The first set of new electronic parking meter stations went live Monday in downtown Oklahoma City and brought a rate increase with them.
The so-called “pay-and-display” parking meters will soon be a fixture around downtown Oklahoma City but went live only around Myriad Gardens on Monday. The meters represent a change in the way parking is done downtown in the city, which was the birthplace of the first parking meter 77 years ago.
The streets around Myriad Gardens had been temporarily free for parking until Monday's switch to the new meters, but city workers and volunteers were around the park Monday to spread the word that the meters are now in use.
“Last week we started putting out fliers letting them know it was coming, because so many people had become accustomed to parking for free,” said Debi Holtzclaw, parking manager for the city's Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority.
Meters print receipts
The new, solar-powered meter stations accept coins and credit and debit cards and dispense receipts. Drivers put the receipts on their dashboard, where it must be visible to parking enforcement officers from the outside.
The minimum cost is 75 cents for a half-hour, up 25 cents from before.
Stations with orange-painted tops mark areas with a two-hour maximum; blue-painted stations identify one-hour maximum zones.
On-street parking will be enforced at the meters from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
More to come
The stations are going in on streets renovated by Project 180, the city's $141 million rebuilding of downtown streets and related landscaping. More than 600 new on-street parking spaces are being created in the project.
The multi-spot stations were installed around the Myriad Gardens a few weeks ago. They soon will spread to the rest of the urban core.
“Next week, actually, we'll start doing some more,” Holtzclaw said. “First, we'll replace the old electronics we have on Park Avenue by the courthouse” They then will move to the area around the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, she said.