You gotta hand it to Mayor Annise Parker. She, and her colleagues on City Council, have come up with a brilliant way to raise additional revenue for the city without raising taxes or cutting services. In fact, implementing the plan saves the city money on supplies, as well.
And just what is this new revenue stream you might ask? Not refilling the paper rolls in the electronic parking meters downtown.
If you see this meter, remain calm. Don't try to apprehend it by yourself. Please call the authorities at once.
Just think about it. Someone puts their money into the machine (no record of that transaction, is there?) or slides their credit or debit card in the slot to pay to park. Then, instead of printing out a receipt with an expiration time on it, the machine just sits there and looks at you like you're a complete freaking moron.
Oh you can try putting a note on your dashboard to the effect that the machine ate your money but there's no guarantee the losers who patrol the streets looking for cars to ticket are going to pay any attention to it. And even if you used plastic to pay to park when you go to the Municipal Courthouse to fight the ticket the functionary sitting behind the desk will look at your bank statement and tell you that it doesn't show what time the charge was made.
The idea would appear to be to force folks to use the city parking app on their phones to pay for parking. The only problem there is that no receipt is generated. The meter maidens must then run your license plate to determine if you've paid to park - and if you have any outstanding tickets that might get your car booted.
Now I'm out $2.50 for parking with nothing to show for it.
Thank you, Mayor Parker.