Sunday, August 28, 2005

Parking Fascists

As injustices go, this may be strictly nickel and dime, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. As cities look for ways to reap more income from paid parking, some towns have installed parking meters that, accompanied by sensors in the parking spot, reset the meter to zero when the car leaves. One of the sweet pleasure of urban living is finding a metered parking spot with time left on the meter. Even if it's only five or ten minutes, sometimes that's all you need to dart into the Post Office or return that library book. With these new fangled meters, that will be a thing of the past. In Santa Rosa, where I live and used to work, there are "elves" who wander the streets and parking lots during Christmas season, dropping quartets into the meters. Will they continue to do this if five minutes after they pay somebody's meter the driver returns to his car and leaves, resetting the meter to zero?

And so the bonds of community continue to slip.
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