Northgate in College Station can look like a ghost town during Spring Break. City officials are taking advantage this week, when parking isn't an issue, to add and upgrade parking meters on some surrounding streets.
It's a move that the city thinks will reap them benefits when parking becomes a priority on Northgate. Drivers now have more options when it comes to feeding the meter.
Crews are putting the final touches on newly revamped street side parking meters. Though they don't look any different, the new meters are solar powered.
At a cost of just over $86,000 total, the city is not raising the hourly rate. It's still 75 cents an hour. Now drivers have more options to pay.
"If you have change and you like using change, then that option is still available to you," says Lance Simms, Assistant Director of Planning and Development Services for College Station.
"The exciting thing to us is to be able to offer the added convenience of debit and credit cards."
Finding parking in Northgate can sometimes be difficult.
"Northgate is really in high demand. It's a pedestrian area, its a dense area, so parking is at a premium," says Simms. The high traffic factored into the decision to wait until Spring Break to install the new meters.
Simms says, at 103, this is the most metered parking they've ever had.
They hope that when demand picks up, the new meters will pay off.
The city estimates the street meters bring in anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 dollars a month. Those new meters go active on Monday, March 19th.