The Parking Utility is catching up on fixing parking meters that went unfixed during the pandemic. Officials warn either pay through app if meter isn’t working or find another spot.

I have been a resident of Montclair since 1968, and a homeowner here since 1976. For all these years, when a parking meter was broken, parking at that meter was free. With the advent of technology, we are suddenly expected to pay to park at a broken meter using an app or a credit card.

There are problems with this “solution.” 1) Not everyone has a cell phone. 2) Not everyone has a credit card. I am (obviously) a “senior.” Last week I went to Watchung Plaza to shop. It took me four tries to find a functioning meter on the west side of the plaza. As I do not have full mobility, getting in and out of my car checking each meter was daunting. Once I parked, I proceeded to spend $70 dollars at Yarnia. Had I not been able to find a meter, I would not have been able to support a local merchant. Had I been someone from out of town, and been ticketed for parking at a broken meter, I would surely not return to Montclair to shop ever again.

I understand that there are ‘supply chain’ issues with these parking meters. But why are shoppers being punished because of these supply issues?

The optimum solution, for now, would be to not ticket cars parked at a broken meter. If that cannot be done, then at least broken meters should be tagged in some way (a visible sticker?) so that a broken meter could be identified before the driver had to get out of the car. A sticker like this would also warn drivers to not park at a broken meter, which would be especially helpful for people who don’t know about this “trap.”

Barbara Rudy


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