Parking Meter Vandalism On The Rise?
That’s the question posed in an email which included the photograph above from an observant reader.
The photo shows a meter made completely inoperable by black spray paint which covers all signage and digital readouts on the face of the pay box.
“Geek! Check out this photo I took today,” says reader Ron. “There’s also a big gold colored spray painted piece of graffiti down the side of the machine. Has there been an upswing in meter vandalism lately?”
None of the neighboring machines were touched according to Ron.
While we’ve noticed a few pay box machines with some naughty four letter words scribbled on the front of a meter or two, there doesn’t seem to be any dramatic increase in vandalism like the city saw in the spring and summer of 2009.
That’s when during the transition of the control of Chicago’s parking meter system from public to private hands went awry under poor execution by LAZ Parking and when combined with quadrupled meter rates, enraged a handful of individuals to take their wrath out on the meters in an illegal manner.
Back then a hundred or so traditional single head meters were spray painted or broken–a criminal act if the perpetrator was caught.
Perhaps this particular meter is the result of continued frustration with the meter lease deal as a new bill from Chicago Parking Meters, LLC was announced in the media just a few days ago.
But more likely than not, it is probably the work of some bored jackass who may or may not have consumed one too many adult beverages over the long holiday weekend.
But concerned drivers should not be too overly concerned. LAZ Parking’s meter maintenance staff is very quick and efficient in cleaning vandalized machines. Rest assured this pay box should be as good as new in short order.