El Paso

How to park free at downtown El Paso meters without getting a ticket

Parking problems

We’ve been programed to believe that if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

But ABC-7 confirmed motorists can park for free in front of meters in a part of downtown, without getting a citation.

ABC-7 discovered this little gem in a spot that's just walking distance to one of the international bridges.

That's also where ABC-7 found Carlos Marquez, who parked his truck in front of a parking meter and was getting ready to pay.

A very confused Marquez had nowhere to either insert coins or his swipe his card.

"Uh, I mean, I was just really confused. I saw the meter and it looked empty cause there’s a hole here and there’s no mechanism." said Marquez.

ABC-7 counted 38 parking meters with no mechanism inside.

Everyone of those meters are on Oregon street, walking distance to the Santa Fe bridge.

"But as I’m reading it I’m seeing that there’s an app. And a bunch of other things, a ten hour limit. And I’m just trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do here,” Marquez said.

He stood in front of the empty parking meter trying to download the app so he could pay, before becoming frustrated and getting ready to walk off without paying. That is, until ABC-7 stepped in.

"I think most of these people probably just walked off. And you know, I might come back to see a lot of bright color papers on windows," he said. 

He's referring to citations, which none of the cars parked in front of the empty meters had received. 

But to confirm, ABC-7 went to the assistant director of international bridges, Paul Stresow. He explained that all the original meters were removed during work on the 375 Border Expressway. 

Once the new ones were installed, the city decided to update all 38 meters.

However, the mechanisms have not been installed.

"We didn’t bag the meters 'cause we wanted to allow the public to park there. So, the public can park there for free until we’ve re-installed the meters.” said Stresow.

Stresow adds the mechanisms could be installed between now and August.

That free parking is music to Marquez’s ears.

“Go around the corner and the bridge is right there.” said a happy Marquez.

Stresow said if a person parks in front of those 38 meters with no mechanisms and gets a citation, they can fight it.

But remember, it has to be one of the meters with no mechanisms.

The exact location of those 38 parking meters is located on Oregon street between 7th Avenue and the Border Expressway.

Here's a link to El Paso's parking meter app: http://parkelpaso.com.

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