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City To Install More High-Tech Parking Meters

$1M In Meter Revenue To Be Used For More Meters
The city of San Diego is about to spend money on the installation of new parking meters, but some believe the project is not worth the funding.

The city has been testing the use of solar-powered parking meters that accept credit and debit cards, which have replaced many older meters in the Hillcrest area.

"It's awesome. I loved it," said one driver. Another driver told 10News, "In Portland, they use a system like that, too."

Additionally, the city is also experimenting with multi-space parking pay stations. The special meters can each service about six parking spaces instead of one.

"It's very cumbersome," said North Park resident Chris Perkins.

"Do you like these new ones, compared to the old ones?" asked 10News' Robert Santos. "Well, coins are always good. Sometimes new technology isn't always the easiest," said Perkins.

City officials see the new technology as a benefit. As part of a pilot project in 2006, 51 high-tech meters were installed. Since then, city officials said revenue from the meters has increased 24 percent.

The city recently approved using nearly $1 million of the new increased revenue to pay for 131 meters in total, including the original 51 on loan to test out.

Benjamin Nicholls, the executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association, told 10News he would like to see part of that increased revenue go towards finding solutions.

"I'd like to see more parking spaces. I'd like to see more ways to get to Hillcrest that maybe don't require driving and parking," said Nicholls.

Nicholls admitted the multi-use metered parking pay stations clean up the look of the sidewalks. But as the experiments continue, the jury is still out whether high-tech meters are a need or a luxury.

If driver Katrina Escobar had it her way, she'd want all meters replaced. "That would be awesome. I know the ones in Hillcrest tell you what time to return," said Escobar.

The city does not have a timeline as to when all the old parking meters will be replaced.
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