Roanoke launches downtown parking meter pilot

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Roanoke's parking meter pilot program kicked off Monday with few hiccups.

City workers were posted near the meters, helping drivers learn how to use the new equipment.

"We're thrilled with these new parking meters," Elizabeth Bailes said of her decision to come try the new system. "The lesson was pretty easy. We wanted to be ahead of the curve."

Though the first hour's parking is supposed to be free, the Whoosh! app was trying to charge customers and had to be corrected.

There was a visible difference during the lunch hour. Usually packed with cars, the spaces surrounding City Market Building were only half-filled.

"The best part is the first hour is free so if I'm just coming in to grab something, I can grab it and go," driver Josh Yager said. "I think it'll probably stimulate the business here as well."

The pilot runs ninety days. Fewer than 5% of all parking spots downtown are impacted by the change.