December 19, 2018

Princeton Resident Since 1965 Details Problems With New Parking Meters

To the Editor:

The new parking meters are a catastrophe! Not only have the fees and enforced hours become much more expensive (for explanation see Park Princeton ad, Town Topics, December 12, p. 9: “the new rate structure  . . .  factored in the cost of the new equipment”), these parking meters are also unusable. One cannot read the instructions on the new pay stations in the dark, and as it is getting dark now at 4:30 p.m., but performances start only at 8 p.m., when one has to pay now, one is totally helpless. Looking for meters that could be fed individually, as proudly advertised, either with coins or credit cards, when I recently had tickets for the Richardson Auditorium University concert, I was confronted with every single parking meter up and down University Place and its cross streets covered with a plastic bag saying “Parking by Permit only.” So forget about coins and credit cards, there is zero use for them.

The Smart Card was a wonderful system and also a just one, because it reimbursed your unused money. Now the Smart Card is out, except for the Spring Street Garage until April. What purpose can the Spring Street Garage provide me, a senior citizen, if I want to go to McCarter Theatre for example? I appreciate that any credit left on our Smart Card after next April will be returned. However, if I understand correctly, 10 percent plus an administrative fee will be deducted. Why are we financially punished? We did not install the new meters. I have lived in Princeton since 1965, for more than half a century, but I will no longer patronize the downtown shops or restaurants, which is impossible now, and while I can live without the amenities that Princeton previously offered, I am sorry for the town’s businesses, for I am certainly not the only one who is affected by that new equipment.

Gerda Panofsky

Battle Road