Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I complain some more about parking in Seattle

30 minute zones should have 30 minute meters.

It doesn't seem so long ago that one would pull up to a parking meter in Seattle, plug in a few coins, be able to read exactly how much time one had on the meter, and move one. If the meter was two hours you could plug in up to two hours worth of coins and if it was only 30 that was that. Times have changed. Today, we can use our debit cards to pay for parking in addition to coins at spiffy new stations that print out stickers that tell us not how much time is left, but at what time the parking expires. In some ways this is an improvement (no change is no longer an issue), but in other ways not so much(creates waste in "green" Seattle).

I have tried to not make Shotgun Prose a bitch fest over the years. On occasion I do, and this is one of them. See, it seems like Seattle is going out of its way to make driving into Seattle as unattractive as it possibly can be without having a truly awesome mass transit system to compensate for the need to drive in to town. It feels like the parking situation just gets worse and more complicated and sometimes areas are blocked off from parking for no visible reason. The new parking meter system is confusing and the machines are fuss about cards.

Also, when I was at a 30 minute spot in a 30 minute zone on a street where all the spots are 30 minutes there should not be a machine that gives you a 2 Hour charge and ticket when you press "Max Time".

Recently, I pulled up to Qwest Field to get some stuff from the team shop and there was a 30 minute spot. I did not have coin, so I plugged in my card and got charged $5 for two hours of "Max Time". There does not appear to be a viable way to correct mistakes, Seattle sure as hell is not going to issue a refund, and I guess the 2 on the meter station should have caught my eye. Instead of paying about 75 cents I was on the hook for the full $5.

Seattle will tell you that the new system allows you to take the ticket with you. Great. Nice. Wonderful. #*(%ing useless. I was ripped off by Seattle by their new and improved system. There is part of me that figures that this happens a lot. It means that Seattle gets a lot of people like me paying "Max Time" at stations like this for time that is never going to be used and therefore gets a lot of extra cash as this happens over time. This is a truly $#!++y way to treat people who drive into town.

A 30 minute zone should only have 30 minute meters. It used to be that way and a new and improved system should not be worse than the previous one for the consumer.