by Chris Roberts : sfexaminer – excerpt
The SFMTA has approved a $54 million contract to replace 25,000 existing meters, but the planned purchase of additional meters has delayed The City’s stamp of approval.
At just over a decade old, San Francisco’s parking meters are well past their prime. But a $54 million plan to replace the coin-fed meters with credit card-friendly technology is on hold, and distrust with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s plan to buy up to 10,000 new meters is partly to blame.
The SFMTA in September approved a $54 million contract with San Diego-based IPS Group to replace the existing 25,000 parking meters — which use spare parts that are no longer manufactured and have erratic batteries — with solar-powered devices that can be fed via smartphone and credit card or coin. The 6,500 meters installed in 2010 under SFpark, “smart” meters that alert users to available parking spots in order to reduce traffic, would also be replaced. Why?
The new meters won’t be as lucrative — the cost of operating them is projected to quadruple due to software licensing and wireless communications costs — but would be more convenient for motorists… Huh?
“There’s distrust in the neighborhoods” over parking meters, Supervisor Mark Farrell said at an October board hearing. With the new meters, “I don’t have any security that there’s not going to be 10,000 new [metered] parking spots.”…
“They have lied to us at every turn,” said Tony Kelly, a neighborhood activist who helped block meters in Potrero Hill. “Nothing in the past two years gives us any confidence that they’ll try to honestly get our approval before installing new parking meters.”… (more)