A parking meter you can hate
By: Drivers.com staff
(Please note: it's not april 1st)
If the parking meter is out of order you get to park free, right? Actually the answer, which may vary from place to place, is usually no. but how would you like it if you got back to your car to find the meter working and a ticket on the windshield?
That would be annoying, but it would be far more annoying if you found out that some meters may appear to be broken but can "fix themselves" after you leave them.
According to an article on NBC’s web site, three out of four of the 15,000 plus Parking meters in the D.C. area are designed to self-correct. In other words, they may show a fail sign when you try to put your money in but begin working again after you leave.
Sounds like a Washington conspiracy (of which there are many) or a Punk'd set-up by Ashton Kutcher, but the D.C. Department of Transportation says there's truth in the story, according to the NBC report. The D.D. DOT got 116,354 grievance calls about meters in 2008. However, 67% of the time the repair crews dispatched to check them out found them working.
Ward 1 councilman Jim Graham, who is chairman of the Public Works committee is quoted as saying that it was "a news flash to me that we had this huge number of meters that are self-repairing."
The problem is likely exacerbated by the fact that may of the meters are "near the end of their useful life" and more prone to break down.