Love where you live!
LA MESA -- Residents may not love the downtown parking meters in La Mesa Village, but at least they can take pride in knowing we are at the cutting edge of parking technology. The Japanese men with clipboards chronicling activities along La Mesa Boulevard this week are from IPS, the company that originally installed these new meters and are now working to develop the next generation of electronic parking meters. Chris Gonzales, the city's downtown specialist, said the technicians are testing a new pole-mounted sensor that could replace the pavement-embedded sensors that currently monitor car movements.
Gonzales said the new smart meter sensors need to be embedded in the pavement, but the new pole-mounted ones being tested this week don't require that invasive technique. It is not certain when the new technology will be available, but the challenge of the pavement sensors will become clear when the city begins its reconstruction of La Mesa Boulevard early next year.
As each block is reconstructed, the pavement sensors will be removed and won't be reinstalled until after the entire street is ready for final repaving. That means during construction, the meters, even if returned as each section of street is completed, won't have sensors that automatically return the meters to zero when a car exits.
These smart meters have increased the revenues produced along La Mesa Boulevard because the sensors allow the city to resell a spot that in the past would have had time simply left on the meter by the previous parker. The older meters along Village side streets still allow arriving customers to have the occasional joy of finding thirty or forty minutes already paid on the meter.