Alexandria ditching ‘pay and display’ parking meters citywide

Alexandria’s garages aren’t the only parking tool getting an overhaul.

A report for a meeting of the Traffic and Parking Board later today (Monday) said the city is working through a replacement of the city’s parking meters.

The city is ditching the “pay and display” model of parking meters — meters where drivers leave the ticket on the dashboard — and switching over to a system that keeps track of who has paid for parking by license plates.

“The City is replacing and upgrading parking meters from pay and display to by plate citywide,” the report said. “The meters that are pay and display print out a ticket that is then displayed inside the car by the user.”

The report said there are currently pay-by-plate meters in Carlyle and Potomac Yard, but that’s being expanded across the city starting with meters that were installed over 13 years ago and have reached the end of their useful life.

“There are currently pay by plate meters in Carlyle and Potomac Yard where the user puts their license plate number into the meter while paying and no ticket is needed,” the report said. “The upgrade of the meters to pay by plate involves replacing parking meters that have reached the end of their useful life and upgrading other meters to the newer pay by plate technology.”

The overhaul is also reducing the number of meters from four on each block to two — one on each side of the street where applicable. The report said the goal is to cut down on the sidewalk clutter, with most parking meters made obsolete by apps like ParkMobile.

“In recent years, there has been a large adoption of people paying for parking on their phones via ParkMobile instead of at the physical meter,” the report said. “We anticipate the use of paying via phone will continue to increase in the coming years. This supports the move to consolidated meters leading to less clutter on the sidewalks.”