Update July 27: As you might expect, folks in Beaufort are still quite unhappy about the meters. And this letter to the editor offers much evidence to the problems; read it here.
Update July 2: As perhaps expected, the public doesn't seem to be too happy about the new devices.
A recent thread on Facebook about the new meters has garnered 78 mostly critical remarks about the look, style, and function of the devices.
Emmie Hamm Dilsaver left this lengthy remark:
I work on Bay Street - had a vendor FROM BEAUFORT that had no idea - thought Bay St went to free parking. Same with a lady FROM BEAUFORT yesterday.
She walked right by the kiosk and didn't even realize what it was, I actually walked her over to it. 1 out of the 6 cars parked out front is from SC. Can you imagine?!?! Everyone thinks it's free - until they get their first $10 ticket! Where are my realtors (who come and go contantly) supossed to park?!?!? My co-worker actually bought herself a timer so she won't get a ticket....At a buck an hour, it is not encouraging people to come downtown - to work, shop, eat, play - can't wait for the problems that arise during waterfestival!!!!!
And there is no signage. I guess tourists need to have ESP to figure those things out. I have never seen a kiosk like that before. If I was from out of town, I would think, "How nice! Free parking!" and then be PISSED when I got a $10 ticket or two!!!!
It's also worth noting that new meters signal a hike in the hourly parking rate from 50 cents to a dollar, and the ticket fee from $3 to $10.
The Beaufort Gazette wrote a nice piece about the new meters and some of the frustration by new users at the meters; read that here.
But only time will tell if these are bust or bang for Beaufort.
Also worth noting is that Savannah uses a similar system in parts of town, and Charleston has just upgraded theirs and has stuck with just the traditional meters.
First reporting: Large solar powered robots are being installed throughout downtown Beaufort.
No, actually they're new solar powered parking meters. The Beaufort Gazette is reporting that the 500-pound, money collectors were being installed Wednesday. Accompanying them are huge numbers being painted on the street so motorists know what spot they have to pay for.