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Editorial: In some towns, parking just got easier. Why not here?

It’s an idea so cool – so modest in complexity but so enormous in its potential to take some hassle out of daily life – that we’re kicking ourselves for not thinking of it first.

A company in Israel has created a gizmo that uses technology similar to that of the E-ZPass transponders that allow motorists to breeze through the Hooksett tollbooths without stopping. EasyPark is aimed, instead, at those same motorists when they arrive in town and need a place to park. Much like E-ZPass, EasyPark removes the need for a pocket full of quarters. In cities where it’s in use, there’s no need to feed a parking meter or risk a ticket if you don’t make it back to your car in time.

How does it work? Drivers buy an EasyPark gadget (formally called an in-vehicle parking meter) and load it with money. When they park in a participating community, they look for a parking spot with the EasyPark logo nearby. They turn on their EasyPark, check their pre-paid balance, and tell the device which zone or city they’re parked in. Then they display the gadget on their dashboard or driver’s side window, visible to parking attendants and – voila – done. The machine will slowly deduct the appropriate amount of money from their account and send it to the city. The device is set for the maximum time allowed for a particular spot, and counts off the time used until it is either turned off by its owner or registers a violation.

For drivers, the appeal is clear. No need to fumble around for change. No need to trek over to a parking kiosk, wait for a receipt and return to your car. Cities may lose a little money – fewer parking tickets, fewer drivers paying for time they don’t end up needing – but they may also gain happier shoppers and tourists in the bargain.

A bonus: Much like E-ZPass, EasyPark can be used in any participating city. So far, EasyPark is most popular in Israel, where three dozen municipalities allow its use. In New Hampshire, you can use EasyPark in Dover, Portsmouth and, soon, Manchester.

As reported this week in the New Hampshire Union Leader, Portsmouth and Dover officials are enthusiastic about EasyPark. As Concord officials prepare to revamp downtown, they should give some strong consideration to joining the consortium. Construction on Main Street, once it begins, will be a big inconvenience for shoppers. Giving them such a concrete improvement at the end of it would surely help.

Legacy Comments10

The biggest threat to freedom is not from democrats or republicans, but from technology. Technology is making things easier in all aspects of our daily life, or perhaps it really is making us lazier in all aspects. How did we live before ez pass? Now people are too damn lazy to fumble with change. And the list goes on.....

I just use my debit card on the Pay-and-Display meter. Very simple. I never had quarters for the meters and used to play Parking Roulette all the time because of it. I often wished they sold tokens for the meters so I could just keep them in my truck. The Pay-and-Display has solved that problem for me. I kinda miss the adrenalin rush of Parking Roulette, though...

Shiny new technology is always attractive, but before we adopt it we need to make sure it solves problems rather than creates them. How, for instance, would this technology solve the problem of meter feeding? Seems to me it would make it easier--just power off and on and presto, you're in a "new space", beyond the reach of enforcement. Ask any downtown merchant what the biggest parking problem is, and they will tell you that it's people parking all day in what are supposed to be high-turnover spots. I hope that city officials will ask the right questions if they consider this.

I was told that they can restrict resets to any length of time between uses. I guess it would be a balance of someone being able to use it in one block and then later on in another.

Yep. Just like with EZ pass, let's start turning our tax money collection over to private, for-profit buiness. Because it is more convenient and efficient. Much like all the pay to pay scams, charges, and "convenience fees" tacked on if you try to pay a utility bill with a card. When did these sort of ideas become okay?

Why so negative? It is "optional". No one "has to" buy the device and pay any fees. If the city gets all the parking money they are due, then isn't the system a good one?

This from 2 famous democrat enclaves: 1) WPXI-TV PITTSBURGH — Some Pittsburghers are being ticketed for parking in their own driveways under an ordinance that requires them to pay $225 for a permit if they wish to park within 30 feet of a street. 2) Driveways in D.C. Now a No-Parking Zone: Beverly Anderson is mad as hell. She just started to get tickets for parking in her own driveway. That’s right. The District of Columbia is ticketing people who park their cars in their own driveways. "This is clearly an attempt by the city to extort money out of property owners," Anderson tells WTOP. Thats is what you get when you elect democrats

You need to calm down. Have drink. Smoke a cigar. At the rate you're going you won't live to see Hilary become President.;)

Fortunately for American the Benghazi murders is Hillary Clinton's Waterloo - She LIED to Congress about the arms running

She said (in an arrogant and mean tone) "what difference does it make!" What does that tell you?

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