Vail parking system can read your plates | SummitDaily.com

Vail parking system can read your plates

Scott N. Miller
smiller@vaildaily.com

A vehicle exits the Vail Village parking structure and passes a "no looping" sign Friday. Equipment has been ordered to read vehicle license plates as they enter the Lionshead and Village parking structures.That reader will be tied to a computer system used at all the town’s paid parking lots. With plate numbers in the database, vehicles will be prohibited from re-entering either structure for at least 30 minutes.

VAIL — A lot of Vail's winter employees have a well-oiled system — every hour or so, they'll zip off to either the Vail or Lionshead parking structure, jump in the car and get through the parking plaza before their free parking expires. That practice, called "looping," could well stop this season.

The Vail Town Council on Tuesday looked at the parking plan for the coming season. Parking fees won't change, but equipment has been ordered that will read vehicle license plates as they enter the structures. That reader will be tied into a computer system used at all the town's paid-parking lots.

With plate numbers in the database, vehicles will be prohibited from re-entering either structure for at least 30 minutes.

Mike Rose, who manages the town's parking structures, said the plate readers will help keep more parking spaces open during busy times and will help generate a bit more revenue.

That's going to annoy some people.

It might also annoy some people who try to game the parking system on a longer-term basis, too.

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Some people have been known to park for a few days at the structures — something that should cost $25 per day. The driver of the parked car will sometimes catch a ride with someone else. That person will provide a ticket for the parked-for-days car, then pay the $25 fee for a lost parking ticket. The plate reader won't let that happen, Rose said.

While the plate readers can help cut down abuses, Rose said the devices will have some advantages for those who use the structures. For instance, the system will allow the town to charge those who have legitimately lost their parking tickets to pay for just the time they've parked.

The system can also be programmed to recognize plate numbers of cars police are looking for. The new technology will be in place by the time the structures switch back to paid parking in November.

A busy Tuesday

The Vail Town Council will talk about the winter parking program at its Oct. 7 meeting, set for 6 p.m. at Vail Town Hall.

In addition, the council will review a recommendation to move forward with the plan for the clubhouse remodeling project at the Vail Golf Club.

The council will also take a look at three options for the possible redevelopment of the town’s municipal site.

For more information, go to http://www.vailgov.com.