Pay and display in Albany

albany parking pay and display meter

In a different context, "pay and display" could mean something completely different.

Albany has new parking meters downtown. Or, at least, it will have new parking meters. Right now, it hast just one, on State Street near Pearl -- and that's it above.

Unlike the old meters, the "pay and display" meter covers multiple spots. You pay for the time you want to park, print out a ticket, and then place it on your dashboard on the passenger side so parking enforcement can see it.

A few other bits about these new meters...

+ The old meters were limited to two-hour parking. The new system allows up to 10 hours. It's $1.25/per hour for the first two hours, and then hourly rate increases 25 cents each hour after that. (So, $21.50 for 10 hours.)

+ They take credit and debit cards. (Thankfully, because we never have coins. And this will work until we can pay with our phones -- or the chips that will surely be implanted in our heads.)

+ The meters allow paying ahead. So, if you're parking at 7 am (not metered), you can pay for the time when the meter starts running at 8 am.

+ They're solar powered.

There have been pay-and-display meters in Troy for a little more than a year. The new Albany meter looks pretty much like the same machine. It's not hard to use.

More meters will be added as State Street is renovated.

Info via parking authority press release.

albany parking meter display 2

albany parking meter display 3

albany parking meter display 4


Well, I for one welcome our new solar powered overlords. Also, I'm glad we're getting out of the 18th century for parking payment technology. :)

As a frequent (though not daily) downtown parker, I'm very troubled to see that the new pay-and-display meter doesn't seem to support the existing CashKey system ( In addition to saving me from having to carry coins around, it makes it very easy to expense my parking - is the APA really going to create a separate system that doesn't support CashKey?

I think they have another meter like that by Pump Station.

Exactly Andy. Welcome to 1997 Albany!

I'm a traditionalist... having high-tech looking computers everywhere takes away from the more aesthetically pleasing look of the quarter meters.

I'm glad bicycle parking is still free in downtown Albany.

They have these is Montreal and I thought they were great, granted I was also low on Canadian coinage. Only downfall is that the traffic offices will be swarmed with people who entered the wrong space number and paid for someone else. Let the explanations of how machines are only as smart as the people who use them commence!

They won't get much use -- all day parking on State St is just a dumb idea. You'll have to show up at 5AM to get a spot.

Chrissy - You don't pay for a space, you display a ticket in your window that shows how much time you've used.
Patrick - You can now use your credit card, which should make it very easy to track and expense your parking for work.
Duff - they are not just for all day parking, they replace the individual meters and are where you pay for your short term parking as well. You are implying that there are always a ton of cars parked in the area, therefore they should get a ton of use.

I've used these machines in a ton of other cities, and all I have to say is FINALLY!

My initial reaction: People in the suburbs, or zipcodes like 12205, already minimize traveling to downtown Albany to avoid the constant weekday threat of $40.+ overtime parking fines. This new parking 'tax' system will only continue the relentless momentum to discourage suburban customers away from downtown businesses, instead of welcoming them here. They only drive downtown if it's an absolute neccessity. Streamlining the process of charging you to 'rent' parking space is not my idea of an improvement.

@Tim - I disagree. In fact, I think these meters will make it more likely that suburbanites will venture downtown more. The fact that these new machines take credit cards makes it a lot easier for people to park on the street without having to worry about bringing quarters or finding a place to get change. I can't tell you how many times I've been walking downtown and someone parking at a meter asked me if I have change for a dollar. This eliminates that entirely.

@Tim: There are a couple of inequalities to address before comparing suburban and urban parking

1. Parking isn't free. The income generated by parking meters helps to make sure the city's roads are repaired, safe, drivable.

2. Suburban parking lots are in the the private domain, thus the money they put back into municipal coffers are funded from property tax. Consider buildings generate more revenue in tax than parking

3. How many city of Albany roads receive support for county and state funding sources? How many suburban roads? Take a drive and note how major thoroughfares in the burbs are county and state maintained. So, in essence, everyone in the city pays for the maintenance of the suburban roads, and suburban drivers, unless they park downtown, do not have to pay for city roads. I think the pay to park mechanism operates as an equalizer.

Finally, no matter where you park, downtown, the mall, in the driveway, you're paying for it somehow in fees, taxes, or the social and environmental cost of using scare resources inefficiently.

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