Downtown Parking Just Got Easier.
New solar powered paystations are here
The old mechanical meters that line many streets in downtown will be retired by the end of February 2012. Many of the old mechanical meters have been curbside in downtown since the 1950s helping to regulate turnover and equitable use of the public parking assets by users of downtown. But with most mechanical devices that have moving parts rubbing against each other, the old mechanical meters that take only quarters are breaking and wearing out at a more rapid rate with the increased use of downtown. Parts for the old mechanical meters stopped being produced in the late 1970s.
In their place, new 21st Century solar powered and wireless paystations are being installed beginning Tuesday, February 21, 2012. The single space meters along Jefferson Street, Government Street, and S. Baylen Street should all be replaced by the end of February with new paystations. Additionally, the Tarragona Street Parking Lot, the North Palafox Street Parking Lot, and the Baylen Street Parking Lot will also be converted to short-term parking lots with the use of the new paystation technology.
The new paystations will utilize “pay and display” technology whereby the user will follow the prompts on the terminal to purchase the amount of parking they desire. Parkers will then take the receipt back to their vehicle for display on the inside of the front windshield. If the purchaser of parking returns to their vehicle before their chosen time has expired, they will be able to leave the receipt in place and move their vehicle to any other paid curbside parking space without having to pay again. The paid receipt will remain valid for paid curbside parking anywhere downtown until the expiration time on the paystation receipt has past. Users of curbside parking downtown will no longer have to leave used paid time for the next driver; they can now take it with them. The specific model chosen for downtown Pensacola is identical to those that are in downtown New Orleans – three hours to the west.
The new paystations will provide more convenience for the user of curbside parking by accepting all American coins for payment except pennies. Additionally, the paystations will accept all major credit and debit cards. Time can be purchased in increments as small as six minutes or as long as five hours. A receipt will be given with each parking purchase. Users of curbside parking will no longer have to carry large numbers of quarters.
Twenty-eight solar powered paystations will replace almost 200 single pole mechanical meters. While the meter heads will be removed at the time that the paystations are installed, some poles will remain through approximately late May to allow for additional directional signage for new users of paystations. By late May, all the visual clutter and long-time sidewalk obstructions will be gone from the sidewalks where the paystations are installed.
Pensacola becomes the 54th jurisdiction in Florida to install paystations to help regulate curbside parking usage. While some Florida communities have had paystations for over a decade, Pensacola will be the first in the panhandle.
- Paystations will improve the visual appearance and aesthetics of downtown streets as hundreds of unsightly meter poles are removed.
- Fewer meters will increase pedestrian traffic flow and provide a safer environment for the disabled.
- Paystations are easy to use and more reliable than mechanical meters.
- Paystations offer a wider allotment of duration choices.
- A reduction in Parking Citations due to the user-friendly technology and the variety of time allotment offered.
- The Paystations utilize green technology while achieving the lowest impact on the environment.
- Downtown Pensacola will be the 54th public entity to employ the use of Paystations in the state of Florida.