Created: 01/31/2014 7:10 PM WDIO.com
Visiting from Eveleth, Shelby Paulson isn't all that fond of parking meters.
In downtown Duluth, Paulson said "I don't love them...I don't generally think about having quarters with me."
Paulson is in luck. The next time she visits downtown Duluth, she could have a much wider range of payment options - other change, dollar bills, or even a credit card.
According to Duluth Parking Manager Matthew Kennedy, pay stations will replace meters as soon as next week in part of a four month trial happening on the 300 block of West Superior Street. Kennedy said the trial is free, but if the city decides to keep the pay stations, they're about $10,000 each.
There are already 13 similar pay stations scattered across the city, including several in Canal Park, he said.
So what's wrong with the meters now?
"The existing quarters-only meters sometimes present us with a conundrum," Kennedy said.
If drivers can't find quarters, Kennedy said they choose not to pay and risk getting a ticket, or getting back in the car and moving it to a parking lot or ramp.
The technology is new, but the cost to park isn't changing. It will still be 20 minutes for every quarter you pay. However, paying does take longer. At a pay station at the Depot, drivers are required to enter a license plate number. At the new stations downtown, drivers will type in a parking space instead.
Jarrod Wood, visiting from Londsale, Minnesota, told Eyewitness News that he prefers parking attendants. They give you change, but the pay stations do not. Not one to carry cash, Wood likes the credit card option. But he said "the simple quarter machine is probably easier than all the buttons and the technology."
The city wants input from drivers on the new downtown pay stations. Whether they stay could be up to you.
Woman Hospitalized after Armed Standoff with Deputies in Douglas County
A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
City of Tower Starts Dredging on Multi-Million-Dollar Harbor Project
The City of Tower is starting a new phase of an old dream. Back in June, WDIO's sister station KSTP reported that Tower's multi-million-dollar Harbor Renaissance Project hadn't gone anywhere in seven years. But Wednesday, the City said they're moving forward.
Minnesota Food Charter Launched at DECC
Around five hundred people flocked to the DECC for the Minnesota Statewide Food Access Summit. One of the big events? The launch of the of the Minnesota Food Charter. Only four other states have a food charter, but Food Charter Steering Committee Chair Mindy Kurzer said number five is unique.
Bong Bridge to Reopen Friday
The Duluth-bound lanes of the Richard I. Bong Bridge are expected to reopen Friday morning after a summer of construction. Superior-bound lanes have remained open this year but will be closed next year.
TV Campaign Ads Make Wealth an Issue in Minn. Election
It seems an hour doesn't go by without several television campaign ads criticizing a candidate for having millions of dollars or trying to line his or her pockets at government expense. Class warfare is nothing new in politics, but it certainly is more pronounced in Minnesota this year because of two Republican candidates: Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden. They've been the target of a barrage of attack ads aimed at their personal wealth and how they accumulated it.