HOUSTON You ll now have to pay to play on Washington Avenue.

New parking meters went into effect for the first time at 7 a.m. on Wednesday

Starting now, seven days a week you ll have to pay to park from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. There is some relief for those who live or work in the area, however, as parking permits are available.

The City of Houston says most of the money will go directly into a fund for street maintenance and landscaping.

This is a huge step in the right direction for the City of Houston, said Don Pagel, Deputy Director for the City of Houston s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department. With hundreds of people moving into Houston each day, parking will continue to get worse and worse over time. We are glad to be one of the first, and certainly the largest, cities to adopt such an innovative strategy to reduce parking congestion and generate new revenues for the community.

Drivers can pay for parking using their credit card or phone. They can also feed the meter using the Parkmobile App:

This Parking Benefit District is a trial run, said Pagel. We will constantly look at what works and what doesn t and then decide whether or not this type of project is something that should be implemented all over Houston s community.

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