Free Parking Backing Out Of Brady Arts District

Thursday, August 27th 2015, 8:12 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The City of Tulsa added parking meters to the Brady District while making other significant changes to parking downtown. The City plans to reveal the changes Monday.

The new meters are underneath bags, waiting to be unveiled. There are two dozen of them that carry a new price for parking in the Brady - $1 an hour.

4/30/2015 Related Story: Parking Meters Could Be Coming To Brady District

The new meters going in by the Brady Theater are one model of several being tested. The new ones are solar powered and they work with mobile apps and take credit cards.

It's a big change from a hodge-podge system of meters - with many that didn't work.

The city still has some single-space meters; they're reliable but vulnerable to vandalism.

The newer multi-space meters had chronic problems with batteries and change counters. The city has culled out the ones that didn't work.

But what's coming, hidden under the bags for now, are parking meters that have all the new technology.

Drivers will enter their tag number instead of a parking space and they'll be able to add time with their phones.

Until now, parking in the Brady district was free with a two hour limit. Some drivers would just risk a ticket instead of paying to park in a garage.

“If you leave for lunch they you'll come back to a filled spot and then it will be hard to find a spot for five minutes or so, so parking is scarce down here,” said Tulsan John Boliver.

The city is training security staff on how to find the cars connected to an expired meter, and they'll start writing tickets for people who park but don't pay.

At the same time, the city is adding more of the back-in spaces down Cincinnati Avenue to 8th Street and up Detroit near the ballpark.

Not everyone understood the change and parked the other way, but the city is adding lots of signs that explain drivers should back in.

The design adds more parking on each street - it's still parallel on the other side - but it eliminates one lane of traffic.

It's a response to a demand for more parking instead of more ways to get out of downtown after work.

Most of the new meters are already in place. The city plans to activate them Tuesday.