Is it time to upgrade Nelson’s parking meters?
Nelson’s parking meters are getting old.
According to public works director Colin Innes, not only is the technology out-of-date, it’s also becoming increasingly expensive to replace or fix them.
So along with a group of city staff, he’s looking at their options.
“Our parking meters overall are becoming like the rotary telephone,” Innes told the Star.
“And there’s a lot of new parking technology out there that’s really neat stuff, like kiosks that will work with your smart phone, so we’ve been looking at slowly phasing out our meters and looking into these new technologies.”
Other cities such as Victoria and Vancouver already have this technology, as well as smaller communities province-wide, so Innes said they’re actually behind the curve when it comes to introducing this new service.
Parking meters entered the public discourse in Nelson recently when the city announced its intention to raise hourly fees from $1.00 to $1.25 in 2017.
The city has a parking report coming soon that will give them more information, and then they hope to pull the trigger on the transition to new meters in the next year or two.
“It’s something that’s on the radar screen and the time to deal with it is now.”
Innes said the only potential drawback is Luddite residents who refuse to engage with new technologies, but he thinks it’s unlikely they’ll derail the process. And really, the new meters won’t be that different.
“I’ve certainly used these new parking meters in a bunch of different communities, and they work great,” he said.
“Even my Mom’s getting on in years, but she’s pretty savvy with her smart phone and she’d be able to get ‘er done.”
The parking meters would probably be introduced one or two at a time, as the other ones start to fail, so that residents can get accustomed to them.
He said the new meters “won’t be intimidating to use.”
“I think this will be something that people really end up liking.”