More than 2,200 pay stations line our city streets in neighborhood business districts and the downtown core making it easier for people to pay for parking. Most people have become accustomed to using these high tech parking tools that enable parkers to use cash or credit to pay for on street parking. These “smart” meters have enabled the city to allow pre-purchased parking and implement multiple parking rates throughout the city.
On Tuesday, June 21, SDOT installed two new “CityPal” pay stations on Western Avenue, just north of the Pike Place Market. The CityPal is the newest version of the pay station and these are the first two CityPals installed in the United States.
The new units feature a 7-inch color touch screen that has been called an “iPad for the street,” capable of displaying not just parking pricing information, but also maps, wayfinding, and customer service messaging. The CityPals also feature improved web-based maintenance and programming capabilities that can better handle multiple rates of parking pricing. Despite the energy demanding features that CityPals provide, these units are fully powered by the sun through a top-mounted solar panel. The international standard symbol for parking, an upper case “P”, is mounted high on the unit for visibility and the side panels are customized for Seattle with an image of the Space Needle.
SDOT is renting and installing ten total CityPals to try them out during the next year. Staff will test the functions and capabilities of this new generation of parking equipment and determine whether these units are a good fit for the city.