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Downtown parking gets harder


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Watch out, Houston drivers, because "feeding the meter" is now officially illegal.

The city soon will begin more strictly enforcing the time limits posted at meters after a little-discussed update to a parking ordinance sailed through City Council Wednesday.

So, if the meter says two hours, you really can stay only two hours.

Drivers who stay beyond the posted limit will get a ticket, even if they have paid for additional time or have bought the "Downtown Hopper," a $6 pass that is meant to allow people to park in various areas without having to pay every time.

"We don't want people to abuse the meters," said City Councilman James Rodriguez, whose district includes much of downtown. "We want people to do their business and move on. Citizens need an equal opportunity to park downtown, and this is a way to better manage that curbspace."

The move was greeted with disdain by some downtown drivers

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I think this is kind of goofy. One the one hand, yeah it's cool that I might be able to find a parking place near the courthouse, but on the other, if someone is paying to be there and is willing to walk back and forth, why shouldn't they be able to do that?

Seems sensible to me. Someone putting in their 8 hours should be parking in a garage or a surface lot anyway. That frees up spaces for people trying to stop and do business before moving on.

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Makes me wonder why they even sell the downtown hopper pass in the first place...

doesnt that imply that you are going to park on the street for many hours?

And now they pass this ordinance to ban it?

What stops me from getting in my car every 2 hours, driving around the block, parking in the exact same spot, and paying for an additional 2 hours of parking?

That would be legal... but their is no possible way to enforce it properly.

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Makes me wonder why they even sell the downtown hopper pass in the first place...

supposedly that is for delivery/courier types.

for visitors to downtown, like me, just going out to lunch and a drink somewhere takes at least 2 hrs.

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Oh the irony, I just had lunch at Treebeards in The Cloister today and it's $1.50 per hour (2 is max) and $5.00 per hour for commercial vehicle's or so the meter thing said.

Parking is not just becoming harder its becoming way more confusing for everyone. At any given moment you can see numerous meter payers standing there with a bewildered, confused look as they try to make sense of the meter gizmo. I could swear Allen Funt from the old Candid Camera show must be filming the unsuspecting victims from across the street.

You used to enter the Number of the slot your parked in but now its just enter how long you plan to be there and PLACE your ticket on your dash (and pray) that the meter maid has mercy and gives you a break if you are one mili-second late. :mellow:

It's basically a game of Russian Roulette or spin the wheel of fortune and hhope you dont get a huge fine and become a registered offender.

Hey you up there! there must be a better way of getting my wings! -_-

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My personal favorite was when I paid the fancy machine, but it would out of paper and did not print me a receipt. There is no phone number to call on the machine, so I wrote a note saying I paid... fortunately I did not get a ticket.

this has happened to me twice. i started paying by credit card so if i did get a ticket, perhaps my statement could be used to refute the ticket.

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this has happened to me twice. i started paying by credit card so if i did get a ticket, perhaps my statement could be used to refute the ticket.

That's what I do, too.

This is a good rule for everyone except those clerks at the courthouse who won't walk an extra block to a parking garage. Seriously, all of you non-downtowners who are complaining are actually arguing against your own self-interest. I have parked in many downtowns with the 2 hour max rule and it is much better than allowing squatters to sit in the same space all day.

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Oh the irony, I just had lunch at Treebeards in The Cloister today and it's $1.50 per hour (2 is max) and $5.00 per hour for commercial vehicle's or so the meter thing said.

Parking is not just becoming harder its becoming way more confusing for everyone. At any given moment you can see numerous meter payers standing there with a bewildered, confused look as they try to make sense of the meter gizmo. I could swear Allen Funt from the old Candid Camera show must be filming the unsuspecting victims from across the street.

You used to enter the Number of the slot your parked in but now its just enter how long you plan to be there and PLACE your ticket on your dash (and pray) that the meter maid has mercy and gives you a break if you are one mili-second late. :mellow:

It's basically a game of Russian Roulette or spin the wheel of fortune and hhope you dont get a huge fine and become a registered offender.

Hey you up there! there must be a better way of getting my wings! -_-

LOL I agree those machines are indecipherable for first-time users. My first time, I was thinking of Candid Camera too as I searched along the curb for a number for my parking spot and then studied the machine for instructions... I think it's a pretty slick system, once you figure it out. (And don't they still have meter gizmos in the historic district where you have to enter the number of your slot?)

