Meters parked in Troy

troy pay and display parking meterTroy's new parking meters arrived this week. Kim M snapped this photo of the new boxes (click on the photo for a bigger version).

The meters are "pay and display" -- so, you park, walk over to the box, pay for time and then display the receipt on the dash of your car. It's 25 cents for 15 minutes.

Five locations are slated to get the meters:

  • 8th Street between Sage and College Avenues (near EMPAC - map)
  • the Hedley District along River Street (map)
  • the areas around the Uncle Sam (map) and Fifth Avenue (map) garages
  • the Fifth Avenue lot

The city has said the meters will cover about 400 spots. Last year the city comptroller estimated the meters could bring in about $500k in revenue per year.

[via a comment by bemused, who's not a fan]


I'm a bit confused by the 8th Street/EMPAC meters. The only people I ever see parking there during the day are EMPAC employees (every student I know shoots for the free College Avenue hill parking) and with a four-hour time limit, nobody's going to park there for work. If anything, they'll be forced to suck it up and pay RPI for parking garage access. Troy doesn't enforce the meters around RPI after 5pm on weekdays or on weekends, either, so it won't really bring in revenue from people attending shows.

I only drove down 8th Street once during the workday this week, and it was like a ghost town. I'm pretty sure the only thing Troy managed to accomplish with those meters was clearing out the streets and placing an additional financial burden on EMPAC employees that gets passed along to RPI. I wouldn't be surprised if the machines for that stretch of road never break even.

Parking meters in Troy? Like bemused noted in his referenced comment, Troy has businesses that are floundering. They need help! Not this.

I wish I understood better where these meters will go. Particularly interested in the River St. (Hedley District) run...will this include the block with all the places we like (Photo Center, Ryan's Wake, Jose Malones, Mikos, Deli-iscious, Browns, Revolution Hall, River St. Cafe)? I spend a lot of time on that strip and if I must pay for parking every time, it will discourage me a lot.

Did the city conduct a financial impact analysis at all before deciding to do this?

There's one right outside my office window on Broadway.

Guess I'll need to figure out where to park to avoid the downtown employee tax. I could probably use the exercise though...

@BobF - I haven't seen any near Brown's yet, let's hope it stays that way.

I think the ones on River St, north of the bridge, will never make any money. Unless their purpose is to act as parked car repellent, they're pointless. City Hall should really start consulting me on such matters.

I just took a drive downtown from my office up in North Central, the meters in the Hedley district end by the public lot just north of River St. Cafe. Funny, but every single spot was empty...I mean EVERY one! Then from TSC to the Green Island bridge where there are no meters, the street was lined with cars. Noticed similar in downtown with most spots that are now pay empty and non-pay are filled.

The more I think about the projections for $500K in income per year, I wonder how realistic that is. Just a quick estimate suggests that for 400 spots (I think that is the number) @$4/hour, enforced for, say, 10 hours per weekday (not enforced for nights or weekends) would generate about $1 million IF every spot was used the entire time. Let's be reasonable, that's not about to happen. If only used, say, half of the time we are now talking about gross revenues of less than $500K. Perhaps where that number came from.

But what about costs? Who is enforcing these spots. I have to think they will need at least two full time employees to do this (or is the entire program contracted to the company the got the machines from? Which could probably cost more?). Also, the machines will require regular maintenance and service when broken. So without much thinking it seems to me that if the City clears a couple of hundred thousand per year they'll be lucky.

And that says nothing of possible loss of business. Personally, I will avoid the pay spots if I can. And probably take my chances for a quick stop some places. (For the record, I was out for lunch and chose to drive to Green Island rather than pay for parking in Troy)

Does the city have any plans to charge for parking in public garages?

I could see putting these in places where parking was already metered, I really like the convenience of the machines themselves vs. the old coin machines. They'd be a fantastic upgrade to the downtown Albany area (after parking with these in Troy, and felt I was back in the Flintstone era visiting the Capitol).

BUT, it basically made 8th St. in Troy a vehicular ghost town the before RPI let out for the summer rather than bringing in a lot of revenue, and I don't see the $500,000 coming. I see other free streets becoming increasingly crowded, and that was a problem already. I'm sure the spurts of income during things like the River St. Festival helps, but That's not 1/2 mil!

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