Parking meter glitch in downtown WPB

Parking meter glitch in downtown WPB

There are new parking meters in downtown West Palm Beach and they are very different that the meters we're all used to feeding.

These new high-tech meters have caused some "old" fashioned tempers to flare, mainly if you use coins to feed the meter.

"We had some equipment malfunctions, as technology does sometimes," said Ed Davis, Parking Systems Administrator for the City of West Palm Beach.

Davis says the newer meters -- which are mostly located on the 500 block of Clematis Street -- are equipped with a sensor on the street-side of the device.

"So that when one person pays for parking and they leave, the other meter resets to zero. So the other person can pay for their parking," he said.

However, in the past few weeks, those particular meters have been glitching and are resetting in the middle of someone being parked there. People are coming back to their cars to find a ticket instead.

"There's some anomaly about why it's resetting. It could be motion from the trolleys -- we're not really sure," he said.

Technicians are currently working to fix the meters but the issues have already affected downtown patrons like Sean Scott and his customers at his Subculture Coffee shop.

"It's frustrating," he said. "I even parked on a Saturday. And I swore I was in there for 10 minutes and I had 20 minutes. I came out and had a 27 dollar ticket."

Add to that, Scott says no one seems to even know about the sensors in the first place.

"When systems are in place, the technology has to be consistently working and this is spotty. So it's double the frustration. Not only do they have a feature they didn't know about it, but it works intermittently," he said.

And that's why Davis says he's launching a new campaign to keep drivers in the loop.

"A public relations push to make sure that we're transparent with everything we do with parking, so nothing is a secret," he said.

The city is also issuing refunds and Davis encourages anyone who is having an issue with a meter ticket, to contact their office at 561- 822-1500.

"If anybody out there has an issue that felt like they've unjustly been issued a citation, please bring it to my office," he said.

The city is also temporarily shutting the reset feature down until the meters are fixed.

"We expect it to be resolved within another month or so," Davis said.

At the end of the day, business owners want their customers to get what they pay for — not more with a ticket.

"It should always err on the side of the customer, for the benefit of our city," said Scott.

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