Glendale to shut down electronic parking meters to repair glitch

Glendale officials today announced plans to temporarily shut down electronic parking meters in the downtown area after discovering a lapse in the wireless communication with enforcement officers that could lead to a ticket for motorists who are still within the time they've paid for.

Metered parking will revert to manual enforcement as city officials work to correct the problem. Signs letting people know about the change are slated to be posted later today.

The multi-space electronic meters, installed at the turn of 2009, were conceived as a way to prevent people from taking up valuable storefront spaces along Brand Boulevard for hours at a time, preventing the customer turnover that business owners said was needed.

Parking enforcement officers communicate with the meter stations via a wireless connection that alerts them to a delinquent space in real-time. But after complaints of unfair tickets, there has apparently been a glitch in which a space transmits as being delinquent a few minutes before the allotted time should have run out.

In a notice sent out about the glitch, city spokesman Tom Lorenz said that as the city works to upgrade the system, motorists will not have to pay for parking in the metered spots, although time limits will be enforced manually.

"It’s our goal that we are customer-friendly and at same time meeting the demands of the merchants for their desire for turnover on the spaces," he said.

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