Friday, June 17, 2011

It is inevitable. (Update, over a year later.)

Last Fall they removed all of the parking meters in my neighborhood and replaced them with these new Muni Meters.  They said they would make parking easier.

I was unable to figure out how they would make parking easier.  I asked a local upity-up in the government food chain.  He told me they were programmable and could can and do charge more during peak parking need time.  But that was not true.  We already had that, 7th Ave in Park Slope had the Park Smart Program.  Meeter rates went from 75¢ to $1.50 an hour from Noon to 4pm.  Big deal, it costs like $20 to park in a garage.   If the city wants to open up more hourly parking in Park Slope they simply have to stop the owners and employees of the businesses along 7th Ave from "feeding the meeter".  Neither of these payments systems address that..

But there are problems.  First of all they make a mess.  I really don't think they are all just blowing out the door as the driver returns.  This is a result of so many drivers who just flick it into the street when they return to their private property that they are storing on public property.

You also can't lock you bike to a MUNI METER, at least the City left the old parking meeter stumps

But it is worse, much worse than litter and a lack of places to lock up your bike.  There is gonna be shit like this.

And then there is the story of my friend Ira.  He got a ticket while he was putting money in the Muni-Meter.  He had to walk about 25 feet to the machine and when he returned he was getting a ticket.  I know the guy personally, he ain't making this shit up.  See his story in the Brooklynian and The Daily News.  He now tells me he puts a sign in his dashboard that say "AT THE MUNI METER".  I really think you should waive yellow flags that say "Don't ticket me that's my red car, I am getting my MUNI siip now"  Maybe also get a PA system and blast that same announcement at 100 dB.  

Ira, I do hope you got out of that ticket and I am sorry you had all that aggravation but that was inevitable.

This left me wondering,  Why?  Why where the installed.  They don't improve parking, they make a mess and they cause more grief.  I really don't think it was someone making money by installing them.  There could not be any corruption related to parking meters.  (I am old enought to remember Donald Manes.)

So I asked two nice Traffic Enforcement Agents how the Muni Meters are different.  Do they impact their jobs?  Do they make it easier or harder for them to give out tickets?

At first they just stared at me, they were in shock because I was not threatening to kill them.  When they got over that they told me they make a gigantic difference, because they work.  Yes, they said that many drivers to not have to put a quarter in the meter because it is broken.  They said that Muni Meters do not break and if  one does the driver still can pay on the other side of the street.  By that same logic a lot of people "beat" their ticket by smashing the crap out of the parking meter after thy got a ticket.  They can then say it was fast.

I am waiting for a system to improve hourly parking on 7th Ave.  This one only improves revenue collection.

However they can be a source of  loose change.......................................................................

Over a year later and they are taking out the poles and putting in bike racks.

Thanks for the photo Here's Park Slope


  1. We got those. Crooks stick a stick or some gum in the change slot, and your $2.00 (cnd) coin gets stuck. So you pay by CC and then they come and dig out the coin.

  2. They put these in St. John NB too!

  3. Love the traffic agent video! You are a true nut!


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