The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 11, 2012

New parking meters debut in downtown OKC

Pay stations offer credit card options

OKLAHOMA CITY — In 1935, the world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City. Seventy-seven years later, Oklahoma City will see a more advanced model of parking meters installed downtown as a part of Project 180.

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 decided to retire the old coin meter for a more advanced “pay station.”

“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.”

As many as 125 multi-space, solar-powered pay stations that accept coins or credit will be installed in phases throughout the summer. The first phase of pay stations is currently being installed around the Myriad Gardens on Reno, Robinson and Hudson streets with ongoing installations every two weeks. The first phase of meters is expected to go live Monday.

“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.

“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 10 parking spaces with no more than five car lengths between the spot and designated pay station. 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.

For more information about downtown parking or the new pay stations, visit parkingokc.com or call 297-1331.

Project 180 is a four-year, $160 million redesign of downtown streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas to improve appearance and make the central core more pedestrian friendly. Plans call for the addition of landscaping, public art, marked bike lanes, decorative street lighting and additional on-street parking spaces. The improvements are paid for through the $95 million Tax Increment Financing from construction of the Devon Tower and $24.6 million in General Obligation Bonds passed in the 2007 bond election.

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