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Sensors Will Wipe Out Parking On Someone Else's Dime

DENVER (CBS4)- Changes are on the way for parking meters in Denver. A new pilot program is logging the habits of drivers in the city.

Part of the program means you probably won't see any meters will leftover time from the last person who parked in that spot.

The sensors are being installed in Cherry Creek, The Golden Triangle, downtown Denver and in LoDo. The sensors are placed underneath circular cutouts in the concrete and they're tracking parking habits.

The sensors will also delete any unused time from the previous driver who parked a vehicle in that spot. That means that drivers can no longer park at a spot with a meter that still has time on it.

"You feel like you just won the lottery," said one driver.

"I feel great because maybe I'll be able to be in and out before it expires!" said another driver.

"Somebody before us already paid and wasn't able to use up that time," said yet another driver.

The City of Denver is testing out the sensors that send data to the smart meter. It keeps track of everything.

"They can sense when a car pulls up and then leaves. They can let us know how long people are actually staying," said Department of Public Works Christine Downs. "If there's a certain stretch of the street that's a lot more popular say than the next block over."

The city is still in the testing phase for the next 90 days. The data collected will help city planners make better use of the limited parking in the city.

Each sensor has a price tag of $125. There are 6,300 meters in Denver.

The first 500 sensors have already been paid for. The Department of Public Works isn't sure if and when the sensors will be put into use permanently. It will depend on the data collected.

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