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Oh the irony, I just had lunch at Treebeards in The Cloister today and it's $1.50 per hour (2 is max) and $5.00 per hour for commercial vehicle's or so the meter thing said.

Parking is not just becoming harder its becoming way more confusing for everyone. At any given moment you can see numerous meter payers standing there with a bewildered, confused look as they try to make sense of the meter gizmo. I could swear Allen Funt from the old Candid Camera show must be filming the unsuspecting victims from across the street.

You used to enter the Number of the slot your parked in but now its just enter how long you plan to be there and PLACE your ticket on your dash (and pray) that the meter maid has mercy and gives you a break if you are one mili-second late. :mellow:

It's basically a game of Russian Roulette or spin the wheel of fortune and hhope you dont get a huge fine and become a registered offender.

You know, the meter thing isn't that difficult. As long as you have SOME sort of reading comprehension, you should be able to figure it out quite easily.

The "City Hopper" thing I've used in the past when I've had to go to take care of errands in various businesses.

I agree that the people that have JOBS in downtown need to go ahead and either park in the various lots and garages, or to park in areas that offer 8 or 12 hr parking on the meters.

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You know, the meter thing isn't that difficult. As long as you have SOME sort of reading comprehension, you should be able to figure it out quite easily.

The "City Hopper" thing I've used in the past when I've had to go to take care of errands in various businesses.

I agree that the people that have JOBS in downtown need to go ahead and either park in the various lots and garages, or to park in areas that offer 8 or 12 hr parking on the meters.

Reading comprehension doesn't help much when there is nothing to read. If you have never seen a system like this, you are standing there wondering how you are supposed to identify where you are parked, and whether you really want to fee money or a credit card into the machine not knowing what slot you are in.... Only at the very end (I think on the receipt) does it tell you how it works (i.e., to place the paper on your dash).

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(And don't they still have meter gizmos in the historic district where you have to enter the number of your slot?)

no that's what adds to the confusion. the newest system doesn't use them however on some streets numbers are still on the sidewalk/curb (from the previous meters) so some think that the numbers have something to do with the current meters.

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Thats just it, in many places the numbers are still imbedded in the concrete so its like what in the fudge?

There are hundreds upon hundreds of people that have to go to the courthouse for the 1st time so its just as daunting for them by 1st being unfamiliar with DT, then the fkg meters to deal with. Its probably the meters that got them a ticket to begin with so you come full circle. :mellow: I could just plotz I'm tellin ya.

I should do like Jed Clampett did, take a chisel and hammer and start breaking out those blasted numbers as a favor to society. y'all come back now, ya hear.

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Someone told me that they will mark the tires of vehicles. So all you would have to do is move your vehicle up a little or back a little or rub it off?

Does anyone else know how exactly they will be able to tell if you left and came back to that spot as opposed to just staying in the spot for 2 or more hours?

Secondly, wouldn't this be considered vandalism :P

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Someone told me that they will mark the tires of vehicles. So all you would have to do is move your vehicle up a little or back a little or rub it off?

Does anyone else know how exactly they will be able to tell if you left and came back to that spot as opposed to just staying in the spot for 2 or more hours?

Secondly, wouldn't this be considered vandalism :P

Marking tires with chalk is a longstanding meter-maid tactic. They'll probably just keep an eye on the street for people hanging around too long. Meter maids have nothing better to do than stand around messing with people's lives. :lol:

Edited by kylejack
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From what I can tell, the meter people carry a device in which they enter license plate numbers. When I've spotted them, they are constantly entering info on their doo-dads. I guess they are also looking for people to boot.

The meters aren't that hard! EVERYONE has to figure it out the first time they deal with one. When I first encountered one, I was able to figure out what to do and, amazingly enough, I didn't receive a ricket.

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The meters aren't that hard! EVERYONE has to figure it out the first time they deal with one. When I first encountered one, I was able to figure out what to do and, amazingly enough, I didn't receive a ricket.

Assuming they work correctly. Besides my no paper instance above, just last weekend when I went to Discovery Green, the machine just flat out locked up halfway through the transaction. Fortunately I hadn't paid yet, so I just walked to another machine down the block.

I agree, they are not hard to use... but issues like the two I have described have made me wish for good old fashioned meters.

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