Check out the new parking meters going in along Washington Avenue and some surrounding neighborhoods in the North Loop.
They'll take credit and debit cards. They're solar powered, too. And WiFi enabled.[jump]
Within a few years, most of the 6,800 metered parking spaces downtown will be handled by these new contraptions.
Each meter will cover one side of one city block. That means you'll park, note your number on the street, go to the meter, swipe your card, and pay for your space.
One feature that sounds excellent: You can use any meter, anywhere, to pay for additional time on your parking space.
So unlike that insane bike lane on 1st Avenue, this may actually be an improvement for all concerned.
The new meters are in the process of being installed. The parking gods plan to bring them online by the end of the month, test them throughout the winter and spring, and then move forward with its city-wide plan.
It all sounds pretty nifty, but aren't we going to miss the old school meters, digging for quarters, and trying to outflank the parking cops? That'll be impossible now.