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Pay Stations Continue Impressive Rollout

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008, at 12:21PM
Bagged Meters Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Yellow hoods cover old meter heads on Flower street, north of 8th, in a photo from last week.

It took years of talk and study for pay stations to find their way onto Downtown's streets, but only a couple weeks for the meter replacements to make their way from South Park to Bunker Hill. Now, attention turns to the Fashion District, where LADOT will be installing several dozen of the new devices over the next two weeks.

Along with new technology, the rollout signals the end of the line for long-held assumptions about the hours and days when meters must be fed. Those parking Downtown are going to need to get good at reading signs.

New pay stations in South Park raised a few eyebrows by requiring payment until 8pm, when the previous meters had expired at 6pm. The extra hours are the result of changes to the city's Municipal Code, which now gives LADOT flexibility to shape meter hours. According to a recent Fashion Distrct BID newsletter, the new pay stations in that neighborhood will share that same 8pm deadline, while entertainment districts could eventually see spots requiring payment until midnight.

The changes approved by Council also allow LADOT to charge for on-street parking on Sundays, a day previously exempt from collection. Implementation of that new charge has been delayed until 2009.

When the new pay stations were put into service, yellow hoods covered the old meter heads. The heads and hoods are now both gone on some South Park streets, leaving just the empty poles waiting for removal. The loss of meters is great for the reduction of visual clutter on the sidewalk, but bad news for cyclists looking for spots to lock up in neighborhoods with limited bike racks.

Fashion District pay stations will be installed on Los Angeles between 7th and 12th, Santee between 9th and 12th, Maple between 9th and 12th, 9th between Los Angeles and Santee, Olympic between Los Angeles and Maple, 11th between Main and Maple and 12th between Main and Santee. According to the Fashion District BID, LADOT plans to have the program in operation on November 1.

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