(TNS) — Beginning Monday, people can use their smartphones to pay to park at some city of Charleston parking meters.
The Parkmobile app can be used to pay meters marked with fluorescent-green stickers. The stickers will be attached to about 800 parking meters in an area from Pennsylvania Avenue to Morris Street. People can also continue to use coins to pay the meters.
The staff of the city’s Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation planned to put stickers on the first 500 parking meters Saturday, director Mary Dickerson said Thursday.
“This is just phase one of the implementation of the parking study,” Dickerson said.
The changes come after a study of the city’s parking was completed in fall 2016 and presented to the city council in June. Officials said they hope the changes will help relieve parking congestion downtown.
Also beginning Monday, a new rate of 25 cents per hour is in effect for meters in the 500 block of Summers Street; 700 and 800 blocks of Donnally Street; 500 and 600 blocks of Capitol Street; 600 block of Eagan Street; 700 and 800 blocks of Christopher Street; 300, 400 and 500 blocks of Dickinson Street; 300, 400 and 500 blocks of Leon Sullivan Way; 300 through 600 blocks of Morris Street; 1200 block of Lewis Street; 1000 through 1200 blocks of Washington Street; and 1100 and 1200 blocks of Virginia Street East.
A new rate of $1 per hour is also in effect for the 400 block of Laidley Street and the 500 and 600 blocks of Donnally Street in the area of Saint Francis Hospital.
The second phase of the parking changes will begin in May, when the city plans to install new smart parking meters in the downtown area for $1,500 each. Beginning May 21 or when the smart meters are installed, the price of parking in that area will increase.
The new rate will be $1 for the first hour, $1.50 for the second hour and an additional $1.50 for the third hour with a three-hour maximum time for the following locations: 100 and 200 blocks of Hale Street, unit block of Dunbar Street, 200 block of Leon Sullivan Way, unit block to 400 block of Capitol Street, unit block to 300 block of Summers Street, unit block to 300 block of Laidley Street, 800 block of Kanawha Boulevard, 1000 block of Virginia Street East, 500 to 1000 blocks of Quarrier Street.
To pay with the Parkmobile app, a person will need to download it on his or her iPhone or Android and create an account. To create the account, people will need to provide a license plate number and the state where the car is registered and enter a method of payment, such as a credit card or PayPal.
The app will show a countdown of the time left in a person’s parking session. People can also extend their parking session from the app.
A video about using the app is available on the company’s website us.parkmobile.com.
©2018 The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, W.Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.