$4 Million for Smart Parking Meters, Only to Remove Them

Updated: May 22, 2018

Only three years after spending millions of dollars to install “smart” parking meters, the city of Sacramento plans to remove 175 of them on four street blocks in the Midtown area.

In 2014, the city spent approximately $4 million to install 4,000 meters equipped with sensors that identify when a car arrives and leaves a parking space. Once the sensors detect that a car leaves a parking space, any additional time left on the meter is cleared, so the next parker can’t take advantage of the leftover time.

Under a proposed new street plan calling for “road diets,” the city will remove one of the three lanes closest to the current meters, and will create a parking buffer zone for cyclists.

The new parking spaces will be 8 feet away, too far for the smart sensors to detect car motion.

City officials will replace the 175 smart meters with more traditional parking payment machines, at an estimated cost of approximately $90,000 for approximately 30 blocks.

The “smart meters” also were in the news last year, when troubles with the meters and the city’s parking app for cell phones resulted in the issuance of an estimated 3,900 improper parking tickets. (Source: The Sacramento Bee, March 26.)

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