UPDATED 6:55 p.m. New York City removed the last single-spaced parking meter in Manhattan, 60 years after the first one was installed. The old style coin operated metal meters are being replaced with new Muni-Meters which can manage up to eight spaces at a time, accept credit cards and via a WiFi connection be easily reprogrammed remotely with new rates or schedules.
The New York Times reports that some of the meter mechanics who keep the clunky metal meters running will be reassigned or retrained. The new meters have no mechanical moving parts, are solar-powered, and can shut themselves down on Sundays.
All remaining single-space meters outside of Manhattan will be replaced by the end of 2012, according to the NYC DOT. In all, the DOT plans to install 7,400 new Muni-Meters, manufactured by the company Parkeon. Current DOT staff who work on the old parking meters, including mechanics, are being trained to maintain the new meters which which are more secure and less prone to vandalism, the DOT says.
Just as the checkered cab has come to instantly signify a pre-2000 era of New York City in films and photos, soon, the humble single-space parking meter will be a tell tale sign for Hollywood art directors to signify the aughts and earlier.