BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The city of Brownsville held a regular meeting on Nov. 9 where commissioners voted on the allocation of $770,944.70 for the removal of parking meters. The allocation passed.
Brownsville City Manager Noel Bernal told ValleyCentral the current meters are “mechanically obsolete.” The meters are 30 years old and the day they go down is the day they’ll stay down indefinitely, according to Bernal.
Bernal added Brownsville has continuous redevelopment activity, and so parking services are “crucial” with the increased demand.
The funding for this project did not come out of taxpayer dollars, according to Bernal. The city has a one million dollar parking meter fund set aside for projects like this one. Because of the fund, the city will be able to pay for the project in whole, upfront, and in cash.
The parking meter fund though is directly funded by downtown goers as anyone who pays into a parking meter or has a fine associated with parking meters are paying into the fund.
The city has conducted a strategic analysis to figure out where the centralized higher parking availability is and how far users are willing to walk. Bernal said the goal distance is between half a block and a block to the nearest pay station.
“The benefit of the new technology is that we’ll be able to derive additional information and data that we don’t have today,” said Bernal. “Over time, if we need to make adjustments to better accommodate our users we’ll be able to do that, but from the very beginning there will be a very strategic placement of these meters [pay stations].”
One accommodation the pay stations will not have though is the ability to pay with foreign currency such as pesos. The machine will allow for multiple forms of payment including coin, cash, app, and credit card.
The project is set to begin in January 2022. Bernal hopes the pay stations will be up and running three to four months after that.
The price of parking with these pay stations will remain the same as if you were paying a parking meter. That price is subject to change over time though to help cover the costs associated with city infrastructure. The city also hopes to use the pay stations as a way to build back up their parking meter fund.