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Thread: Parking meters to be replaced by newer technology

  1. #1
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    Default Parking meters to be replaced by newer technology

    CBC:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...ng-meters.html

    Journal:
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...217/story.html

    CTV:
    http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/new-techn...eters-1.868759

    They want to look at replacing the coin meters with those that accept credit cards, debit cards and smartphones.

    Which other city's parking tech should Edmonton look at? Calgary? Victoria? St. John's?
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Yeah but that thread has turned into a rant against parking tickets during a stat holiday. New city initiative, new thread, NEW IDEAS.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    New meters should also accept the proposed new reloadable ETS cards.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Yeah but that thread has turned into a rant against parking tickets during a stat holiday. New city initiative, new thread, NEW IDEAS.
    Its not a new idea, its an idea that should have happened years ago. Calgary did it in 2006, while COE dithered:


    Why ParkPlus?

    Many Calgarians may wonder why the City of Calgary decided to replace parking meters for on-street parking. Over the last four years, we estimate that ParkPlus pay machines are saving Calgarians $2.7M annually. Rush hour towing has also been reduced by 40 per cent. The CPA believes that the ParkPlus system offers many benefits to its customers and is the preferred solution for on-street parking in Calgary.
    http://www.calgaryparking.com/web/guest/whyparkplus

    Oh well, I guess COE will do a big research project and hire lots of consultants to work out the obvious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Oh well, I guess COE will do a big research project and hire lots of consultants to work out the obvious.
    you mean like any city would when implementing a project like this, just like Calgary did?

    Back to you, CalgaryBiggestFan.
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    ^no, but this is an example of COE incompetence, why does it 6 years to even start thinking about technology that other cities were already benefiting from? A system like this is needed, just put it out to tender and implement.

    From the journal article (seems talking about technology used in Calgary is allowed in newspapers):

    In Calgary, staff can check 4,600 stalls an hour by taking digital photos of licence plates — a computer looks at the time left for that plate, and if it has expired automatically sends out a ticket.

    “To have somebody walk the beat and run around, it’s just so time consuming,” MacDonald said.

    “You get a picture of your vehicle. How do you argue with that?”

    Calgary Parking Authority officials met with their Edmonton counterparts in February to outline their ParkPlus system.
    Last edited by moahunter; 07-07-2012 at 10:14 AM.

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    I hope Edmonton gets with the 21st century here. The meters in calgary and toronto are far more convenient.
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    From what I understand from the news reports, the city is looking at these alternatives now because the lifespan of the current coin meters are expiring. Is Calgary's the best option? Or do other cities have better alternatives?
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    I think the meters are the latest detail of how far behind our downtown is compared to other Canadian cities. We've had to play a lot of catch up, something that Edmonton has only recently recognized, and has initiated an action plan to fix up the 500 or so things needed for downtown, and parking meters are about item #160.
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    I saw those meters in LA years ago and thought they were pretty cool.

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    Kim likes it

    Hi Kim, has the city considered having the proposed new reloadable ETS fare cards work with the proposed new electronic parking meters? One card to use all of Edmonton's transit services would be a fantastic option.

    Thanks,
    Chmilz

    Kim Krushell [email protected]
    12:43 PM (5 hours ago)to me


    Good idea. I will check with Transit and see if this is something they are looking at doing and get back to you.

    Cheers!
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    I think the meters are the latest detail of how far behind our downtown is compared to other Canadian cities. We've had to play a lot of catch up, something that Edmonton has only recently recognized, and has initiated an action plan to fix up the 500 or so things needed for downtown, and parking meters are about item #160.
    That may be wise. My family got its first computer, a CPM machine, in 1980 for about $5000. If only we'd waited a few years...

    Would have being at the forefront of meter technology have paid off? What was Calgary's payback period? Has the technology evolved and will Edmonton's be superior to Calgary's when implemented?
    Last edited by KC; 07-07-2012 at 08:57 PM.

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    I think KC has a point. I don't understand the upset because Edmonton doesn't have the latest and greatest toys. If it is true that the current parking meters are nearing the end of their lifecycle, this is a perfect time to think about replacing them. It's nice of the other cities to test drive the new products.

    I, too, wasted thousands of dollars during the early computing days. It taught me not to waste my money on cutting edge. It's better to wait a bit until others have debugged the new technology and standards have been set.

    Eve

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    Yep it's definitely good to wait and let other cities test drive these sorts of things sometimes. I visited a friend in London a few years back when they has just started in a pay-by-phone system for street parking. Back when it was a new concept. Their initial setup was infuriatingly difficult to use, and took ages to setup and pay. I heard they ended up replacing the whole system at some point because of all the complaints.

