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San Mateo to Unveil Decorated Parking Meters Downtown

The Meter Garden was designed by local artists as a new direct revenue stream from the community to public art.

Decorated parking meters in San Mateo. Credit: Downtown San Mateo Association
Decorated parking meters in San Mateo. Credit: Downtown San Mateo Association

San Mateo officials on Thursday will unveil the city's latest effort to enhance the downtown area -- a collection of decorated parking meters.

The public art installation is a mixed media sculpture consisting of 8 decommissioned parking meters in a sidewalk landscaping planter near the Draper University Building.

Each functional, coin-operated meter is painted or adorned by a different local artist, and one by local Police Activities League kids. Signage explains that all money collected will support future downtown art by local artists.

The Meter Garden will be unveiled at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at 60 Third Ave. complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Mayor David Lim, Police Activities League kids, local artists and downtown merchants. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

“I am thrilled by the efforts of the Downtown San Mateo Association to bring more community-based public art to Downtown San Mateo," Lim said.

"Beyond it’s aesthetic value, art has the ability to inspire the soul, and this project is a perfect way to inspire the creativity of not only local artists, but our entire community,” he said.

Lim also announced a $100 donation from his personal funds in support of this endeavor and is urging residents to donate as well. “Public art deserves our support,” said Lim.

Downtown businesses and property owners interested in providing space for public art should contact the Downtown San Mateo Association.

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