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BRIDGEPORT – Downtown merchants have long-wanted modern parking meters that offered visitors the convenience of paying with credit or debit cards, not just rolls of quarters. Critics say they wound up with dozens of overly aggressive RoboCops quick to levy $40 parking violations through the mail that eclipse what many more thriving Connecticut cities charge, threatening business.

Smart homes and autonomous vehicles are the public face of the connected world, but they are just one part of a bigger picture … the smart city.
As the number of people who live in urban areas increases, there is a consensus that addressing the challenges of tomorrow is best served by starting today. The United Nations has predicted that the global population will hit 9.7 billion in 2050, with the majority of those living in cities. The utopian vision is that these cities will leverage data, technology and innovation to make life more comfortable for its residents … a vision that has every chance of being a reality.

Here comes a tale of technology.

Sometimes technology is good, sometimes it’s bad, and other times, it’s confusing.

The tech confusion, in this case, started with a self-pay parking fee kiosk. And it led to questions about why the state’s municipal courts don’t use technology to lower the number of court appearances by ticketed drivers who want to plead not guilty.

There are two types of markets for parking in Washington DC: the private market, which tends to charge what the market will bear, and the government, which charges a price that’s deemed to be “fair” and “non-exploitative” to the constituents in residential areas. How’s that working out for everyone?

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