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    Should have been installed in downtown Edmonton five years ago.
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    Much easier to expense parking for my work this way. I'm all for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blainehamilton View Post
    Much easier to expense parking for my work this way. I'm all for it.
    Yeah that's my 2nd biggest beef with cash. 1st is that I never have coins.
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    And Calgary is now text connected to parking meters.

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/ca...666/story.html
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    Parking meter pilot extended until January
    http://www.industrymailout.com/Indus...9836&qz=431188
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    One thing I noticed that I dislike about this system, is less cars fit on the street now. Meters are properly spaced and cars line up with them. Without meters, cars haphazardly park wherever, often leaving large gaps too small for another vehicle, but large enough to take away an effective parking spot. The city should paint parking lines on the road or curb so people space themselves accordingly.
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    Launch of electronic parking meters in Edmonton delayed at least a month
    http://metronews.ca/news/edmonton/13...least-a-month/

    The long-awaited roll out of the city’s E-Parking meters is being delayed at least a month, as the city has yet to even sign the necessary contracts.

    City councillors endorsed plans earlier this year to sign an agreement to use Calgary’s Park Plus system, as the software for the new electronic meters.

    The Calgary system allows drivers to pay for parking with credit cards, to top up parking with their phones and it allows for easier enforcement.

    The city issued a separate tender for the physical machines and while that has closed, Laura McNabb, a spokesperson for the city said they’re still ironing out the details.

    “The contracts aren’t signed. There has been no contract finalization for either the equipment or actually the software, so they’re not going to be rolled out,” she said.

    She said the new target is the end of June, but that is a soft target with no official date yet.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    I'm not a fan of the machines. Like most payment devices, you sit there staring at it trying to figure out what to do. They're not very intuitive. Better than carrying change.

    Do they give receipts? That would be awesome for us business folk.
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    ^yes and the one in city centre parkade for pilot project is quite simple. You just need you remember your plate number. It was less complicated than expected. Used the ones in Calgary years ago and they were decent. They do provide receipts.

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    You can also sign up and then 'tap' your credit card or the like from what I heard... ie. super quick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    I'm not a fan of the machines. Like most payment devices, you sit there staring at it trying to figure out what to do. They're not very intuitive.
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    I'd recommend to anyone to download the phone App, you just put $25 on your account, then any time you park, just start a session and put in the number. Couldnt be easier.

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    This should bring in a ton of money to the city, as they'll be double-billing for a lot of time. I parked downtown Saturday at 5pm, but I managed to snag a meter with over an hour on it. I didn't have to pay anything, but under the new machines I would have paid for an hour to bring me up to 6pm, and the city would have double-charged for that 5-6 hour.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    I'd recommend to anyone to download the phone App, you just put $25 on your account, then any time you park, just start a session and put in the number. Couldnt be easier.
    No receipt though.
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    receipts could be emailed through the app no?
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    ^ As someone who periodically has to process parking claims, I would love to be able to receive a copy of an email rather than little cash register receipts.

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    There's a few pay lots I have used here and elsewhere with apps or a number you can call, and it emails me receipts... not too hard to implement I'm sure.
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    What could be simpler than just paying with change?

    I don't own a smartphone, never will, and so thus won't have the "APP" to make this convenient or get the receipt emailed out to me.

    My experience with these things in other cities is its a nightmare. Type in licence plate number, find out what numeric number you are parked in, go back and look at to figure out what number you are, go back and somebody else is using machine, wait, input, everything again. Do everything as indicated and then stare at the machine as it does nothing at all. Then have somebody kind come along and say that machine has been out of order all week. (This was at Inglewood in Calgary) Then swear a blue streak and **** off looking for a coin meter..

    **** this ****. Technology for the sake of it. Can't wait for automakers to require me to have a smartphone Bluetooth setup to start my vehicle...(sarcasm)
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    ^you can pay with change, that's what I will do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    ^you can pay with change, that's what I will do.
    Yeah, but now you have to enter a whole bunch of information on a screen. In broad daylight when I find that you can barely see what the screens say.

    Instead of just pulling up and plunking in change you gotta stand there minutes trying to enter in information, hoping it works, and while squinting so you can barely see the poor quality visual display. These are the same ones they have in Calgary right? Good luck using them on a sunny day. When I have my prescription sunglasses on I can't read these displays at all. When I take my prescription sunglasses of I can't see anything..

    Like I say good luck. Look at the glare even with moderate sun;

    Last edited by Replacement; 04-06-2015 at 11:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    ^ As someone who periodically has to process parking claims, I would love to be able to receive a copy of an email rather than little cash register receipts.
    I wish I could send emails to my payables dept. However, despite being a digital media company, they won't process any parking expenses unless the original physical receipt is mailed. It's rather embarrassing.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    ^you can pay with change, that's what I will do.
    Yeah, but now you have to enter a whole bunch of information on a screen. In broad daylight when I find that you can barely see what the screens say.

