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May 29, 2021

Denver's parking meters are the least fun in North America

Because much of Canada, had you injected them with truth serum, would tell you paying for parking is stupid, it’s no surprise Canadian drivers get creative when stashing their cars.

There’s the “find a business lot” trick, where you utilize company spaces during the evenings/nights when no one’s there. There’s the “tailgate, tailgate, tailgate” manoeuvre, where you enter a garage but instead tailgate another driver when it’s time to leave so you don’t have to pay. And of course there is the simpler “get lucky” strategy, where you find a meter with time still left on it by the previous driver.

But oh no, the city of Denver is saying. The latter will be no more.

According to CBS out of Colorado, Denver is testing a new pilot program for sensor-equipped meters, which would wipe out whatever fun could possibly be left in public parking.

The new meters, being run out on a 90-day program, will run in conjunction with sensors placed underneath the street.

*Bing: What is Canada’s most expensive city to park?

When the sensors detect a parked car has left its space, the meter will automatically reset – no matter how much paid time is left.

Certainly, this is rigging the game by public officials. Unfair to anyone not being paid a taxpayer salary.

Though the devilish move appears just the latest in a sea of changes to how we pay we for street parking in North America.

If the Denver sensor-equipped meters take hold, perhaps they will be paired with this feature on Milwaukee’s city meters, which text you when time’s running out (You can also add more time to the meter via your cell phone).

Or maybe we ought to all move to post-pay parking meters, as some have recently suggested.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...