WESTFIELD, NJ — Downtown Westfield’s single-space on-street meters will soon be replaced by more convenient solar-powered double-head meters, Town Administrator Jim Gildea told the town council at its conference meeting last week.

The move is one of many resulting from recommendations by the Mayor’s Downtown Task Force.

“It’ll be a single-head meter that will actually serve two spaces, so we’ll be able to actually get rid of roughly half the poles downtown so we have more sidewalk space,” Gildea said.

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The new meters will also take several forms of payment.

“One thing that we heard loud and clear in the task force meetings we had — the merchants said to us …. improve the payment options on the street, because everyone comes into our store and asks for quarters all the time,” Gildea said. “So meters will continue to accept quarters and dimes and nickels, but they’ll also have all the payment methods that we have on the pay stations, except for dollar bills. So pay by app, smart card, tokens, quarters, dimes and nickels and credit cards and debit cards.”

The town has ordered 160 new meters — 120 with double heads that serve two spaces each and 40 with single heads, for spots on streets with an odd number of spaces. The meters could be delivered within eight weeks and installed this summer, Gildea told the council.

“During the task force meetings, we actually talked about doing pay stations on the street,” Gildea noted, “and we heard loud and clear, as well, that while pay stations work well with lots, that having spaces on the street people like walking out of their car right to the space they’re actually paying for, rather than having to walk down the block or get in line to pay something.”

Last week, the town council also increased the hours and amount of free shopper parking downtown and added an overnight lot for downtown residents. To read about those changes, click here.