Santa Monica parking meters get sensors


On Arizona Avenue, crews drilled down 2.5 inches in the asphalt to place a sensor that can tell when a car pulls away. It's the first of more than 5,900 holes next to the new parking meters.

"It just sounds a little greedy to me. They're spending a lot of money to do it probably," said Teri Rawson of West Los Angeles.

The new meters will also prevent drivers from feeding the meter and hogging a spot. If you've paid for the maximum limit for the posted time, the meter won't let you pay for more time.

Santa Monica city officials say the technology will allow you to look up available spots online and free up more parking.

"We actually want to make people more happy to find a parking space," said Sam Morrissey, Santa Monica city traffic engineer. "Putting these sensors in will cause people to actually know where the parking spaces are, and to actually be able to find parking a little bit easier in Santa Monica."

It will take four or five months to install the sensors. The city expects to make $1.7 million more per year with the new meters, thanks to the credit-card feature.

According to Santa Monica assistant finance director Don Patterson, the average credit-card transaction is $1, while the average coin transaction is 50 cents.

An expired meter ticket in Santa Monica will cost $53.

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