The last of the city’s single-space meters was removed from Braddon this morning with a little fanfare, ACT politics-style, with not one by two MLAs lifting the meter off its pole.
Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman (right) was joined by young gun Member for Yerrabi Michael Pettersson (left) for the Lonsdale Street occasion pictured above. There were no meter maids on hand for the big moment.
Meters were first used here in the 1970s when parking cost an hour. Those were the days!
Coins are becoming a relic of the past, with 145 pay and display parking machines replacing 868 meters in Braddon, Civic and Woden, allowing Canberrans to use credit cards, debit cards or the ParkMobile app to pay for their parking instead of coins if they prefer.
I’m interested to know, RiotACT readers, whether you’re fans of the ParkMobile app? I use it all the time, because I like the reminders it sends me when my parking is about to expire, and because crikey those parking machines are slow to process credit card payments.
Mr Gentleman has pointed out in his media statement about the meter farewell that tap and go technology is available on parking machines now, so I’ll have to remember to use that next time my Optus network fails me rather than sticking my card into the machine and twiddling my thumbs.
The only trick with the app is to make sure you register it for the correct car if you use multiple cars or replace your vehicle. My first car, the beloved Green Golf, died a few months back after 16 years of good service, and I thoughtlessly kept parking without updating to its replacement in ParkMobile. The inspectors had no idea I’d paid up, because the licence plate of my parked car didn’t match that in the app. Parking ticket ahoy. Needless to say I have subsequently fixed the issue with the app and am in the process of trying to appeal the ticket as I have proof of payment for the period in which I was fined. I hit a stumbling block when they insisted on further paperwork to prove I was actually driving the car at the time, because it’s registered in my husband’s name, not mine. My email confessing to such a foolish error and providing the receipt from ParkMobile stating the date and time was not enough, apparently. Surely processing further paperwork on this is as much a waste of ACT public servants’ time as it is of mine? Sigh.
Mr Gentleman also talks up the current smart parking trial in Manuka, with its use of embedded infrared sensors, LED signs and the ParkCBR app. But is anyone using it? I confess I haven’t, and I even attended the launch. Maybe the fact that everyone else is using it means it’s easier for the rest of us to find a park? Have you tried it? Was it useful?
And will you miss parking meters? I will. I liked the way they ticked from the second the money landed, reminding you in a very personal way to hurry back. Vale, metal coin munchers.