Nutley DPW installs ‘smart’ parking meters

NUTLEY, NJ — Drivers looking for on-street parking in downtown Nutley will no longer have to come with a fistful of quarters.

The Nutley Department of Public Works recently installed 300 new “Coin & Card” “smart” parking meters, allowing shoppers to pay for their parking with credit cards or coins. In the very near future, they will also work with a smartphone app, allowing users to put more money in the meter remotely and digitally.

“People like the option of being able to use a credit card,” Commissioner Joseph Scarpelli said. “Doing business in downtown will now be a little more convenient. Many people don’t carry cash at all, never mind a pocketful of quarters.”

To support the local businesses that have struggled through the pandemic, the township is providing an extra 15 minutes of free parking with the first paid hour. The 15 minutes will be added automatically after the first hour expires. The meters have a display screen that provides the rates, methods of payment and maximum allowed time.

“Contrary to popular belief, parking meters are not installed to merely generate money for the township,” Scarpelli said. “The main purpose is to encourage people to move their vehicles within a certain time period, allowing for a constant turnover of parking availability, which in turn benefits our local businesses.”

The new solar-powered parking meters will also provide more reliable service. The “smart” meters call for repair if they are vandalized or malfunction. If the meter needs service, it sends a message directly to the township enforcement officer’s phone, improving the efficiency of repair and return of failed meters back to service quickly.

“These state-of-the-art meters communicate wirelessly. By investing in new technology, the DPW can manage our parking meters through remote programming, which optimizes the department’s efficiency and manpower,” Scarpelli said.