As in, take them away.
By Chris Petrowski
As in, take them away.
If you’ve been hearing more profanity than usual coming from the normally genteel streets of downtown Rye lately, chances are that someone is trying to figure out one of the Digital parking meters in downtown municipal lots. Trying to get these particular Digital machines to do what you want is a lot like getting that cable remote to work at home.
The machines represent technology at or near its worst and everybody I spoke to in Rye and Port Chester dislikes the things for their many flaws. The screen cannot be seen if the sun is shining on it: something that’s been known to happen, since we are in a heliocentric solar system. You have to remember your space number or else treat a stranger to free parking. You have to enter data and press the “OK” button.
Then, there are those receipts, which seem to have no purpose. More often than not, the receipts go directly into a garbage bin. But, don’t blame the Parking Enforcement Officers (PEOs), they have to struggle with these machines more than anyone else.
The meters often reject perfectly good American coins and currency and, of course, there is NO phone number posted in case you have a problem, which you definitely will at some point.
Once, I tried to use a Digital meter in Rye and it accepted three quarters but not the fourth. Since I thought that the posted price of $1 per hour was a minimum (it isn’t), I went back to my car to get another coin. When I came back, the machine stole my seventy-five cents and the coin return did not respond.
Parking meters were invented to be liked by city administrators who like to have the extra revenue. Nobody who parks is expected to like them; however, there is no reason to have machines that annoy people. That is not good for residents, visitors who support local shops and restaurants, or the merchants. Many residents remark that they are a nuisance to use, particularly for senior citizens who are unaccustomed to touch screens.
Rye would be better served by newer, better machines, perhaps ones that accept debit cards or refillable resident parking cards, as in Greenwich. The City sets a high standard for many things: schools, sports teams, and its beautiful streets and homes. Maybe it’s time for the City’s parking meters to get up to the same standard.