700+ Columbus parking meters being replaced by kiosks, mobile-app payment


By Mark Ferenchik - The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)



Columbus city crews will remove more than 700 parking meters Downtown and in the Short North area and replace them with centralized kiosks or mobile app-only payment systems.

Motorists will use the kiosks to pay with credit cards, debit cards or coins by entering their license plate numbers.

Work will begin this week to remove 247 parking meters on Goodale and Park streets near Goodale Park. They will be replaced by three kiosks.

The pay-by-plate kiosks are similar to the three along Nationwide Boulevard near Nationwide Arena, said Robert Ferrin, the city’s assistant director for parking services.

He said people living near Goodale Park were glad that meters are being removed for aesthetic reasons.

“This will give a cleaner look to the area,” he said.

Ferrin also said the city will save money in the long run because fewer meters mean lower maintenance costs.

The city spent $32,700 on the six parking kiosks it purchased from IPS Group in San Diego for installation, Ferrin said.

In the VG permit parking area on Park Street, meters will be replaced by mobile pay-only spaces that operate like other Short North permit parking areas. People can use the ParkColumbus app to pay.

In addition, a kiosk will replace 57 meters in the Greenwood Avenue parking lot and another will replace 24 meters in the Eden Alley parking lot. Both lots are off on North High Street in the Short North.

Caitlyn Dunn, deputy director of district projects and operations at the Short North Alliance, said the city approached area residents and business owners about the changes.

“Everyone is really on board for the upgrade,” Dunn said, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Fewer meters mean fewer contact points, she said.

The parking rates will remain the same, Ferrin said.

The rest of the schedule goes like this:

* Week of July 20, a kiosk on Jefferson Avenue Downtown will replace 86 meters between East Broad and East Long streets.

* Week of July 27, mobile pay-only will replace 188 meters around Columbus State Community College on Long, Spring and 6th streets and Grant Avenue.

* Week of Aug. 3, mobile payment will replace 103 meters on East Rich Street between 5th Street and Washington Avenue.

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By Mark Ferenchik

The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)

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