Saturday, December 13, 2008

No More "Tricked And Trapped" On Washington Avenue SE (Thank You, Councilman Cam Gordon!) Photo

I've written a couple of times about the "tricked and trapped" towing situation in the Stadium Village neighborhood of Minneapolis, click here, and also click here.

Could it just be some kind of weird blogosphere coincidence that the City of Minneapolis has fixed the problem along that small stretch of street, plus installed innovative new meters which take credit cards? Somehow, I don't think so! But I'm going to give credit to... Councilman Cam Gordon, who told me during his election four years ago (I can hardly believe it was that long) he would indeed look into the issue of more advanced parking meters which might take plastic, like the ones in San Francisco. The meter discussion came up in a series of opinion columns I wrote about the Ward 2 election in Minneapolis, highlighting the two candidates for the Ward 2 council seat but strategically mentioning--OVER AND OVER--there was A GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE IN THE RACE.

(Alleged "improvements" to the Minnesota Daily website makes it difficult to find those old columns in question and create some links)

A recent article in the Minnesota Daily discusses the installation of the new meters, click here, but when I rushed over to see the new meters, my heart filled with joy, pitter pat, it was even better than I could have imagined:

The tricky signage also got changed. You see, the credit card meters aren't at every space, but provide coverage of a number of spaces kind of like a pay lot. So when new signage was erected to direct motorists to the new meters, the towing situation along the street became much more apparent due to the changes in the signage. Now, you can't really put money in the meter without seeing the sign about how YOU WILL BE TOWED if you stay on the street when you're not supposed to.

I almost wish I was in Ward 2 so I could vote for Cam Gordon, but I have my own mission in North Minneapolis.

Cam Gordon really is making life better for U of M students, even though bureaucracy is a big machine to push against, and progress comes in increments. But a long time ago Cam said he was taking an interest in the new meters, and the new meters finally arrived. So I give credit to Cam.

Yeah, I'll probably ask Cam about how it happened, there, but I still give credit to Cam Gordon, here and now.

I hope the new meters work as good as the manufacturer (I am sure) has promised, and eventually replace all the clunky, mean, obsolete, quarters-only meters.

But we still have a long way to go in Minneapolis to eliminate predatory towing. The new meters tend to show what I've been trumpeting for months: communicative technology is the key to eliminating predatory towing.

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