Kudos to Keene police’s chief Ken Meola for being able to admit he was wrong. In a letter to the FOP committee and city boss John MacLean, Meola states (see the letter on page 27 of this PDF):
Since implementation, the following observations/feedback has been noted:
– Numerous mechanical difficulties have arisen with the machines and they continue to present.
– The public is finding the technology difficult to operate.
– The technology is not conducive to customers of the downtown businesses.
– Downtown merchants have reported constant complaints about the new kiosks and have reported down-turns in business as a result.
– Space usage and enforcement is down due to the mechanical issues and the difficulties the public has had with using it.
Although a 90 day trial period was requested, it appears that the trial period already undertaken is sufficient to indicate this technology will not work at this time within the City of Keene and that it will not produce the benefits originally believed.
Consequently, we will be suspending the trial period, removing the pay-by-space machines, and re-installing the coin operated parking meters.
Of course, what they should do is take down all the parking meters. It works during the week in the holiday season where only the two-hour limit is enforced – it would work all year long.