Friday, September 14, 2012

New Multimeters on the 100 Block of S. Gay Street

I hope all is well with everyone and we thank you for your continued support and interest in the 100 Block of S. Gay Street. It has been a long while since I have posted anything on this blog since others have taken up the mantle here. The 100 Block Association has done a good job of disseminating information both on Facebook and Twitter and also using other forms of communication. I thought it might be good, however, to post this information concerning one item left over from the 100 Block construction and that is the installation of the new Multimeters. (See picture below)
Ideally, these would have been installed immediately at the end of construction since they were to be purchased to replace the much older meters there that had been experiencing maintenance issues for a while. These two meters are now replacing as many as 27 of the 15-year-old meters. Since we were delayed in the purchase for a variety of reasons, the technology has improved but so did the cost. When we made that decision (2008), the cost of new single meters including installation, etc.was around $1000 each so it was very cost effective to go with this newer technology. While this is new to Knoxville, many of our sister cities have been using this technology for years. It reduces street clutter and gives more options as far as pricing, payment, and messaging, and cuts down on maintenance costs. There has been some confusion, I think, about the hours of operation and pricing. We plan to charge $1 an hour with a two hour maximum. This decision was a result of much discussion in the last few years with business and property owners, including the 100 Block Association, expressing concern with parking availability for customers on the block. The thought was that the most convenient short term parking should have a higher rate and a time limit and we have operated on that premise in our decision making. We continue to hear that same thought from others downtown as well but we have made the 100 Block our ideal street area for these types of innovations. We have been asked about nights and weekends and that policy has been mainly in effect for the garages with certain metered spaces being subject to enforcement. For instance, at the request of the 100 Block Association we have designated two meters on the Gay Street Viaduct as 15 minute only with no free designation. The signage on the multimeters will let motorists know when they must pay to use the meters and we will continue to monitor their enforcement especially all along Gay Street. These parking spaces are not available for the Residential Parking permit process and were not previously signed for that purpose prior to construction. Other spaces on both the Gay Street Viaduct and in the O.P. Jenkins area parking lot are signed for that use. I would encourage downtown residents to check out that program for reduced parking rates. Also the City has the Jackson Avenue Parking Lot very close to the 100 Block which is also $1 an hour and $40 for a monthly pass. Incidentally the multimeter there is almost identical to the new ones we just installed. We are currently working on flyers to use on the 100 Block to let folks know of the change in parking. Enforcement will begin on October 1, 2012. Thanks for your interest in Downtown Knoxville


  1. Thank you for posting, Rick. This should help clear up some confusion. Many on the block simply were not around when the previous meters were removed.

  2. These parking meters are so exciting! I love how organized they all look. Last week, my husband and I were visiting my sister, and her little city had the exact same parking meters. She was telling me that they are more efficient at keeping time while you're parked, and that they also take credit cards! The ones that only accept coins are so frustrating, because I never carry cash with me anymore, I always just have my cards in my wallet. The updated parking meters are much appreciated to those of us that don't think to go to the bank before we go on an outing somewhere. ;)

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