Frozen Parking Meters Causing Problems For People Trying To Pay


UPDATED: Saturday January 18, 2014 8:55 PM

Parking in downtown Columbus is a daily challenge in itself, but when the meters don't work, some say there’s a whole new set of problems.

These are people trying to do the right thing, abide by the law, and pay for the time they're parked in the marked spaces, but when it's cold and starts to snow, a simple swipe isn't so simple anymore.

“I've had my card freeze in there. I've had to have pliers to pull it out, but the machine usually works,” said Lewis Center resident Shaunacy Webster.

Despite this unusual challenge, Webster said it's worked when she uses her credit card to put money, and time, on the parking meters.

“You're kind of at the mercy of the meter,” said Webster.

She knows the cold weather can be a challenge, but says she's never gone through what Ozzie Hairston has experienced.

“I just got $25 dollar ticket last week, with a debit card machine right here on High and Beck. Because you couldn't increase the time? I couldn't increase the time, so I just figured it was broke, so I just kept going,” said Hairston.

Hairston said she's found that when the weather takes a turn for the worse, the temperature dips and snow starts to fall, the mechanics of the machine freeze up.

“I thought it was convenient at first, because they take debit cards now, and no one ever has change, but now I'm kind of thinking it's a hassle,” said Hairston.

10TV spoke with some downtown drivers, who haven't had a single issue in the inclement weather.

“Credit card makes it a lot easier. Haven't had any experience with the cold, any bad experiences. They've been fine,” said Columbus resident Sara Sakon.

“I think I'm just happy there's a credit card, because I never carry cash on me,” said Dublin resident Liz Matola.

But, the list of complaints to the city's public service department is growing.  Dozens of people have reported finding frozen meters and some, like Hairston, are paying the price with a parking ticket.

“It's not really working. I brought quarters today, though. So, I won’t have that problem again,” said Hairston.

The City of Columbus’ Public Service Department says that if you find a frozen meter, look for another nearby parking spot first. If that's not an option, call 311 to report the meter.  If you are ticketed, you may appeal.

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