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Smart parking meters could soon be installed throughout NJ, causing a spike in tickets

PALISADES PARK, NJ — The New Jersey State Senate is poised to vote next week on whether to expand a pilot program for smart parking meters in Palisades Park to the rest of New Jersey.

It's really tough to outsmart the smart parking meters. Once a car pulls into a spot on Broad Avenue and runs over the sensors, the driver has just a few minutes to pay by cash or credit card — or else.

“If you don’t feed the meter a picture would be taken and sent to a central monitoring station then sent to your house,” Palisades Park Boro Administrator David Lorenzo said. “It’s hard to argue with a camera."

The pilot program’s been in place for a year and a half and has brought in more than twice the money that traffic agents did when they wrote tickets the old fashioned way.

These smart meters in Palisades Park have three choices for language: English, Spanish and Korean. But some drivers still have trouble figuring them out.

“They’re smart,  but I am not smart,” driver Young Sing said.

And some businesses along the two-block stretch where the meters are being tried out worry that they scare away customers.

“They’re afraid to get tickets so they rush out without buying anything,” Lina Kim, am employee at Cafe Oak, told PIX11 News.

But the boro administrator says once people learn how to use the smart meters, it’s a win-win for all, giving municipalities much needed revenue.

“Every year our state aid gets cut,” Lorenzo said. “Schools are always looking for extra money. This does right by the taxpayer."

If Governor Murphy signs the bill for smart meters, they could be available to all municipalities within 45 days.

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