San Diego installs ‘smart’ parking meters downtown

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SAN DIEGO -- The city of San Diego is installing around 200 “smart'' parking meters beginning this week that will accept credit card payments and track usage of spaces.

The devices, which cost a total of $3.8 million, are replacing traditional single-space meters that only accept coins, according to the office of City Council President Todd Gloria.

“Bringing smart parking meters to San Diego was on the short list of things I wanted to accomplish during my tenure as (interim) mayor, and I know San Diegans and visitors will notice the improvement this week upon their installation,'' Gloria said.

“San Diego is a city of innovation and people here should not resort to the antiquated practice of searching for coins for parking meters,'' he said. “With more user-friendly parking meters, customers will be able to more easily patronize the small businesses throughout downtown, Uptown, and Mid- City, contributing to the economic development of our city.''

About 97 percent of San Diego's parking meters are being replaced, according to Gloria's office. The devices use the city's existing meter poles, making installation easier and preserving useful current infrastructure.

The smart meters are being installed first in the Gaslamp Quarter, with other areas of downtown to follow. The meters will be installed in the Uptown and Mid-City areas early next year.

“I don’t know anyone who carries cash or change on them anymore … everyone just has credit cards so it makes it a lot easier," said San Diego resident, Amanda Soloman. “It's a terrific upgrade for the city.”

When installation is complete, the city plans to start a pilot project to let customers pay via their mobile phones.

Data from the meters will be used to guide the future policies of the city and community parking groups, Gloria said.

 

 

3 comments

  • hiccera

    Lets see – old meters, paid for and working fine. New meters – $3.8 million and will probably lead to higher parking rates. But they are modern and God forbid if we don’t appear to be a modern city. But do we need to spend nearly 20 grand per meter for the sake of appearances when we have a paid for and working system already in place? So that we can be a “City of Innovation”. Apparently the mayor and council thinks we do. As for the quote: “With more user-friendly parking meters, customers will be able to more easily patronize the small businesses throughout downtown, Uptown, and Mid- City, contributing to the economic development of our city.”. Lets take out meters and enforce rules for parking as is. That would make it easier and save money at the same time. But that would be too easy.

    • JC

      $3.8 total to replace 4,700 meters. The first 200 have been installed this week. Parking meters do not cost $19K.

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