Some very un-Old Town machines have arrived on lower King Street to reduce the need to carry a pocket-full of quarters to the citys main shopping district.
Six much-talked about multi-space, credit card-able, solar-powered parking meters now stand solemnly in bubble wrap on the first two blocks up from the water. They dont look nearly as colonial as the rest of the district but their function outweighs their aesthetics, according to council members.
I think George Washington would like that design, joked Vice Mayor Kerry Donley.
I encountered one of the [meters] yesterday when I was walking down King Street and I thought it was a body, someone standing there, but it was this machine, said Mayor Bill Euille. So theyre big.
Shoppers will be able to use credit cards or coins no dollar bills to pay the $1.25 hourly fee once the meters become operational Saturday. Once the citys metal clunker meters are replaced entirely, the fee will go back to $1.75 an hour, according to the council.
Parking had been free on the first two blocks of King Street.