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Bethlehem unveiling new, high-tech parking meters

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 04 2013 05:11:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 04 2013 10:58:14 PM CDT

Bethlehem unveiling new, high-tech parking meters

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

It's a new way to promote businesses in the Christmas city.

Instead of fancy billboards, the Bethlehem Parking Authority is putting the message right on the parking meters.

In Bethlehem the parking meters are not only taking money, they are directing people to local businesses in the area.

"The new larger display screen that is offered on our smart meters supports graphics and text in any language," said Tom Hartley, executive director for the Bethlehem Parking Authority.

The Bethlehem Parking Authority decided to use the new technology and create advertisements for local businesses.

"They're parking there, they're looking at it, and I think it's a great opportunity for us," added Rachel Griffith, manager at Apollo Grill.

The Apollo Grill is the first business to have an ad on the meters, and workers at the parking authority say more ads are on the way.

"Good response from other businesses so far," said Hartley. "We're on the right track, moving in the right direction."

The parking authority rolled out 125 of the new meters Wednesday morning.  Half are on the south side and the other half on the north side.

"I think it's a fantastic idea and I think all businesses will want and will take advantage of it," said Griffith.

The service is free to all members of the Downtown Bethlehem Association.

All owners have to do is create their own advertisement.

"They end up coming down here looking for a place to eat or a place to shop," added Griffith. "I think it's a great way for the parking authority to collaborate with us and work as a team."

Currently the meters are located on 3rd and 4th streets on the south side and on Main and Broad Streets on the north side.