Prep work begins to install downtown parking meters

OlympianAugust 26, 2013 

Crews are boring holes in sidewalks in downtown Olympia, preparing them for new parking meters that will replace the 3-year-old parking pay stations.

The work started last week. Crews focused on east-west streets -- Fourth Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Legion Way, said Karen Kenneson, business manager for the city's planning department.

By Monday, work had moved to north-south streets -- Columbia Street, Capitol Way, Washington Street and Franklin Street, between Legion Way and State Avenue.

Once the holes are in place by the end of next week, crews will start installing poles and housing. City staff will begin installing the meter housings afterward, and will be finished by the end of September, Kenneson said.

About 310 meters will be installed, and 20 kept as spares, for a cost of about $406,000, Kenneson said. Additional costs will be incurred over the next five years as service fees that allow the meters to take credit cards, which Kenneson pegged at $179,000.

The Olympia City Council voted earlier this year to jettison the pay stations after receiving complaints that they are hard to use and costly to maintain.

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