Meter Feeders No More?

So according to an article in today’s WaPo, the District is looking to stop ‘meter feeders’ who plague our fair capital’s streets. With ‘mobile camera eyes’ that frankly, to me look more like a Terminator’s pre-proto prototype. (And yes, I just watched T3 the other day. I’ve got advanced AI on the brain, along with three different game designs at the moment.)

Ok, so I’ll admit it. I was one of the ‘scofflaws’ they’re trying to bust. But only occasionally! As in, “only when I worked a half-day” did I even attempt navigating the parking lot known as I-395N to park in town. With garage fees at a near-insane level of $15-20 for weekday parking, feeding a meter for six hours (to the tune of $6) was a no-brainer. Especially if I landed a spot right in front of my building, which cut down on the “I need to feed the meter” interruptions during my daily work routine. So yeah, I admit I’m a scofflaw – though I never pulled the old “meter broken” trick. I always paid.

But I don’t do that anymore – since I work in Vienna. Where parking is free.

Still, I have to wonder – what about tourists who come to town and street-park. They feed meters, too. Especially along Smithsonian Row. Will the Parking Police patrol there with their mobile camera masters? Or will they train their future conquerors (I’m sorry, I’m still stuck in sci-fi mode) to discern between VA/MD/DC plates and the rest of the country? If they enforce this, are they going to be uniform across the city in doing so, or will they only focus on certain areas? And is that really ‘fair’?

I don’t know. I want to say “all right!” to this program, simply because it makes sense, especially for those residents and shop owners downtown. I know *I’d* be ecstatic about it if I had a shop in DC and consistently saw obvious commuter parking taking up valuable customer real estate. But on the flip-side, it just seems…an excessive waste in the approach? I remember back in my college days at NIU, the parking militia there used chalk sticks to mark car tires to see if the car had moved from a ‘timed’ spot (such as a “one hour max” zone). Is that really so hard here? For a city that looks to have some serious budgetary issues at times, I dunno, it just makes better fiscal sense to me. Chalk vs. expensive mobile scanning platforms…. Tough choice.

Maybe I’m just terrified these Mobile Parking Cameras are going to go sentient and blow up the world somehow….

We’re sorry, we’ve temporarily removed the author to a Starbucks location nearby, where he’ll receive the proper caffeine hydration and get these silly sci-fi notions out of his head. *As if* robots are going to someday war with humanity….

5 Comments so far

  1. Tiff (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

    I’d be happier if they’d start aggressively towing people who turn their blinkers on and park on the street during rush hour. I saw a guy gridlock an entire intersection for several light changes this morning by blocking a lane this way, and he was *sitting in the car*. Yeah, I know, it’s "just for a minute" but one person’s 5 minute convenience can snarl traffic for hundreds of people for half an hour.

  2. poo poo (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 8:07 pm


    i get that on second and G NE, where there’s a bunch of construction.

    mostly, it’s a bunch of MD or VA plates.

    it pisses me off. i hate that the suburbanites come into my city with total disregard for the laws. i sort of don’t blame the cops for not enforcing shit like that, because they’re busy with folks tossing kids out windows (i’m not kidding), crack dealers, prostitutes, etc.

    i’m trying to think of a DC MOB to overwhelm some suburb and screw up their traffic. YOU KNOW they’d be on the phone to their "congress person" in no time flat…

    but when these arseholes are in DC, they don’t give a shiite.

    it’s about time someone shows them that DC is not their job/local commute….

    i wish we could have a national ‘park-in’ weekend, where dc folks would park illigally all over VA or MD and screw up traffic – IF dc paid for the tickets. ;o)

    too bad we’re not in the 60’s.

    if we were, someone might actually do something.

    i’m not a leader, so don’t blame me.

    i guess there are no leaders in dc.

    we’re being taken over by the middle class commuters! ;o)

  3. Ben R (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 8:40 am

    Well, I was told I knew I ‘made it’ here at MetroblogDC "when Poo Poo shows up and comments on your post." Thanks, Poo Poo! I feel like I’m at home now. :)

  4. Don (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 1:25 pm

    It’s funny that you think that people who are rude and thoughtless confine that behavior to certain locations, poop oo.

  5. RumorsDaily (unregistered) on February 26th, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

    If you’re paying, you should be able to stay there as long as you want.

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