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Paul Rolly: Salt Lake City parking problems pile up

By PAUL ROLLY

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jun 24 2014 01:56 pm • Last Updated Jun 24 2014 11:12 pm

With a recent class action lawsuit filed against Salt Lake City alleging the new kiosk system of parking enforcement violates ordinances, it’s time to revisit individuals frustrated by the system’s glitches.

The problems with the new system are as diverse as they are common.

At a glance

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City officials are still trying to work out the bugs that result in patrons getting parking tickets they don’t deserve, but the stories keep coming:

• Bryan Holden recently parked at a meter in downtown Salt Lake City and attempted to pay for the time with his credit card, but it didn’t work. The message that scrolled across the screen stated: "Card rejected."

He figured the scanner just didn’t read the card correctly, so he tried again. The second time, he was successful, got his receipt and went to his appointment.

Later, when he checked his bank account he discovered the card had not been rejected the first time. He was charged twice.

• Mark Buchi didn’t get a ticket, but he did learn you cannot add more time with your credit card like you can by adding more coins.

He charged an hour on his credit card, but when his friend told him they might be a little longer than that, he put the credit card back in the slot to pay for more time.

To his irritation, the machine did not add more time, even though it took the payment.

• Another reader notes that the kiosks don’t actually start working until 8 a.m., when the parking enforcement begins.


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If you have a 7:45 a.m. meeting, and you try to pay for an hour-and-a-half to cover the time of the meeting, the kiosk won’t take your money.

• A Davis County woman brought her friend, who is confined to a wheelchair, to Salt Lake City to view the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Leonardo.

She couldn’t find any designated handicapped parking stalls near the Leonardo, so she parked in a regular stall and paid at the kiosk.

But the parking had just a two-hour limit and when she was inside, it became obvious that, with her friend’s limitations, it would take longer than the two hours parking she had been allotted. And, as I noted earlier, the kiosk would not allow her to add more time.

Her choice was to leave her friend alone in the Leonardo while she found a new parking spot, leave without seeing half the exhibit, or suffer the ticket.

She chose the latter.

Another side of the story: One reader familiar to Salt Lake City’s Justice Court personnel, says they aren’t too happy with the new system either.

Because you get a receipt with the kiosk system, a large part of the city’s lost revenue from parking enforcement is from tickets that have to be dismissed when the violator shows up with a receipt with an expiration time later than the time the ticket was written, he says.

With the old mechanical meters, if a parking enforcement officer wrote a ticket with time remaining, the "violator" had no proof, the hearing officer always sided with the enforcement officer.

Kumbaya: The Democratic Party in Salt Lake County had a primary race Tuesday for county auditor.

On their campaign pages, the two candidates listed prominent Utahns who endorsed them.

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Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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