Thursday, February 09, 2012

Parking meters in Old Pasadena

This article on how the history of parking policy has influenced the built environment in Los Angeles is fascinating. Intriguingly, it tells the story of the parking meters in Old Pasadena, with which I had a run in in 2007. Apparently I was caught by famous parking meters that have much aided city cohesion and promoted urban charm. Certainly I was completely unaware that Old Pasadena had been a rough neighbourhood only a few years previously. When I visited, I thought it was very nice.

It is interesting, though, that a lengthy, in depth article on the subject chooses to use as a particular example something that I encountered in person, and which affected me enough to make me blog about it at the time.

Of course, what annoyed me in 2007 was not that I had to pay for parking - I put money in the meter - but the incredible efficiency of the enforcement. I received a parking ticket even though I returned to my car no more than two minutes after the meter expired. If I was a resident of Pasadena and visited regularly and was aware of hyper-efficient parking enforcement, I would not doubt have got back to my car two minutes earlier, or put slightly more money in the meter to start with. This one happens when one travels. You don't always understand local norms, and you can sometimes get in trouble due to it.

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