Parking Meter Efficiency

15 Jun

The days of freeloading on someone else’s leftover parking meter time (and money) are quickly coming to an end. New “smart” parking meters in Santa Monica have been designed to ensure that the time on each parking meter is reset as soon as a car pulls away from the space. And for those of us who try to exceed posted time limits by feeding the meter can forget about overstaying our welcome. Once the limit has been reached, your quarters and credit cards will not be accepted. So, you have to move your car—or get a ticket.

This move borrows elements of the more elaborate parking management systems implemented by San Francisco and (recently) Los Angeles. But it lacks the crucial element of adjusting meter rates based on demand to make spaces easier to find. As Donald Shoup notes in the New York Times article, Santa Monica’s program doesn’t necessarily increase parking space turnover, but it “makes sure they get everyone to pay.”

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