Parking Meter Engineers At Work In Village

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.



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Tags: Government, La Mesa Today, La Mesa Village, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper


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Comment by David Stanley on June 23, 2013 at 7:20am

Russell, understand that since enforced parking began it has been a scam, not a method to "improve the flow" but to steal money. Like most other traffic "enforcement" methods developed during the past 30+ years, it steals money from the public rather than assisting them in maintaining the safe flow of the traffic. I do loath the "parking meter" for that reason alone. That said, however, when and what I feel I must pay to enjoy the village I accept as the cost of my personal entertainment and enjoyment. The City/Village will continue to steal the money regardless. Perhaps its all in how one views "it"?

Comment by chris shea on June 21, 2013 at 11:42am

David, your message below reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures.

"The noble man makes noble plans and by noble deeds he stands."  It's from Isaiah.  I think your parking meter contribution falls into that category.   Good on you, David Stanley!

Comment by Russell Buckley on June 20, 2013 at 9:31pm
Let me see if I understand this. Since many shoppers do not know just how much time will be needed, they buy a little extra. Knowing this, the city has figured out a slick way to take back the already purchased time and sell it again to another customer. Seems like selling the same product twice should be illegal. If it isn't illegal, it is at best sleazy. Is there no limit to the ways our City will go about "increasing revenues"?
Comment by David Stanley on June 20, 2013 at 6:25pm

For years I have been taking frequent walkabouts through the village. Not just for business but mostly just for the joy of strolling. Recently it has become me and my wee dog, Baby, enjoying the sights. Everything stays the same but everything seems new each time we stroll along. Not wanting a dreaded parking ticket, I have always made a point to pay for sufficient time for our stroll. One day a young lady in uniform approached me and advised that, as I am disabled, I do not need to pay the meters. I thought that was swell but then considered that each time I DO pay the meters I am contributing to the Village in a small way. Thus, each time Baby and I go for a stroll or to the Chemist for meds I always drop in at least a quarter. Doesnt mean anything to anyone else and certainly not the the Village but it means something to me.

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