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Parking meter trial coming to Montclair this fall


Parking meter trial coming to Montclair this fall


The Montclair Township Council approved a resolution to move forward with a 90-day smart parking meter trial with Duncan Parking Technologies.

At least one party was not satisfied with the decision. Frank Del Monico, vice president of the East and West Coast of IPS Group Inc., a competing vendor of Duncan Parking Technologies, told The Montclair Times that he sent two letters to the township voicing his disappointment in the resolution.

Del Monico said that, while the township has the right to select whichever vendor it wants, he was puzzled as to why the township did not allow multiple vendors to compete in a trial. In a letter to Mayor Robert Jackson, Del Monico cites municipalities such as New Rochelle, N.Y., and New Brunswick that have conduced multi-vendor trials.

In the case of New Rochelle, Del Monico told The Times, the municipal government drafted a Request For Proposal for trial to purchase. A host of vendors were invited in and, if a vendor was late in attempting to install temporary meters, they were not considered. After 90 days, New Rochelle officials were able to make their selection.

“Montclair would be better served by having a competition, having a field test,” Del Monico said. “You need the voice of the stakeholders. Merchants should have say in this. What we typically do for a trial, we do a portal, a survey. If you’re in public administration you should do that. You have an avenue available to you now.”

Township Manager Marc Dashield said the township went through a Request For Proposal process about a year ago and analyzed a variety of meters and vendors. At this point, the manager said, the township is at the process of wanting to move forward to test whether smart meters are financially viable in Montclair.

As Duncan Parking Technologies is part of a national cooperative, which does not require the township to go out for bid, Montclair is able to have more control over the project and move more expeditiously, said Dashield. Should the trial go well, Montclair would also be able to keep the 50 meters that will be tested, the manager added.

Smart meters, which accept credit cards and smart cards, come with additional associated costs such as wireless network fees. Dashield said that understanding those costs will be important piece to a greater Montclair parking plan. While nothing is set, Dashield said that he anticipated that the meters will be installed in late October or early November.

Commenting on Del Monico’s letter, Jackson said that he did not feel as though Montclair’s trial with Duncan Parking Technologies precludes it from ultimately selecting a different vendor.

“The implementation of the new parking meters is behind schedule and dramatically so for most of us,” Jackson said. “We want to get something done. You can debate for 20 years to do this [vendor] or that [vendor]. This trial will assess how it goes. If we want to go back after the Duncan trial, we can still do that.”

Moving forward with the Duncan Parking Technologies plan is the appropriate step, Jackson said, as it allows the township to move quickly and assess the impact. The mayor said he saw no downside in the trial and added that he was eager to compare the data gathered over the 90 days with the township’s pre-assessment.

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2 thoughts on “Parking meter trial coming to Montclair this fall

  1. Hello? Anyone awake at Village Hall?

  2. Yea, they’re drawing up their plans to make us look more like Montclair. And paying for their traffic and school impact studies in quarters.

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