Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. I heard that not a single parking meter in the downtown area is working. Is this true and am I wasting my $ in those machines and worrying about making it back to my car within 1 or 2 hours?
Dear Juneau Resident,
You heard wrong. The current parking system has technical problems only with transmitting, by cell phone connection, information from the meters to the handheld devices used by enforcement officers. This means officers can't 100% relay on what the handheld is telling them and so cannot ethically sign a citation that the person parking is in violation. The expectation is that the government, the city in this case, will behave ethically.
That raises the question that in the face of lack of enforcement is it okay for citizens to behave unethically, motivated only by punishment.
The intent of parking restrictions are somewhat about revenue raising with fees but are more focused on turning spaces over so everyone gets a chance to shop, eat, and do other business activities downtown. There are people who will use the enforcement issues to take a downtown space and camp in it all day without paying. Those people are not doing any favors for the downtown community and are certainly displaying his or her personal ethics.
The city is moving to a pay and display system to get around the problems in the current system but that takes time, probably a few more weeks.