New parking meters expected in downtown and on Fourth Avenue - Tucson News Now

New parking meters expected in downtown and on Fourth Avenue

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

New parking meters that can accept credit cards and other forms of payment could be on Tucson streets by spring.  Along with the new arrivals will be higher rates, and more metered spaces.  Fourth Avenue will no longer have free parking.

The idea from ParkWise, the city's parking program, is to discourage students, employees, or anyone else who seeks to park all day from using up the spaces on the street.  The program manager said that meters, likely set at a dollar an hour, would discourage long-term use and create constant turnover to benefit fourth avenue merchants.  Employees might have permits to park elsewhere, off of fourth.

"Turnover, in other words, you can use the same space to accommodate lots of shoppers, lots of customers in a day.  If you price it very cheap or you don't charge at all, what's the incentive for someone to not, to do anything other than to just leave their car all day," said ParkWise Program Administrator Donovan Durband.

The council might not vote on this until October, and the meters would likely go into operation by April 1st.  The Fourth Avenue Business District would have about 400 meters, and that money would go toward building a nearby parking structure.

Downtown would have about one thousand meters make the switch.  Their revenue would help cover the costs of debt service on public parking garages, which also charge a dollar an hour.

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