Tuesday, 15 January 2013
The Parking Congregation
We see them more and more whenever we go out. Groups made of people that up until that particular moment did not know their peers existed, all huddled around one focal point and all united by a single cause: finding enough change to feed into the f*cking parking meter.
I noticed it when we recently visited Melbourne's St Kilda beach. I noticed it when we visited Katoomba (at The Blue Mountains near Sydney) today. The cause is the same: local councils, greedy for extra income, erect parking meters. Upon the initial installation these meters only require a dollar or so for adequate parking. With the food comes the appetite, though, and the local councils raise their tariffs so that now the cost of an hour's worth of parking is $5 or even more. In order for the average bloke to make the average restaurant visit, for example, more change is required than your average piggy bank can hold - not to mention your average wallet.
The local councils don't care, though. Why should they invest money in allowing people to pay with credit cards or, heaven forbid, their smartphone? No, they'll use the same old machines and put the toll of coming up with coins on the ever so desperate citizen. Because they care.