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Columbus replacing its 4,000 aging parking meters
(Posted Jan. 6, 2011)
On Jan. 3, the Columbus Department of Public Service began to install the first 977 new smart parking meters that will take credit and debit cards in addition to coins. The new meters are powered by batteries that are solar-rechargeable, weather permitting.
The first of the new smart meters were installed on Gay Street between Front and North 4th streets, the Short North, the Arena and Brewery districts, the North Market area and on Grandview Avenue. The department plans to install about 1,000 of the new meters annually until all of the city’s more than 4,000 parking meters have been replaced with smart meters.
The new smart meters will replace the city’s aging parking meter fleet that has been in service since 1999. The frequency of repairs to the current meter fleet has been increasing in recent years as the average effective lifetime of a parking meter is about 10 years.
The city tested 35 of the new smart meters on East Gay Street in a pilot program in 2009. During the pilot program, motorists and area merchants reacted favorably to the debit and credit card options on the meters.
Current meter locations include:
•Columbus College of Art & Design
•Columbus State Community College
•Mt. Carmel Hospital
•North Market area
•Ohio State University area
During this winter, 500 of the old meters that will be replaced with new smart meters will be refurbished and installed in locations that currently do not have meters, including the Short North, the Brewery District, downtown, Italian Village and city streets immediately east of The Ohio State University. Eventually, these meters will also be upgraded with new technology as the city replaces the entire meter fleet.
In addition to debit (VISA and MasterCard only) and credit cards and coins, the new smart meters will also take parking cards to be sold by the city. The parking cards, which work like a debit card, will go on sale on a date to be announced in the coming weeks.
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