Downtown Phoenix’s parking meter program to be reviewed

[Source: Lynh Bui, The Arizona Republic]

City wants to generate maximum income

The 2,600 parking meters in Phoenix generate about $2.1 million annually for the city each year.

To make sure the meters are in the right place and to see if they are generating the maximum income for Phoenix, the city will conduct a study of the parking meter program starting next year, said Thomas Godbee, deputy street transportation director.

The city is looking to hire a consultant to review the meters in downtown Phoenix, near the state Capitol and other areas to study three main issues:

  • Location: Certain places, such as around the state Capitol, already have free parking available, so the parking meters that are in low demand could be removed, Godbee said. Meters could also be added to areas where traffic is higher.
  • Hours: In early 2009, the city extended the hours that parking meters would be in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“We’ve gotten a couple of complaints so we want to see how it’s working in a couple of areas,” Godbee said.

  • Payment: The city will examine whether the types of meters should be changed. Options could include replacing meters with pay stations or models that accept debit and credit cards to generate more revenue for the city and make it more convenient for drivers.

“If someone puts a quarter in a meter and parks two hours, they might not get a ticket, but we’re not getting the turnover in the parking space,” Godbee said.

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