parking code enforcement officer Jerrin Roukema catches an offender Thursday afternoon on Main Avenue. Since the price of metered parking increased, some drivers are going elsewhere to park their cars.
Preview of Durango parking changes

The city of Durango’s Parking Department plans to roll out new software, a new parking smartphone application and license-plate recognition equipment starting with the new software later this month.
The new policy of booting cars with two unpaid tickets also takes effect later this month. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:
The department is preparing for a software upgrade expected to go live Aug. 25. Residents and parking patrons are likely to see little impact with this change, said Roy Petersen, city operations director.
The city plans to introduce a pay-by-phone process for parking meters in August or September, Petersen said. This is a smartphone app people can download and associate with a payment method.
The app allows people to pay with their phone by putting in the meter number and how much time they want. That information would transfer into the city’s software program and update lists on the devices field officers carry.
The credit-card meters have computers that can change the meter’s reading from expired to whatever time was bought, but meters not equipped with credit-card readers will still read expired, causing the enforcement officer to have to look up the car’s tags to see if it’s paid by phone. The app also can alert customers that their time will expire so they can add more time.
The policy to boot a vehicle after two unpaid parking tickets takes effect the same day as the software upgrade. The current policy is booting after three unpaid tickets.
City officials expect to start using Genetec Inc.’s AutoVu license-plate recognition system by the end of the year. One city vehicle would have cameras on each side to read license plates on both sides of the street and identify a bootable car or possibly other infractions.
The company, based in Canada, also offers an Automatic Scofflaw Detection feature that can detect cars with outstanding tickets, warrants, expired license plates and can notify local law enforcement.
Ray Shupe, Durango police spokesman, said in an email that the police department hasn’t seen the system and would have to see what modules were purchased to see if officers can use it.
smueller@durangoherald.com

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