Port of San Diego considers more smart parking meters

SAN DIEGO - Get ready to pay more to park along San Diego's waterfront if a new pilot program discussed Thursday night is approved in August.
          
Parking in metered spots along North Embarcadero has always been tough, even more so now with the new county Waterfront Park.
          
On Thursday night the Port Authority discussed with the public plans to expand a pilot parking program they implemented in May at Tuna Harbor, which upped rates to $1.75 an hour and shifted enforcement times to 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to increase parking meter turnover and public utilization.

If the pilot expansion is approved in August, the changes would take effect mid-September for 107 parking spots around Ruocco Park near Seaport Village, and 177 parking spots along Harbor Drive.

“My fear is these problems are going to cause guests to go elsewhere, where parking is more prevalent and a little bit easier to deal with,” said Kelly Johnson with Hornblower Cruises.

With the pilot expansion would also come smart meters for a trial period of six to 12 months, alleviating the need for loose change. During the pilot program, the smart meter company would be responsible for all credit cards fees.

The port is in the process determining how much it would cost to make the program permanent.

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