The good news is that the problem-prone meters in two of Echo Park’s largest public parking lots are being replaced with more reliable automated pay stations. The bad news is that the motorists who have been enjoying free parking as the meters are replaced will soon have to start paying up again. The $130,000 project includes new Park and Pay Stations and the resurfacing of Lot #662 and Lot #663, which together contain more than 100 spaces south of Sunset Boulevard. An automated pay station – which accepts coins, credit cards and payment via mobile phone – goes into operation tomorrow, Friday, May 6, in Lot #663, which is located between Logan Street and Echo Park Avenue, according to Vahan Pezeshkian, an engineer with the city’s Department of Transportation. One week later on Friday, May 13, motorists will have to begin using a Pay Station in Lot #662 (pictured above) between Logan and Lemoyne streets. The new system means that motorists won’t be able to pay at their parking space but it will cut down on the city’s maintenance costs, said a department spokesman.
The arrival of the new parking lot pay stations (one has been operating in a lot off Echo Park Avenue) follows years of complaints by merchants and their patrons of broken and vandalized meters. In November 2009, following a parking rate hike, many of the meters filled up so quickly with coins that they were left unusable.
The pay stations will be new but the old parking rates will remain: 25 cents per 30 minutes and $2.50 all day.