New Meters in North Beach

New Meter This afternoon the city installed spanky new solar parking meters on the block between Stockton & Powell / Union & Green, on Columbus. Mark wrote about them here, for Redwood City. The meters will be 3-month tests, to determine if they rake in more cash than the old style coin ones. This project began 2 years ago and there were pilot programs on Embarcadero & Fisherman’s Wharf. I loved the those, mostly for the selfish reason that I hated hauling $3.00 in coins for 2 hours (when I drove, which was rare). These are equally as steep. The interface of the machine isn’t that easy to understand, but I don’t really care. Hopefully the phenomenon that people aren’t paying meters will change with the new machines, and we can recognize that 50M or so expected city revenue. Curious documentation online about how these new machines are networked (uses Microsoft technology- gasp) and users can upgrade their time remotely. I doubt that’s going to roll out- as isn’t it against the law to stuff the meter? And oh-so-hackable. (Ugly link that leads to a spec sheet on these machines.)
Interface Great test location- right in front of Caffe Roma, across from L’Osteria del Forno, near the cigar cafe, Naia the gelato place, Cafe DeLucci, etc.

6 Comments so far

  1. dantc (unregistered) on May 31st, 2007 @ 11:27 am

    Seattle has replaced most of their meters with these machines, at least in the downtown area. A nice bonus is that instead of paying the meter for just that space, your proof of payment sticker is good in any metered space for the time specified.

    I guess there is a learning curve, there are always lots of people clustered around the machines, trying to figure out how to use them. And then there are the rocket scientists who put the sticker on the outside of their windshield. Heh.

  2. Lil Mike (unregistered) on May 31st, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

    Over 5 years ago I was in a small town in Utah that managed to offer credit & debit card payments at parking meters. The fact these meters can warrant this amount of curiousity from a supposedly tech savvy public raised on the cutting edge of “silicon valley” is odd. Why San Francisco has barely been able to beta test such devices shows you the quality of “leadership” our public agencies are operating with.

  3. anna (unregistered) on May 31st, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

    The charm of north beach is that it’s trapped in the 60s, so the fact that solar wi-fi meters are here, and that some of us are impressed, doesn’t seem odd to me at all. Silicon Valley could be Australia. And why silicon valley in quotes? I’ve never understood the quote thing. Is this irony?

  4. phil (unregistered) on May 31st, 2007 @ 7:13 pm

    I’m not impressed. I actually like the solar parking meters in Canada. There are two on each block; if one is broken, pay at the other one. Just put your money in, select your time, print receipt, and put the receipt facing up on the dash. Why is there a code to park?? These codes will confuse a lot of people. Ease of use will yield higher returns.

  5. DavidK (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

    I don’t understand. How do I lock my bike to the new meters? What’s the friggin’ point, then?

  6. Lil Mike (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 2:50 am

    Why you think “silicon valley” is perhaps relocating to Australia is beyond me…but if it makes you feel better. We can go with that for now…

    Maybe you are thinking of the 49ers, who want to move to Santa Clara, which is in “silicon valley”.

    I can assure you North Beach is not actually trapped in the 60’s, just a lot of the people that live there are. Due to rent control, fascination with parrots & other mitigating factors, it looks like people “trapped in the 60’s” are not moving out of North Beach regardless of the 49ers.

    To be sure you are not in the 60’s, note that about the only surviving businesses is Cafe Trieste and the prices for their coffee, as well as most neighborhood meals, souvenirs, and other things & services including parking, are certainly 21st century.

    And, yes, quote marks are occasionally used to signify irony, or an emphasis, or use of a coined word with some possible reservations.

    keep on chooglin’…

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