• Seattle plans to replace 2,200 parking meters

    By: David Ham


    The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is calling on citizens to help them pick what model of a meter they'll use to replace many aging meters across the city.
    "They're really starting to come to the end of their lifespan; they're slower, it's older technology and it's time for us to update the technology basically," said Mike Estey, of SDOT.
    Replacing 2,200 meters will cost the city about $25 million during a 7-year period.
    SDOT says the meters basically pay for themselves.
    "When you look at the revenues generated by on-street parking, they do pay for the pay stations," said Estey.
    Last year $37 million was collected from people feeding the meter.
    That's why SDOT wants to make sure the new meters are more user-friendly.
    "They're kind of flickering, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it's really hard to put in your credit card, and then they don’t read and so you have to go to the next one," said Katherine Shen, who told us about her problems with some of the old meters.
    SDOT installed seven different models of new meters from four different vendors along 4th Avenue in Belltown for people to try out.
    "We want to know if one looks better, if it's easier to use, if it's faster," said Estey.
    SDOT will collect the data from an online survey until March 14 and make a decision on a new model by April.
    They'll start installing new meters by this summer.


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