As any regular reader of this site knows, I have had my gripes against the city's meter holiday system. My complaint (or rant, actually) arose on Presidents Day. My husband, son, and I met at Starbucks on Locust Street, and my husband and I each parked on the street, and we didn't feed coins into the meter, seeing one sign on the meter that said that the meters are not enforced on "Sundays and holidays." We failed to read the other sign on the meter that specified that only certain days are deemed city meter holidays.
We got two tickets, $35 each. I was especially annoyed because Presidents Day was a federally designated holiday and had a designated holiday for Walnut Creek city offices. But patrons of downtown Walnut Creek businesses didn't get a break on Presidents Day? By the way, I appealed my ticket and lost...
Meanwhile, there are the parking meter machines on North Main Street between Civic and Bonanza. Six were installed in November 2007, according to Walnut Creek's public information officer, Brad Rovanpera. The city plans to eventually replace all the old-fashioned meters with these machines, he says, and they are similar to what the city plans to install in city garages.
Honestly, I didn't notice these machines until recently, because, for some reason, I just haven't had occasion to parking on that stretch of North Main Street.
The advantage of these machines? Well, they do take coins: nickels, dimes, quarters. But they also take credit cards. So, if you don't have any coins handy, which is often the case for motorists, you just make note of your space number, punch it into the machine, then feed coins into the machine, or slide in your credit card. You can designate how much you want to pay. Twenty-five cents buys you 15 minutes; $1 buys you an hour.
I haven't used these machines yet. Has anyone else? At least, with these machines, the sign indicating meter holidays, though in rather small print, is right next to, and all apart of, the general directions for how to use these stations. The meter holiday sign is just above the key pad and coin and credit card slots where you pay.
That's an improvement.
However, I still think the city needs to look at its meter holiday system, and make those meter holidays coincide with those holidays days that federal, state, and Walnut Creek decide to close their business offices.