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Trial-Pay-Station-MapThe parking meters that line Seattle’s streets aren’t exactly high-tech. Payment processing time can often take not just a few seconds, but sometimes more than a minute, and options to control how much time you paid for is limited.

The city is well aware of this and has decided to make an upgrade. First, though, it wants your help.

Some of Seattle's current parking meters are nearly 10 years old. Photo via City of Seattle.
Some of Seattle’s current parking meters are nearly 10 years old. Photo via City of Seattle.

Seattle has installed seven new parking machines in downtown Seattle as part of a mini pilot program. If you try them out, the city wants to hear feedback with your opinions on efficiency, aesthetics and overall functionality.

The city noted that the new machines will feature more complex parking rate programming requirements and better integration for options like Pay By Phone. Seattle introduced the pay-by-phone functionality this past July, which allows you to add time to the meter remotely with a cell phone. 

Seattle plans to replace all 2,200 its parking meters by 2016, with installation beginning this summer. The project will cost $25 million, paid over seven years. 

Update, Feb. 25 — Heard back from the city, and here’s what they told us:

  • Improvements include: Reduced credit card transaction times, cards will not get stuck in the meters, new display screens will “better communicate information,” new software will allow the city to fix problems faster, changes to rates will be made wirelessly instead of manually at each meter, and the meters will be more resistant to graffiti.
  • Funding for this project comes from the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT’s) 6-Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget.

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