    Instead of just pulling up and plunking in change you gotta stand there minutes trying to enter in information, hoping it works, and while squinting so you can barely see the poor quality visual display. These are the same ones they have in Calgary right? Good luck using them on a sunny day. When I have my prescription sunglasses on I can't read these displays at all. When I take my prescription sunglasses of I can't see anything..

    Like I say good luck. Look at the glare even with moderate sun;

    I am a luddite and simpleton as well, but once we get through a little transitionary period all will be fine.
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    ^ I have a -10 optical prescription and also some uncorrectable difficulty reading small font on poor visual display. Grey on grey tone display is exceedingly poor contrast. Really about the worst interface possible.

    A lot of people have difficulty reading these displays. Add glare, daylight to this and these displays are virtually unreadable at least for a segment of the population. As are smartphones in certain lighting conditions but at least have better visual contrast and display settings.

    Its astounding to me that in a day and age where society moves towards inclusion, increasing accessibility, that we also move towards inaccessibility if its in the name of technology.

    So ironic that this is seen as improvement.

    Fact of the matter is nobody is even thinking about whether all people can read these displays.

    Not even mentioning language barriers. We're an ethnic city. Anybody any language can interpret what a numerical amount is and feed correct coins into a meter. But add language, and questions and answers to it and it becomes another matter.

    Do people in City Hall even consider these things?
    Last edited by Replacement; 04-06-2015 at 12:59 PM.
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    As long as there's a coin slot on these things I'm good to go. Forget all the technocrap.
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    ^^agree to a point, but this will also allow a lot of flexibility with payment for many folks dont have change either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    ^^agree to a point, but this will also allow a lot of flexibility with payment for many folks dont have change either.
    Not having change in pocket is a decision. Anybody CAN have change in pocket. It isn't a barrier unless a person has no money period in which case they're probably not driving.

    Not being able to read the directions(due to language barrier) or properly view the visual display(due to visual barrier presbyobia/cataracts etc) is NOT a decision.

    So we're paying here to create greater barriers and limit accessibility.

    These issues have been raised in jurisdictions where these are used and virtually nothing ever gets stated about it. Just suck it up apparently. Or stop parking at meters.
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    So then, leave them as is? What would you suggest?
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    So then, leave them as is? What would you suggest?
    Leave them. Or at least do what some jurisdictions do and provide both alternatives. Low and hitech.

    Maybe replace as they breakdown. Why would that not be an option?

    Or alternately use suitable technology. Why does the interface have to be involved, complicated, requiring input, screen, etc.?

    The city is only doing this because it makes enforcement somewhat easier as they just drive by and can detect which meters are expired without looking. Surely theres technology that allows that option without all this input and end user requirement.
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    I'm surprised this is such a big debate, these systems work really well in the cities where they have been rolled out. I think Edmontonians are just as smart as people in those cities. There will always be people scared of change I guess, it was probably like this when autos started replacing horse's (what if the auto breaks down? Oh the humanity...)

  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    I'm surprised this is such a big debate, these systems work really well in the cities where they have been rolled out. I think Edmontonians are just as smart as people in those cities. There will always be people scared of change I guess, it was probably like this when autos started replacing horse's (what if the auto breaks down? Oh the humanity...)
    If you're reading the comments visual acuity or language barrier has less to do with intelligence. These are real barriers to the use of these devices.

    Its funny that in a day and age where we build so much, structure so much with access in mind that we also absentedly mindedly introduce such technology that CREATES barriers to use for a considerable segment of the population. While inferring that it is progress and improvement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    I'm surprised this is such a big debate
    There isn't a big debate. There's a single poster galloping on their hobby horse, as always.

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    Idea: We should transfer ALL city services to a card based system. An all-inclusive "oyster card" if you will.

    Charge it up, use it on transit, use it on parking stalls, use it on rec centres, etc. Would also make it easier if some day we get our act together and start using toll roads (fingers crossed).

    You could top them up anywhere, the payment system would be streamlined and centralized for everything.

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    Nothing wrong with that. I could buy an Oyster Card in London in plenty of places with good old cash from my pocket.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    I'm surprised this is such a big debate
    There isn't a big debate. There's a single poster galloping on their hobby horse, as always.


    Not sure what your problem is with people communicating on a message board.

    Look the other way or put me on ignore. Your choice. But complaining about my posts while reading them is curious.. So shut up complaining about them or ignore them. Simple.



    I communicate on not even 1% of the topics on this board. Not hard to look the other way instead of doing your latest sarcastic drive by.

    "As always"...

