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City pulls plug on parking meters after issuing erroneous tickets

While system is worked on, parking is free

time limits will remain in force.

August 11, 2011|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com
  • Raul Hernandez from the Glendale Maintenance Dept. blocks out the "pay" notice for parking spots on the 300 block of North Brand Blvd. in Glendale on Thursday, August 11, 2011. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Raul Hernandez from the Glendale Maintenance Dept. blocks…

The parking meters are still there in downtown Glendale, but for a while, at least, the spaces they guard will be available for free.

The city deactivated its network of electronic parking meters in downtown Thursday after receiving complaints from motorists who said they had been erroneously ticketed.

The meters – located on Brand Boulevard and in select parking lots – were covered and signs were posted informing patrons that they are out of service. Parking at electronically metered spots is free during repairs, which is expected to take between three and five weeks, city spokesperson Tom Lorenz said.

Time limits will be enforced manually with the marking of vehicle tires, he added.

The move came after city officials discovered occasional delays in the wireless communication signal between the electronic meters and hand-held receivers used by parking attendants. Patrons paid to park, but the attendants were not always getting the real-time information, Lorenz said.

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The meters will be upgraded and tested before being reactivated for service sometime next month, he said.

The problem was raised by a Glendale resident at the city council meeting Tuesday night. Yolanda Hall said she was thrilled to find a parking spot on Brand Boulevard during a trip to Barnes and Nobles at the Americana late last month. She paid the requisite dollar for one hour of parking at exactly 11:11 a.m. and took her receipt. Hall returned about 45 minutes later to an unpleasant surprise.

“My meter should have expired at 12:11 a.m., but I had a ticket already that was issued at 11:27 a.m., 16 minutes after I parked, which is crazy,” Hall said.

She went to the police station to get the ticket dismissed, and while she was there, another woman came in with an identical grievance.

“Something is wrong,” Hall said. “And I think for people who are coming into the city and want to park on Brand, if they are getting tickets they don’t earn and having to pay, it really does leave a bad flavor in everybody’s mouth.”

Officials said they have received a limited number of complaints, but felt it was a good time to review and update the system. If anyone wants to dispute a ticket, they should contact the city’s parking enforcement supervisor, officials said.

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