Friday, August 12, 2005

Electronic Parking Meters

Willamette week online online

When solar-powered parking pay stations popped up on Portland sidewalks three summers ago, residents examined them with a wary curiosity befitting alien artifacts.
A handful of Portlanders wrote annoyed letters to The Oregonian, but most seemed to accept the machines' benevolence. Now, jump forward to 2005 and New Orleans, where similar circumstances have generated a scene worthy of War of the Worlds.
The lawsuit goes beyond an ugliness argument to contend the new, electronic meters are illegal because city code requires parking meters to be "mechanical" (Portland code has no such stipulation).
Smith and company want refunds on all parking tickets from the new setup. And one plaintiff is demanding that the city pay him $250,000 because a meter blocks his driveway.
Neighborhood groups are crusading against the meters and the lawsuit has created a quagmire. "It's a big 'ol mess," drawls Kenneth Waguespack, an a
It was a different story in Portland, where there were no quarter-million-dollar lawsuits, no concerted opposition and no incensed citizens' groups (other than one creative vandal commenting on the stations' phallic character by altering a handful of them to look like giant, erect penises). Attorney for the plaintiff.

Here the Eugene Springfield area it is a little different. These electronic "nuisances" first showed up at the University of Oregon and has already caused some controversy.

One major comparison is that they rip people off. For example,
With the old meter, you could add more time to your parking by simply adding some more money to the meter. E.g. if you have 30 minutes left in the meter, and you buy another hour, you have 1 hour 30 minutes left

With the new system, when you buy more time, you lose time. E.g. if you have 30 minutes left on the meter and you buy another hour, you only have a total of one hour left.

In addition, these meters have been known to fail. The city's response to that, "just go down the street to another meter" that would be fine, but this is Oregon, it rains a lot here and unless you know the area to know where "exactly" another meter is...

Personally, I still like the old meters.


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