Pay station

A parking paystation is located on the east side of First Avenue between Second and Third streets. Post Bulletin file

Dear Answer Man: I would guess you have already answered this. but if you do not have a smartphone, how do you park downtown with only those ParkMobile meters? — Brian

Brian: That’s not a question I’ve seen, since several options remain for parking downtown.

The ParkMobile app, which has been in place for more than a year, is an option available at more than 1,300 parking meters in Rochester, but all spaces still provide the option for paying with loose change.

While the cash option is simple at the multiple traditional parking meters that remain in place throughout downtown, it takes a bit more effort to pay where meters have been replaced by payment stations, which are located within a block of meters. Spaces are marked with signs indicating the option to pay by phone app or a nearby payment station. 

The payment stations first emerged on First Avenue Southwest, south of Fourth Street, and their use has expanded, stretching south and west.

They actually provide more options than the traditional coin-operated models, which also work with the ParkMobile app. The new payment system accepts coins, credit cards and the phone app. In other words, the new parking-payment system offers an extra option than the coins or phone app that is available at the traditional meters.

The trick can be spotting a payment station’s location on your first visit, since they can be hidden by a large truck or blend into the busy downtown landscape.

After the station is found, decoding the instructions can be a struggle for newbies, which is why Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria at the corner for First Avenue Southwest and Fifth Street was offering quarters for parking earlier this year.

However, it appears more and more downtown parkers are learning how to deal with the parking meters.

Nick Lemmer, marketing and outreach coordinator for the city's parking and transit operations, said ParkMobile sees more than 800 daily transactions in Rochester on average.

The Answer Man never parks. He just keeps rolling. Send questions to answerman@postbulletin.com

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