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“As representatives of the merchants from Galveston’s

Historic Downtown, we partnered with the city and assumed responsibility of distilling Galveston’s parking needs into an RFP.” In talking with citizens and other business owners, he said,

“we were able to establish the most important criteria for our new parking system, including a user-friendly system that accepts multiple forms of payment; the ability to quickly discon- nect in the event of another disaster; the ability to run on solar power for energy efficiency, and a multi-space parking meter that didn’t clutter the streetscape.” After reviewing several proposals, the four-member com-

mittee selected 94 Luke multi-space pay stations from Digital Payment Technologies (DPT), installed by Associated Time and managed by Ampco System Parking, to replace the 800 damaged single-space meters and 93 multi-space stations The new parking system provides residents and visitors to

the city with the convenience of paying with bills, coins or credit cards, and will provide the option to extend parking via phone in the future. The committee also chose solar-powered pay stations, so the

city is able to reduce installation and operational costs, in addi- tion to their being more environmentally friendly. The stainless steel pay stations are designed to be sturdy and weather-proof. In the unfortunate event of another disaster, they can be quickly removed and transported to a safe area, eliminating the need to replace them again.

Visitors use the newly installed parking meters in an area near the beach. Case for Paid Parking The city set up aWi-Fi network infrastructure to give resi-

dents and visitors Internet access and encourage them to linger downtown and patronize local businesses. By leveraging the city’sWi-Fi network infrastructure, the Luke pay stations are able to process credit card transactions in real-time, report tampering or break-ins, and be configured remotely. Residents and visitors of Galveston also have the added convenience of being able to add additional time to their parking session from any pay station in the city.

“Because tourism is one our most important and hardest-hit

industries,” Brown said, the committee “allocated a portion of the revenue generated from parking to be put into the marketing efforts to rebuild tourism in Downtown Galveston. By reaching out to tourists to show that downtown is back in business, we can expect a return on investment in parking to benefit the city for years to come”. “Five years ago, Galveston’s downtown business owners

would never have wanted paid parking, let alone advocated it. We took parking for granted until it was gone.” “Now that we have reinstated paid parking in the form of

the new Luke pay stations, the flow of traffic and turnover are back, the customers are back, and it’s finally starting to feel like business as usual again in Downtown Galveston,” he said. “We still have a long way go, and more than two years later,

The city residents just voted to approve installation of meters like this one in a tourist area near the seawall.

Parking Today

we’re still rebuilding,” Brown added. “But re-establishing park- ing has been a major milestone in returning to normalcy.”

PT 17

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