‘Smart’ parking meters to be installed throughout downtown Asheville

 

They won’t do your taxes but the new “smart” parking meters coming to all of downtown Asheville this year will make paying for parking much easier.

For one thing, you’ll have the option to use your debit or credit card. For another, Passport app parking payments will display on the new meters, leaving the guesswork out of whether the payment is verified.

By all means, cash is still accepted for on-street metered parking spaces. Yes, the smart meters will still take coins, and they will even be programmed to take a dollar coin, said Keith Kennedy, Senior Parking Enforcement Officer. He calls the smart meters “a friendlier option.”

You may call it more convenient.

In 2016, Asheville Parking Services rolled out a test site for electronic parking meters that accept debit and credit cards along Battery Park Avenue. The new meters were needed because it’s becoming hard to find parts for the old-style meters as they are aging out.

The new electronic meters have capabilities the City’s aging meters didn’t have. They allow Parking Services to track and analyze parking data for more effective service, for example. And staff will be able to quickly pinpoint any malfunctioning meter and get it back online.

The smarter meters also come with a graphic display options that allow Parking Services to program special welcome messages onto them. So they could read, “Welcome to Asheville, Fed Cup fans.” Instead of several sometimes confusing stickers on the meters, information can be programmed into the display.

There are 700 metered parking spaces in downtown Asheville. The new meters will be installed in batches of 100-200. And their installation will not disrupt downtown parking, said Parking Services Manager Harry Brown. “The new meters will be installed one by one and no stretches of parking spaces will be down during the installation,” he said.

All of downtown should have the new meters installed by June. The parking price remains the same: $1.50 per hour. Downtown parking garages charge $1.25 per hour, with the first hour free.

Find more information here.