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Duluth to test parking pay stations downtown

The city of Duluth will conduct a trial of new parking pay stations in downtown Duluth next month. The payment kiosks will be installed on West Superior Street between Third and Fourth avenues, replacing the existing quarters-only meters for that...

City Hall

The city of Duluth will conduct a trial of new parking pay stations in downtown Duluth next month.

The payment kiosks will be installed on West Superior Street between Third and Fourth avenues, replacing the existing quarters-only meters for that one block. The machines are slated to be installed in the first half of February, and the trial is expected to last at least four months.

Each parking spot on the block will have a number; after parking, customers will need to enter that number at any of the payment kiosks, which will accept $1 bills, $1 coins, quarters, dimes, nickels and most credit and debit cards. The parking prices, the 80-minute time limit and the hours of enforcement won't change.

Customers will have the option to get a receipt for their own records, but they won't need to put it on their dashboard; entering the parking space number when paying eliminates the need to display a receipt in the vehicle.

Once the pay stations are installed, users can go to duluthparking.com to complete a short survey about the new system.

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"The goal of this trial is to get feedback from customers who are parking -- how they like it or don't like it compared to the current quarters-only meters," said Matthew Kennedy, Duluth parking manager.

The new kiosks are similar to ones already in place at some city parking lots and structures downtown -- and along Canal Park Drive in the summer -- but will feature newer, faster technology. They also will have internal heaters to stay operational in winter weather, and that cold-weather performance is part of the trial.

And the new kiosks may save drivers some money. Kennedy said they can be programmed to not accept any money outside of the hours of parking enforcement -- unlike the existing meters, which accept quarters from unknowing parkers at any time, day or night.

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