Holiday shoppers can look forward to a free parking pass for the next couple of weeks. The city of Durango is turning off all downtown meters through Dec. 29 to replace them with the new high-technology meters that have been planned since July.
In order to replace the 1,000-plus meters, the meter system will have to be shut down, leaving parking spots free for holiday patrons.
Durango Business Development Manager Bob Kunkel said the timing was planned by the city to help promote downtown shopping during the holiday season. As the arrival date for the meters became later, Kunkel said, the city began planning to turn it to an advantage for consumers.
Though metered spaces will be free for those 16 days, regular parking regulations still will be enforced in red and yellow zones, handicap-designated spaces and city parking lots.
The new meters will accept payment through smart cards in addition to the regular payment of coins. Meters within half a block of Main Avenue also will accept payment by credit cards, a total of about 335 meters according to Amber Blake, Durango multimodal administrator.
Overall, about 1,200 meters will be switched throughout town.