A reader points out to us, while the city has tightened parking regulations, expanded meter collection times, and increased parking rates, the parking meter itself is becoming somewhat of an endangered species in the city.
The above photo shows what I guess we could call the Ship Street Extension, where Eddy loops around under where the highway used to be. There are 9 or ten parking spaces here, but only three meters remaining. Vandals, errant 195 removal equipment, who knows. There’s also 15 or so parking spaces on Dean Street where it was rebuilt between Atwells and Spruce Street where there are meter posts, but no meters on top of them. I’m sure there are examples of this throughout town.
I don’t know how long it takes a new meter to pay for itself, or even how much a meter might cost, but if we didn’t have this dearth of functional meters where parking is supposed to be paid, then perhaps the additional collections realized from that would allow us to not have to have paid parking on Saturdays, or at the very least, it could go further towards closing our budget gap.
That, and making sure the meters work, with parking cards as well as quarters. I finally got mine to work with the parking card yesterday in front of the John Hay Library by shaking it several times…
None of the parking pay stations on Empire between Westminster and Washington were functional as of yesterday afternoon. My friend got a ticket, not knowing that she was expected to walk 2 blocks just to find a functional machine. Bonus for the city: instead of getting $1 from a functional machine, they get $20 (or whatever the amount of the ticket was). The scowling meter maid was a special fun bonus!
Maybe we should have the Geeks take a look at the Empire Street multi-meters tonight.
Parking enforcement equipment should have been given priority before enforcement itself. Why bother having meter maids if there are no meters?
Maybe that’s the plan….
It’s more fiendish than that…
… we have a strict (but — on non-business matters — quite pleasant) mistress of meters along Chestnut St. between Basset and Clifford Sts. where several meters are “missing.”
She punches plate numbers into her computer and, circling back on her rounds, tickets any car that’s parked at an expired meter or for more than two hours in a meter-less spot. Caveat stationem facere.