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The Day of Seattle’s Parking Triffids

21 September 2009 Seattle 5,561 views 4 CommentsPrint This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

One by one, the streets of Seattle are falling under alien influence. Along with robotic red-light cameras at key intersections around Seattle and around the nation, we are now faced with an invasion of robotic computer parking machines, reminiscent of Triffids.

These big, ugly digital machines cost over $5,000 each — plus installation — and they are appearing everywhere. And in a cunning bit of subterfuge, they’re painted green. Your eyeballs send an image to your cerebral cortex, which concludes the color green equals “environmentally-friendly.” Therefore, these things are good for the Earth!

The Triffids are replacing the hardy parking meter — an old, proven technology, which therefore must be destroyed. On special occasions, these old analog parking meters allowed a driver to happen upon a parking space that someone left early, with some time still left! Those were glorious moments for humanity — a tiny victory and a flash of happiness in a day of traffic jams, pollution, workplace stress and existential anxiety. We all lived for those precious moments. But now that these green Triffids have rooted, we’ll never know such moments again.

And they are not just replacing existing parking meters … they are expanding their territory like invasive tansy ragwort (senecio jacobaea), block after block through throughout the city, into neighborhoods where one was previously allowed to park and hour or two with being bled.

What a costly boondoggle these Parking Triffids are — designed to squeeze every drop of blood left from the remaining citizens who have not yet wised up, abandoned their cars and gone feral. There appears to be no exact figures available on the true costs and impact for these Triffids, nor is there evidence if is yet another cozy “arrangement” between private corporations and the City.

Where is it written that the role of local government is to find ever more powerful ways to corral, penalize, fine and bleed the very people whose votes give them their authority and paychecks (and health insurance that’s way better that what you have, if any)?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have parking regulations, but I do question this costly and dubious new technology, the sneakiness by which their control zones are expanding, and the lack of honest and transparent discussion on the issue. This invasion must be contained.

Mark Pahlow

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  1. .are they hiring cool hand luke to remove the meters?


  2. Although a giant plus for The Parking Triffids is they have the ability to tell time, and this I am thankful for! If you happen to be one who starts work at 7am and therefore must park in a pay zone BEFORE the 8am start time, it is quite nice that said Parking Triffids factor in this bit of incongruity and only charge one for the time parked DURING paid parking hours. The grand, ole Parking Q-Tip didn’t have that particular talent.

    I will admit that I miss having the option of paying forward a bit on a meter, giving the person parking after me a nice surprise. However, I appreciate even more not always having to have acceptable coinage (a meter near the UW campus said it took dimes, then proceeded to swallow my dime and not reward me with time for it) *and* not having to pay for time parked during off hours!

    I’ll find other ways to be nice to people. :)

  3. Any time you have private corporations involved, there IS no transparency, no accountability, no recourse, no redress for grievances. Give me Big Government over Big (Unregulated) Business any day, if I had to choose.

  4. What I hate most: the loss of bicycle parking facilities. Seems to me that the removal of the meters should have been coupled with addition of some bike racks.

    You can still pass your minutes on to the next guy: many minutes left on your sticker, walk back and stick it on the meter.

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