Coronado’s new ‘smart’ parking meters accept cards

CORONADO, Calif. — Downtown Coronado is getting a street side update with electronic solar-powered parking meters replacing old, quarter-only meters.

For years, the city has been dealing with faulty meters that were either in need of repair or out of service.

“With these new meters, we shouldn’t have any issues with them not accepting coins, not operating properly,” Coronado Police Lt. Kevin Shank said.

Shank says once the “smart” meters are installed, users won’t have to worry their last bit of change will get swallowed up.

“If somebody says, ‘I put a quarter in the meter,’ we can actually verify that they put in a quarter in the meter and it lets us know the amount of coins they put in, if they try to use a credit card, those types of things,” Shank said.

The new meters have sensors that reset the time when someone leaves, prevent meter feeding and accept credit cards.

“The nice thing about these meters is we’ve been relying on the public — with the old meters — to let us know the meters are not functioning properly. These meters will actually send us a message telling us it’s not working,” Shank said.

The last of the meters will be installed by late Thursday. Hourly rates will remain the same at 25 cents an hour. There will be a 35 cent charge for credit card payments.

“Once the meters are in place, everybody will notice a significant difference in the reliability of the meters and the convenience of being able to put your money in and park and take care of business,” Shank said.

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