Ah, the pleasant surprise of pulling into a parking space and realizing there's money left on the meter. But that's no longer the case with five of the 30 new parking meters installed on Throckmorton around Depot Plaza.
The meters, which accept credit and debit cards, were installed in September as part of a three-month pilot program to collect data that will help determine future parking needs downtown. But part of that data collection means five of them are equipped with sensors that reset once you leave - even if you haven't used all of your time.
"When you drive off, they do go back to zero," said Mill Valley Police Lt. Ken Dunkel. In addition to collecting the data, its an effective way to increase revenue, he said.
Although the meters are part of a three-month trial program, they'll be there well into January. The free parking policy from Thanksgiving to Christmas will extend their use into 2013.
A recently formed ad hoc committee will use the data collected to review downtown parking as a whole. Dunkel said the city may also look at pay-by-smart-phone meters, and is taking into consideration what neighboring cities and towns are doing. Mill Valley has a total of 396 parking meters downtown.
What do you think of the new meters? Do you agree with them resetting? Like the new credit card option? Tell us in the comments.
And email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.389.4100 to share your thoughts with the Mill Valley Police Department.