Another change is coming to downtown parking as new meters are going in the Brady District, and this time they'll stay.
The meters have been on and off for this part of downtown, but once the new meters are up and running, parking will not be free, but it will be easier than it could be.
The installation work started on North Main, but eventually, the bolted down parking meters will spread all over the Brady District.
Parking Meter number 1 is right outside Cain's Ballroom - it's a solar powered model in a familiar blue color selected by the City after some testing to see which one worked best.
The City expects to take several weeks to get 21 meters installed and the signs updated.
Tom Baker with the Downtown Coordinating Council said, "On-street parking, how you manage your parking is a big deal - it's an economic vitality issue, it's all kinds of things to people who come downtown."
The new system replaces a failing system based on old meters that are hard to read and unreliable, and the City is cannibalizing parts of some to keep the rest working.
The City has just enough of the new ones for the Brady District; at $6,300 each, the City can't afford to replace them all at once. As money becomes available, they'll expand the system throughout downtown.
The new one takes credit cards or coins, and, in a few months, a mobile app will be up and running to manage it by phone.
The biggest change is that drivers enter a tag number - the specific space doesn't matter so drivers can move the car without starting over at a new meter.
"The features that are incorporated into this system will be used all over downtown and anywhere that on-street parking is managed in that way,” Baker said.
The meters only matter between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays, and they only apply to on-street parking, not parking lots. The ticket for an expired meter is $25.
They'll go live May 15th.