Bar Harbor parking meters and kiosks activated

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BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - "It is absolutely the talk of the town." says Kristin Bitler, manager of The Stadium Restaurant & Gallery. "Talking with other businesses. Talking with employees. Everybody is a bit anxious about it."

On Wednesday, Bar Harbor activated 337 parking meters and 28 parking kiosks that have been installed around town.

"I think it's working." Says town manager Cornell Knight. "We're still putting in some meters that needed better bases, but I'd say it's gone pretty well."

The town is still testing the online permit application system for residents and local employees.

"Residents can get a no fee permit, a no cost to them permit that allows them to park on residential streets in the downtown. For employees, it's thirty dollars plus transaction fee."

Drivers can also use an app to add time to their meter.

"Right now, you can do Parkmobile in the lots and you just punch in the code that's on the side of the kiosk. And we'll have the same sticker on the meters. You'll just punch in the code."

Those stickers are expected to be added to each meter within a week.

Lisa Santivasci from Stafford Virginia doesn't have a problem with the new meters. "I come up to Bar Harbor about three to four times a year. If it's going to benefit the town, sure."

Knight says they're using soft enforcement of the regulations during this time of transition.

"Change is hard and people have expressed their opinion over the last couple of months. We have a committee that continues to meet monthly to address issues that come up, and if we do see an issue that needs resolution, they'll make a recommendation to the council and the council will make the change."

Detailed information on the parking regulations can be found on the town's website, Bar Harbor Maine dot gov.

"I think we're cautiously optimistic about it." says Bitler. "Bar Harbor is a destination, and people are still coming in which is really exciting."