Cities, in an ever-expanding hunger for more cash, are installing smarter parking meters, and taking away that occasional free minutes of left-over time from a previous parked car.
Nate Berg, Did Parking Meters Just Get Too Smart?
Now, whenever a car leaves a spot, the meter will reset itself, even if there’s still time left on the meter. The tiny, measured-in-minutes lottery prize of the urban driver is no more.
Through the use of parking space sensors […], Santa Monica’s meters now know when a car leaves a spot and can automatically reset itself to require whoever parks there next to pay the full price of parking. It’s part of the intelligent parking system that the city has been rolling out, which includes the ability to accept coins and credit cards, send text messages when metered time is running out, and compile information to help the city better price its parking to correspond with demand.
With all this added intelligence, the inefficiencies of the old pocket change-eating meters are beginning to fade away. These smart parking spots even know when you’ve outstayed your time-sensitive welcome, disallowing you from putting more time in the meter if you’ve been there too long. Two-hour parking, all of a sudden, really does mean two-hour parking.
I am in favor of cities raising the price of parking, although it will get pushback from downtown merchants, but at the very least enforcing time limits will make finding a spot to park easier.