    Oh wait, let me call it. SDM and Hilman with their circle jerk thank you's at any abuse directed at Replacement. Speaking of predictable..Its like clockwork.
    Last edited by Replacement; 04-06-2015 at 05:06 PM.
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    Umm... SDM and Hilman haven't even commented on your posts in this thread.

    Replacement, have you tried calling 311 about the parking meters? Maybe there's some kind of solution they can come up with for people that have a hard time seeing the screens. Not really sure what that would be, though.

    It's a bit surprising that no one has come up with an anti-glare screen for these. I haven't had a problem using them before, but I'm technologically advanced and have good eyesight. I don't, however, have any experience paying using a cell phone.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  52. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    Umm... SDM and Hilman haven't even commented on your posts in this thread.

    Replacement, have you tried calling 311 about the parking meters? Maybe there's some kind of solution they can come up with for people that have a hard time seeing the screens. Not really sure what that would be, though.

    It's a bit surprising that no one has come up with an anti-glare screen for these. I haven't had a problem using them before, but I'm technologically advanced and have good eyesight. I don't, however, have any experience paying using a cell phone.
    Himan particularly has probably 100 posts thanking people for doing drivebys of my posts. Its become a meme and a misuse of the intention of the thank you function. That's all.

    SDM, did the same thank you in this thread because I intervened with him abusing another poster in another thread yesterday. So he took a number I'm guessing.

    The board as we've discussed can be an abusive place. Although I don't feel that conduct is necessary. Nor will I condone it or standby when its happening.

    Back to the topic I'll try calling 311 again. Doesn't do a lot of good. Seems like in instances that I know 10 people are calling in they have a habit formed response of saying its never been brought up before. Its like a rote textbook answer designed to diminish any and all concern.

    Anyway enough of this on this thread. IanO and I were having a back and forth which I didn't think was a problem and the discussion was conducted appropriately on a discussion board. Oh the horror.

    Anyway if people don't understand the concern with grey on grey contrast leading to poor visual display on outdoor meters heres a site that goes into depth on contrast and legibility basics as aids to reading display.

    http://contrastrebellion.com/
    Last edited by Replacement; 04-06-2015 at 06:25 PM.
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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the best part of the new parking meters -- they allow many more cars to fit into the same amount of space since you park within a zone, not immediately beside a meter. This allows more cars to fit in the same amount of space because a smart car, for example, won't take up an entire metred parking space.

    This system is great for providing more on street access and was great when I lived in Calgary.

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    Except people in Edmonton can't park properly, even WITH lines That means there will be half a car width beside many vehicles, preventing others from parking in the space.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  55. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    So then, leave them as is? What would you suggest?
    Get a better machine. I have a $4 Staples brand calculator that has both a better screen and more intuitive buttons. It's not that difficult to make a better device.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Looks like parking meter replacement will be happening very soon.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  57. #57
    Plug C2E into my veins!!!
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    The signs up, but I haven't noticed any electrical work etc for the actual machines required for the new system.

  58. #58

    Thumbs up

    I park at City hall frequently using this app. It works great. Hope they blanket the city with them,

  59. #59
    C2E Long Term Contributor
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    Downtown is not far from starting use... everything is almost in place, just awaiting the meters themselves, pads are in.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  60. #60

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    I've only ever used these machines in calgary and dont remember if they take cash/coins/debit - is it credit only?

  61. #61
    C2E Long Term Contributor
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    Coins or credit.

    See image below
    Last edited by IanO; 24-09-2015 at 11:24 AM.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  62. #62

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    yikes! resize please!

  63. #63

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    Anybody else note how on Ian's supersized image how poor the visual display is. Is this a 1979 commodore display? Atari?

    This is the number one criticism of these displays is that people with any difficulty seeing the visual display can't navigate these machines.

    Now try to view this display with sunlight and glare on it.

    In Calgary a few years ago I had to actually drive from one of these in which I couldn't visibly see the display to find one that was more in the shade and still very hard to read.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  64. #64
    C2E Long Term Contributor
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    ^
    ^^size was intentional to show detail.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  65. #65

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    crop then...

  66. #66

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    In case Ian doesn't have access to a cropping tool.

    Last edited by lat; 24-09-2015 at 11:26 AM.

  67. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective View Post
    I've only ever used these machines in calgary and dont remember if they take cash/coins/debit - is it credit only?
    Both, but the easiest is actually the app - you preload $25 and can just do it in your car, and monitor it.

  68. #68
    C2E Long Term Contributor
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    ^^thanks
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  69. #69
    C2E Long Term Contributor
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    My only gripe with those machines are the location of the instructions. Visually it makes more sense to have the instructions listed on top and the screen below it because you need to see the instructions first.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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