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Monday, 09 July 2018 21:34

New license plate reader to monitor downtown parking Featured

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BANGOR - The Bangor City Council decided to amend the management agreement with the company that oversees the city's downtown parking, all to implement some new technology.


The order was passed unanimously at Monday's Bangor City Council meeting.


They want to move Bangor to a license plate recognition system. That means cameras mounted on a city vehicle will track how long cars have been parked by using GPS and pictures.


This comes after councilors voted last month to include the change in the city's budget.


"The area downtown is big enough where it's making enforcement by foot a particular challenge," said Tyler Collins, the Community and Economic Development Officer for Bangor.


The technology change is being made because city officials want to make sure people parked in areas marked for one hour parking only aren't overstaying their welcome.


"Parking's always an issue downtown," said Ben Sprague, the Bangor City Council Chair. "People either can't find spots to park in, which is actually a good issue for a city to have, or they have to keep circling around. So I think this is going to be a way for us to enforce the parking rules better."


City staff said the license plate pictures will be deleted, to not violate privacy. Collins said pictures not related to violations would be deleted after 72 hours.


Locals said they're for the license plate reader.


"I actually do think it's a good idea," commented Peggy Whited. "Technology is the plan for our future and so we might as well go with it now, keep Bangor ahead of things."


City councilors assured they're not trying to punish anyone, but said going forward people parking downtown may want to keep a better eye on the clock.


They plan to implement the new system on October 1st.


The city still has to buy a new vehicle outfitted with that technology. Additionally, there will be an annual management fee of $12,000.

Kelly Mitchell

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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...