Coin-free street parking app comes to downtown Wilmington at last - Technical.ly Delaware

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Oct. 26, 2017 12:25 pm

Coin-free street parking app comes to downtown Wilmington at last

It's finally here. A way to pay for street parking downtown without scrounging for change.

A still from the Parkmobile promo video.

(Screenshot)

I’m one of those people who, if I need to drive downtown, will park on the first meterless street in West CC and walk a couple extra blocks to avoid the meters. It’s not that I’m not willing to pay for a parking meter, it’s that I’m personally offended by parking meters in the 21st century that require coins. No. I’ll walk the extra quarter-mile.

There was a time when Wilmington’s meters were better than, say, Philly’s quarters-only meters, because they took nickels and dimes, too. When you’re searching under the car mat for meter money, you’re a lot more likely to find nickels and dimes than quarters, so that was appreciated.

But that was a long time ago. Now, if a parking meter doesn’t have a pay-by-card option, what is it even doing there?

Which is why the news of the launch of Wilmington’s partnership with Parkmobile, an app that 1,000 of the city’s downtown parking meters will now use for payments, is more than welcome. And since it’s an app, not just a card reader on the meter, it will alert you when your time is running out and allow you to add more time from the office, or the restaurant, or wherever you’re at.

Download the app on iPhone, Android or Windows before you go downtown so your account will be set up when you get there (you’ll need to register your car(s) by plate number and connect a payment account, such as Paypal, Chase Pay, or Visa Checkout). When you see a meter with the green Parkmobile sticker, enter the zone number on the sticker to start the parking session, and opt-in for a notification when it’s about to expire.

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It works somewhat like the digital residential parking stickers Wilmington adopted last year. Your invisible residential “sticker” tells the city you’re permitted to park in your neighborhood zone with no two-hour limit; Parkmobile similarly tells “meter readers” that you’re permitted in that parking zone for the time you’ve paid for.

Parking meters will be completely obsolete before long. Not soon enough, if you ask me.

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