DENVER (KDVR) — The City and County of Denver is in the process of updating its entire system of parking meters.
The effort comes as aging meters are malfunctioning. Denver has 6,200 single-metered parking spaces. As the system ages, more drivers are seeing blank or darkened screens on meters.
“It’s awful,” said Kathleen Phillips who works in downtown Denver. “It gives you that anxiety of– am I putting in enough money in here to cover how long I’m going to be here?”
The city told the FOX31 Problem Solvers it has been addressing an average of 378 meter issues each month since the beginning of 2020. Two thirds of Denver’s meters were purchased more than a decade ago, according to statistics provided to FOX31 by Nancy Kuhn, spokesperson for Denver’s Department of Transportation & Infrastructure.
“I would find [malfunctioning meters] really frustrating because you need to park for a couple hours,” said Tricia Fox who works in downtown Denver. “[Some of the system] is broke, so I don’t know how long it’s been broke.”
Kuhn said the city is working on replacements.
“We’re in the process of purchasing replacements – new meters that will generally look and function the same as the current meters – and hope to have the entire system updated by early 2022,” Kuhn wrote in an email to FOX31. “We anticipate the need for repairs will diminish with the new stock.”
“I think that’s a great improvement for the city,” Phillips said. “It’s nice to have something updated like that.”
Meanwhile, to get individual meters fixed, drivers are encouraged to call 311 to report issues.
The city stressed that a malfunctioning meter doesn’t mean free parking. To avoid getting a ticket, Denver officials suggest a mobile option drivers can use to pay. The smart phone app is called PayByPhone.