By: Special to The Laredo Sun
The minimum charge allowed when using the credit card is still $1.00 which is the cost for two hours parking.
The cost for new machines was $7,125 at a cost of $475 per machine. If, after the pilot program goes as expected, additional machines will be purchased in two or three phases to replace all outdated parking meters with the new solar-powered ones.
“The previous parking meters, which were over 10 years old, were difficult to replace and maintain,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Cindy Liendo Espinoza.
“This was something I was concerned about for the downtown area, as not having convenient parking always readily available could deter people from shopping in our wonderful historic district.”
According to Roberto Murillo, Traffic Safety Manager, the new machines should help cut down on maintenance costs associated with the previous ones. Staff will monitor the use of the credit card slot, to determine if all downtown parking meters should eventually be replaced with those that feature credit card acceptance.
“I’m so proud that as the City of Laredo continues to find new ways to better serve the public, and with these new parking meters, it is doing so in a green, environmentally-conscious manner,” said City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas.
Additionally, the Zaragoza and Santa Maria parking lot has been converted into a pay-by-space parking lot and will no longer be manned by a teller. Pay-by-space station payment options are coins, bills, and/or credit cards.
Hourly rates and hours of operation remain the same. The lot, while still utilized, as less busy than other parking lots and the division hopes to save approximately $25,000 annually with the change.
The pay and display at the El Portal parking lot, located at 1300 Zaragoza, now also accepts credit cards. Instructions step by step to use machines are posted on each location.
For more information on any of the new features, please call the Parking Enforcement Division at (956) 794-1780