Transition to new downtown Raleigh parking meters causing issues

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As some drivers run into issues using Raleigh’s newly installed parking meters downtown, CBS 17 has learned more about how the city is addressing those problems.

The city is in the process of replacing old parking meters with new solar-powered machines that require drivers to enter their license plate information.

As the machines went live in the Nash Square area this week, users reported a variety of issues including: machines only displaying an error screen, not responding when users press the buttons and not accepting card payments.

On Monday, several of the machines around Nash Square displayed this message: “Payment not accepted. Rate download required.”

This week is the first one that the machines in that section of Raleigh were set to begin accepting payments.

“Yesterday was the first day they went ‘live’ for public use and the City found a few meters to suffer from some technical glitches but issues were resolved before 3 p.m. With any new technology, there will be some hiccups as we deploy each area. This is a learning period for not only patrons, but the City as we work to fix any residual issues,” wrote city spokesperson Julia Milstead in an email. “We have our meter technicians checking all the meters. We also get live updates from each meter on their status on the back end. In addition, we have ambassadors assisting folks with the meter and reporting on any issues that may arise.”

On Tuesday, some drivers continued to notice issues, with some leaving the meters uncertain if their payments actually processed or not.

“Hopefully, I don’t get a ticket,” said Jeremiah Sloop.

For this week, Milstead said drivers in that area will only receive tickets for exceeding the time limit in parking spots. If it’s a payment issue, the city will issue a warning. Regular enforcement will resume next week.

“It wasn’t this complicated before,” said Charlie Keeley. “You shouldn’t have to put in all of this information, I don’t think. This is a lot. It took me ten minutes to just park downtown.”

Glennis Hawkins said the machines have a “learning curve,” but she was able to use one successfully.

Her only complaint was the line that formed as people spent longer than normal trying to use the new meter.

“And, we’ll get the hang of it. We will. The only other thing is the line, waiting to get through the line to put it in. There’s only one of them here,” she said.

The city is in the process of installing the meters in the Fayetteville Street area now, Mistead said. That work will continue into next week, weather permitting. Drivers will be expected to begin paying in that zone on Dec. 9.

For drivers who use the Passport mobile app, it’s been temporarily disabled as the new meters are installed.

“Passport is in the process of integrating and reconfiguring some new zones for the application and will require your license plate number when paying in the future. Passport signs will not be coming down but rather the City is working on installing new signage for our Passport zones,” Milstead said.

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