Friday, June 10, 2005

new parking meters, convenience or a ripoff?

March 21, 2005

New UO parking meters stand up for convenience

Parking for five hours on the University of Oregon campus: $3.75.

Not having to lug around quarters to pay for it: Priceless.
(sounds familiar)
Buying time on parts of the UO campus will be a less weighty matter come spring term, when drivers will be able to leave their stacks of quarters at home and pay with a credit card.

Sure, there are a few extra steps involved. You have to walk to the meter, buy your time and then go back to the car and put your receipt on the dashboard.

But it eliminates the two biggest complaints Stamm hears about parking: broken or jammed meters and having to carry around a couple of pounds of quarters.
I would think that one of the biggest complaints is standing in the rain and feeding meters, now you have to walk half a block, get your ticket, walk back to your car and place to take it on your windshield.

And broken meters aren't a problem, because if one doesn't work, a person only has to walk up the street to the next kiosk and plug in the plastic to get their window stub.
it is not a problem? The next meter is a block and a half down the street one way, and that is assuming that you know the area enough to know that there is another meter a block and a half away, and did we forget about the rain again.

The university is paying about $100,000 for the seven-meter system, but that includes the computer system that monitors them and all the training and installation.

These things are kind of sneaky in one way: Unlike the old meters, any time remaining on a new meter is lost when you put more money into it. That means if you still have 20 minutes on a meter and pay for another hour, you only get the hour and not an hour and 20 minutes.
wait a minute, isn't that stealing?

If that makes you unhappy, maybe you'll like one of the meter's nice features. They're green. Actually UO green and yellow, but also green in that they run on batteries charged by a solar panel.

oh yes, make me want a greater distance, cost me more money and time but that is okay because the meters are actually solar powered and the school colors. That makes everything better.

I think the only "convenience" that these meters offer is for the parking patrol people.while I will agree that caring a bunch of quarters is inconvenient, I would rather feed the meter that is "next to my car" when it is raining.

here is an idea if they are willing to spend $100,000 on parking meters, continue with the idea of having a central meter and still have "parking meter heads" at the individual parking locations with each location having its own ID number.

The central meter will keep track of the time at each location, and I do not have to return to the car to add more time or to place a ticket on my windshield. Everything can be done at the central meter.


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