It seems like every time I park downtown in the borough, I cannot read the meter because the glass or plastic cover has faded or worn to the point where the time available, remaining, or paid for, cannot be seen.
I start by turning the knob to get my first “free” 15 minutes, but I’m not sure I got it because I can’t see it. Then, after inserting a few coins, I’m not sure how much overall time I have on the meter. Finally, just to be sure I’m covered, I add another coin or two for good measure. I’m being careful because last year I received a parking violation. Imagine!
After some 40 years of driving and parking in the borough, I got a ticket. I promptly wrote a thoughtful appeal to the meter eater leader requesting I not be charged. After all, it was a faulty meter. Much to my surprise, my appeal was disapproved when I received one of those “boiler plate” letters that government agencies use to say,”No!”
In California lingo it read something like this, ”Dude! You screwed up! After reading your letter, we sent our best meter eater reader to read the meter. We ran three coins through the machine and it worked perfectly. Pay your bill, or else!"
In sum, with regard to reading the parking meters, “transparency” is as important at the local government level as it is at the national level.