City Approves New Parking Meters

By Paige Browning/John Vlahovich

The Spokane City council unanimously agreed Monday that it’s time to update the city’s parking meter system.  Council member Mike Allen summed up the feeling of the council when he said "The modernization of our parking system has to happen. Who carries around a pocketful of quarters or a jar full of coins in their car in this day and age?"  He noted that coins will still be taken for those who prefer it."
The ordinance gives the go-ahead for a nearly $1 million purchase of 800 smart-meters.  They will take credit and debit cards, and a sensor will detect when a vehicle pulls out of a spot.  Any remaining time on the meter will zero out.  This did not sit well with Dave White who testified against the contract.
White said at the podium: “How dare you zero out a meter? How can you look the public in the face that you are here to represent? Are your interests so strong that you want to raise tax dollars that you would take the last cent out of a parking meter?”

The city will install the first 200 this summer. The meters will be paid for by a newly created parking fund, which will also fund additional police officers for three years, and other downtown infrastructure.  The money from parking meters and tickets makes up the fund.

Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio
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