SACRAMENTO -- There are thousands of parking meters across Sacramento, most of them work but a handful of them don’t.
Not only is it costing the city thousands in unpaid transactions but it’s also causing confusion for drivers and sometimes even leaving those who pay for meter parking with tickets.
Parking meters are hard to avoid when visiting Sacramento’s downtown.
“Right across the street from where i live are all parking meters. It’s just an annoyance,” said John Morton.
The report released Thursday found rundown batteries and system glitches are to blame for many of the meter issues.
“The meters work maybe 70 percent of the time, but you really never know. You find a spot and you’re like yes it’s a spot and then the spot doesn’t work,” said Karsten Kaczmar.
With the batteries powering the 4,500 city meters having only been changed once since being installed in 2013.
“You can tell some don’t flash because they’re actually broken” said Jordan Bell.
Even when they appear to work, some are prone to malfunction.
“You either can’t get the card reader to work or it eats your money. It happened to me just the other day about 3 blocks from here. I had 35 minutes on the meter, parked there, walked to ups and when I had walked back it had turned red. The minutes disappeared,” said Bell.
Making the parking experience through downtown a stressful one.
“It wouldn’t let me add time. I could only do 30 minutes and it says 2 plus hours…. It’s concerning because we don’t want to get a ticket,” Eden Landers.
The sensors on the parking meters fail roughly 16 percent of the time, according to the report, leaving drivers with invalid citations.
Just in area south of Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center, known as Zone B, nearly 20 percent of all mobile transactions failed to register on the meter.
But the city says it is working hard to fix the problem. Vowing to replace old batteries and upgrade existing parking technology.
“As long as they’re making efforts to go in the right direction and those efforts get implemented quickly, then everyone will be okay,” Kaczmar said.
The city says they will be installing additional safeguards to reduce the potential for meter errors.
They will also continue offering a mobile payment verification process to cut down on invalid citations.