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Parking system's big debut



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Cindy Gruenwald, of the Lake Geneva Parking Department, removes the old meters.

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May 30, 2012 | 08:14 AM
"How was this weekend?" Lake Geneva City Administrator Dennis Jordan was asked.

"Busy," he said, gently ignoring the real question.

The real question that everyone is wondering about was the success of the new parking kiosk system — or lack thereof.

Jordan said things went well.

He was downtown over the busy Memorial Day weekend helping visitors with the new meters as were meter attendants.

He said "just being helpful" was more important than handing out tickets for the Memorial Day weekend.

There were a couple minor problems Jordan said, but they had to do with "user error"— not the meters themselves.

One person put coins in the meter before the meter told him so, and the meter was jammed up, Jordan said. Someone else put a credit card in the dollar slot.

The problems which were caused by these human malfunctions were quickly resolved.

"Most of the comments were positive except for people who worked downtown," Jordan said. "Most people have used something similar elsewhere."

The only area without markers is the parking lot behind the Board Shop, formerly McCullough's Drug Store.

That's because there are plans to repaint the lot. That should be taking place shortly, he said.

Amanda Hoffman of Sterling Communications for Digital Payment Technologies had a cheery e-mail explaining the system and pointing out that the 61 LUKE II pay stations derived their name from "Cool Hand Luke."

If you recall the 1967 Paul Newman movie featured a convict who was imprisoned for ripping off parking meter heads. "In addition to cleaning up the sidewalks by making use of fewer parking meters, these high-tech pay stations are solar-powered and will allow residents and visitors to add time to their session remotely via text message," she said. "Consumers may also purchase beach passes and boat launch permits, right on the parking meter. Overall, this change is expected to make parking much more convenient for users, in addition to benefitting the city."

The pay stations are installed and will be maintained by Automated Parking Technologies (APT), a press release said.

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