While credit card operated meters make things a little easier, ParkDetroit, a new high-tech system in downtown and a few adjacent areas promises to simplify things even more. The new system relies on solar-powered kiosks, each of which is linked to a multiplicity of nearby parking spaces. The system will eliminate nearly all of Detroit's parking meters. Installation of over 500 parking pay stations is ongoing, and officials say the new system will supplant some 3,000 meters around town. Detroit's Municipal Parking Director Norman White promises that the new parking system will be one of the easiest to use in the nation. Drivers can pay at kiosks, and also register for updates/reminders to pay on their smart phones.
Detroit motorists will be able to use the new kiosks to pay with credit cards, coins or prepaid ParkDetroit cards. They will also be able to use ParkDetroit's mobile app to begin or extend parking time, or to move their vehicles to new spaces in the same parking zone without paying for more meter time. The price to park using ParkDetroit runs $1 per hour in city neighborhoods, $1.50 an hour for Midtown/Eastern Market, and $2 an hour downtown.
According to Crain's Detroit Business, officials swear Big Brother won't be watching via our plates, and that all parking enforcement cares about is enforcing parking. The system (sadly) also isn't equipped to find your stolen car should a thief incongruously decide to pay to park it.