The Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a measure Wednesday evening to alter the times for after-hours free parking as well as upgrades to downtown Phoenix meters.
After-hours parking was approved to change from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. in order to make the fight for downtown parking easier.
Deputy City Manager Rick Naimark said the expected implementation of the new meter parking hours would begin sometime within the next few weeks.
These new hours would have positive and negative consequences for the Downtown campus students, Naimark said.
“ASU has had an impact on parking,” Naimark said. “There are a lot of people who drive in for classes. For now they’ll have a little bit of a breather in the evening, but it will be harder to find spaces.”
Meter fees will remain the same $1.50 per hour, he said.
District 6 Councilman Sal DiCiccio said he would like to see these fees reduced but thinks changing the meter enforcement hours is great.
While Phoenix has not yet decided what sort of modern meter device to install, the Council discussed the possibility of the upgraded meters to be paid by credit or debit card, or possibly paying with a smart phone.
“I think this will be a huge convenience (because I’ve had) to pay a few parking tickets myself because I didn’t have enough quarters,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said in the meeting.
Stanton said technology utilizing debit and credit cards could help improve the situation.
District 3 Councilman Bill Gates said the new meters would make parking downtown much more convenient.
“I think it’s time to move beyond the 1930s technology,” Gates said in the meeting. “I want to see us pushing ourselves in trying to be as innovative as we can.”
Other meter technologies could include notifying police of an expired meter.
“Some people won’t like that, but it’s good,” Naimark said.
He said it is unclear how much installation of new meters could cost Phoenix.
The amount could depend on what type of meter is installed and how much revenue could be expected in return.
“These technologies are all over the map,” Naimark said. “We’re just going to have to find out what kind of technologies come forward and then decide whether we can afford them and whether we’re going to get enough revenue to pay for them.”
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