Santa Monica will begin rolling out new parking meters that will end the days of rolling up to a parking meter and feeling like you won the lottery because the previous occupant overpaid for their stay. The Santa Monica Patch reports, the city will begin installing new smart meters later this month to replace all of the city's more than 6,000 parking meters. The new meters will include ground sensors that "communicate wirelessly with the meters to shut off when a car has parked beyond the posted time limit and to reset when a car leaves the space." The tech savvy among us will like the fact that they can handle the whole operation from their phones--paying by phone and even receiving a text when their time is set to expire. But the new meters aren't all Jetsons-style perks. As pointed out by LA Observed, all that new technology will also help the city generate an additional $1.7 million in revenue through parking enforcement in the first year.
LAO quotes a SaMo press release: "The meters, with sensors, also require all customers to pay for all of the time they park at the space by resetting the meter when a vehicle vacates the spot, encouraging the parking space to turn over. This is similar to long-standing operations of the City's off-street parking facilities. The parking meters with sensors also ensure compliance with existing time limit restrictions by preventing the same vehicle from parking beyond the posted time limit. The meters equipped with sensors will alert the customer by displaying a message, 'max time exceeded,' and preventing further payment. Currently 'feeding' the meter beyond the posted time limit is prohibited and subject to a $64 citation." That means that if a benevolent previous occupant overpays for a spot, the benefit will not be passed on to the next occupant of the site. Also, the meter will ticket you if you stay too long in the parking spot--even though staying beyond posted time limits is already technically illegal. (Which raises the question, if revenue generation were truly the city's objective, wouldn't the meter allow you to pay beyond the limit and still issue a ticket? Just saying.) All in all, the new meters mean more revenue for the city from faster turnover and potential double payment. Image via Santa Monica Patch
· New Parking Meters Will Keep Cars Moving [Santa Monica Patch]
· Santa Monica parking meters will really nickel and dime you now [LA Observed]