Last coin-fed parking meters in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. Photo by Peter Browne / FOX 9 News.
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -
The last old-style parking meter in Minneapolis came down Wednesday morning. The city removed the coin-operated meters in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood at 10:30 a.m.
Minneapolis now has 617 parking pay stations on city streets, completing a transition that started with the installation of the first multi-space pay stations in November 2010. In those two years, city crews have removed 6,050 of the old, single-space meters.
Phillip "P.J." Peterson, who for decades helped maintain the old parking meters in Minneapolis, came out of retirement to do the honors of retiring the last old meter. Peterson started working for the city in 1966 and retired in October after 46 years in the public works department.
ADVANTAGES OF MULTI-SPACE PAY STATIONS
Credit card payments are more convenient for drivers. About 55 percent of the 5.7 million transactions done using the pay stations used credit cards instead of coins.
Some metered parking spaces become tow-away zones during critical traffic times. The new pay stations warn drivers when they try to pay for time when they can't park there.
Pay stations are solar powered, which saves on battery replacement.
When a pay station has a problem, it can alert technicians so repairs can be made.
Soon, the days of driving around the block in search of a space will also be over, because there will be an app that uses cell phone technology to direct drivers to open meters.