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New solar-powered parking kiosks slowly being installed in downtown

3 months 1 week 6 days ago Thursday, October 20 2022 Oct 20, 2022 October 20, 2022 9:40 AM October 20, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Soon, those old, worn-out parking meters in downtown Baton Rouge will be no more. The new solar-powered parking meters are slowly popping up around downtown Baton Rouge. You may have seen a few on each block already.

In August, WBRZ was told that they were to be installed in early September, which didn't happen; slowly but surely, however, 100 of the new kiosks are being installed in the city streets.

The Downtown Development District held an open house in August on the technology and locations to map out where the new meters will go. The hope is they'll encourage parking turnover, so cars won't sit in a spot all day.

"Downtowns need turnover parking so that people can access goods and services and support those businesses," says Downtown Development District member Whitney Hoffman Sayal.

"It's going to be super beneficial for the existing businesses downtown and it's going to be super convenient for the people who are looking to find parking spaces when they come downtown."

This project had been part of a years-long effort to update the old coin-operated meters downtown. Now payment may be a bit easier for some. While the new meters will not accept cash, they will still take coins, and there will be a card reader for easy payments.

Drivers can also pay using the Flowbird app, which will allow users to reserve parking, find a parking spot, or alert them when their time is expiring. It will all be tracked by your license plate.

"You will need to enter your license plate number through the app or through the machine and it will know you have paid based on that license plate number," said Hoffman Sayal.

This project has been in the works for years now, and unfortunately we'll have to wait a little longer until we can actually use them. According to the City Parish, the kiosks won't be fully operational until sometime in mid-November.

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