Ann Arbor orders new solar-powered parking meters

You might not like paying for parking in Ann Arbor but at least it's about to become a more sustainable endeavor. The city’s Downtown Development Authority has order a pilot set of solar-powered parking meters.

The DDA ordered 25 solar meters and expects to install them within the next six weeks. They will be placed on Main, Liberty and State streets as the first test phase before replacing all of downtown’s 1,500 parking meters.

"They’ll be in the most visible places so people get used to using them," says Susan Pollay, executive director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.

Right now traditional parking meters stand vigil over those spaces. Pollay hopes to eventually swap out the vast majority with the 175 solar-powered meters. One meter station can cover about half a dozen parking spaces. The poles for the traditional meters will remain to help mark the parking spaces for each station.

The solar-powered parking meters come equipped with a solar panel that enables them to remain entirely off the grid. These stations can accept coin and credit card payments. They will also allow patrons to plug their meters from any of the stations in the city.

The DDA is spending $400,000 to install the sun-powered parking meters. They cost $325,000 to buy and the DDA set aside another $75,000 for installation.

Source: Susan Pollay, executive director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Jon Zemke
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