A more advanced model of parking meters will be installed in downtown Oklahoma City this year as part of the downtown makeover project.
According to city officials, with the addition of more than 600 on-street parking spots resulting from downtown street renovations, the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority and Project 180 have decided to retire the old coin meter for a more advanced "pay station."
About 125 multi-space, solar-powered pay stations that accept coins or credit will be installed in phases throughout the summer. Officials say the first phase of meters is expected to go live on Monday, July 16.
"As part of the changes resulting from Project 180, we were looking for ways to clean up the streets and de-clutter the sidewalks," said Debi Holtzclaw, parking manager for the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority. "We chose a digital meter because the older mechanical meters do not accept credit cards and manufacturers are no longer making parts to repair them."
The first phase of pay stations is currently being installed around the Myriad Gardens on Reno, Robinson and Hudson streets with on-going installations every two weeks.
"The meters are very easy to use, but it does require a change in habit," Holtzclaw said. "Users either choose coins or credit to enter their time, print a receipt and put the receipt on the front driver's side windshield of their car. The receipt must be visible to avoid a parking violation."
If the purchaser of parking returns to their vehicle before their chosen time has expired, they will be able to leave the receipt on the dashboard and move their vehicle to any other curbside parking space without having to pay again, according to city officials.
"You're now paying for time, not for a specific space," Holtzclaw said. "Users of curbside parking downtown will no longer have to leave un-used time for the next driver; they can take it with them." Remaining time may be used in any of the metered zones prior to its expiration.
Pay stations will serve about ten parking spaces with no more than five car lengths between the spot and designated pay station, officials said.
There is a minimum of 75 cents for 30-minute parking in either one hour ($1.50/max) or two hour zones ($3/max). Parking zones are easily identifiable by color. One hour meters feature a blue cap and two hour meters feature an orange cap. On-street parking is strictly enforced 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday except public holidays.