At long last, the new parking meters purchased for downtown Hyattsville will be going on line over the next few days.
According to Jim Chandler, director of Hyattsville's Department of Community and Economic Development, city staff will be commissioning the meters throughout Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, city parking enforcement staff will undergo two days of training in how to use and maintain the parking meters. By Saturday, all the meters should be ready to accept payment for parking.
"They are very user friendly…from all reports, they are very durable, too," said Chandler in a brief interview.
Users will be able to feed the meters with coin or credit cards. For city officials, the new digital meters will also be able to give real-time reports on parking meter usage. Chandler said that this information could provide useful insight into when and where parking is used in the city.
The new meters will be seen along new on-street parking on the city's downtown Route 1 corridor and in the recently refurbished parking lots nearby.
Motorists will have to pay to park between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Motorists using the on-street parking along Route 1 can only do so during non-rush hours. That means no parking on Route 1 between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.
The refurbished lots on Jefferson, Gallatin, Hamilton and Farragut streets will be open for parking 24 hours a day.
Last month, the Hyattsville City Council approved a measure which made the hourly parking rates uniform at 50 cents an hour across all of its spaces. Previously, it cost 75 cents per hour to park at University Town Center while elsewhere in the city it only cost 25 cents per hour.