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Stolp parking deck in Aurora now automated

After short trial test period an automated parking system is now fully functional Stolp Islparking deck Stolp Avenue Downer Place.

After a short trial and test period, an automated parking system is now fully functional at the Stolp Island parking deck at Stolp Avenue and Downer Place. The system allows drivers to pay at two payment centers located at street-level stair towers on Dow

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Updated: July 20, 2013 6:28AM

AURORA — Parking at the Stolp Island parking deck in downtown Aurora is now fully automated.

The automated system, which is similar to systems used in Chicago parking garages, was launched May 29 and after a test period, is now fully functional, said city spokesman Dan Ferrelli.

The “pay on foot” automated system allows for drivers to pay at two payment centers located at street-level stair towers on Downer Place. One payment center is located at the corner of Stolp Avenue and Downer Place and the other is just west of the GAR Memorial Hall. Previously, parking attendants worked at the deck’s exit during prime hours.

“The idea is this makes for a faster exit for anyone using the deck,” said Joe Hopp, city superintendent of maintenance services.

Patrons using the parking deck will receive a time-stamped ticket upon entering the deck. After parking their vehicle, they should keep the ticket they received with them, Ferrelli said. When returning to the parking garage, they should insert the ticket into one of the pay stations and after paying for the time they used, will receive another ticket. Patrons will then have 10 minutes to retrieve their vehicle and just before exiting the garage, they should dispense the second ticket into the ticket repository at either exit to raise the stop arm, he said.

Patrons can pay at the payment centers with cash, credit or debit cards. The payment center nearest to the GAR Memorial hall accepts credit or debit cards only. Patrons using credit or debit cards can also pay directly at the ticket repository at both garage exits. Under the old system, attendants only accepted cash.

Parking at the Stolp deck is free for up to one hour of use and $1 for each succeeding hour to a daily maximum of $5 per day. Lost time-stamped tickets are subject to a $25 charge, Ferrelli said.

Under the previous system, the city was unable to collect parking fees whenever the deck wasn’t manned. The automated system collects fees 24 hours a day, seven days week.

Aurora residents with parking passes for the Stolp Avenue garage should hold their pass cards up to the ticket repository upon entering or exiting the deck to activate the stop arm.

Under the new Stolp deck configuration, the Downer Street entrance has been changed to a reversible lane. While the Downer lane will remain an entrance most of the time, officials will change it to an exit during times of heavy parking use during major downtown events. A red/green light above the lane indicates if motorists can enter the lane.

The cost to convert to an automated system was $225,000, Hopp said, and the city expects to have a return on their investment into an automated system in less than two years.

The introduction of automated parking at the Stolp deck coincides with Aurora’s new color-coded parking plan that went into effect in May.

The Stolp deck, which has 345 parking spaces, was built in 1990.

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