The Division of Parking Services began testing 41 new Smart Meters for a 90 day pilot program on March 1, 2012. The pilot area which is on Norfolk Avenue between Del Ray Avenue and Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda has been operating without any problems. A second phase to this pilot was implemented with a new street mounted parking sensor associated with the parking space. The sensors allow MCDOT to monitor the actual utilization of the parking space, provide web-based identification of broken meters and real-time data for the planning of meter durations.
The third and final phase of the pilot was initiated on May 21, 2012. The meters being tested now display time remaining to expiration when a pay by cell phone session is initiated. This is not a feature of the current parking meters and had been an issue of concern to some pay by cell phone users. This feature simplifies and speeds parking enforcement. Officers now no longer need to check the on-line pay by cell database for each expired meter they see.
MCDOT is extending the pilot program until July 1, 2012 to be able to fully evaluate the accuracy and reliability of this final feature. Overall public feedback has thus far been very positive. The Division will be closely reviewing revenue changes during the pilot to better understand the affordability of the future rollout of this technology throughout the county.
For additional information on parking options in Bethesda, the other Parking Lot Districts, and other locations in the county, visit the Division of Parking Management’s website.