Audit Reveals Serious Problems With Parking Meters In Sacramento
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A scathing audit reveals Sacramento’s on-street parking meters have some serious problems.
The investigation comes after a huge surge in contested parking tickets, including more than 4,000 that were issued by mistake.
A new audit finds Sacramento’s high-tech parking meters are not as smart as they should be.
- In 2017, the city of Sacramento received 7,000 complaints of meters not working.
- It’s taking 6 months for contested tickets to get fixed.
- There are 4,500 smart on-street meters in Sacramento.
“With any type of technology, you’re going to have a margin of error,” said Sacramento City Parking Manager Matt Eierman.
The city began installing the smart meters in 2014, and there are now more than 4,500 of them on the streets.
“We’re proud to have put all the accessible options for people to actually make payments by credit card to make payments by mobile phone,” said Eierman.
Last year, the meters were used more than 5 million times but an audit found the meters had multiple problems that led to tickets being wrongly written. Problems included: battery issues, problems recording payment through the Parkmobile app, and faulty vehicle sensors.
In 2017, the city received nearly 7,000 complaints about meters not working.
“The smart meters were not actually as we had intended them…they were missing recognizing the vehicle, registering the vehicle had left when the vehicle hadn’t,” said Sacramento City Auditor Jorge Oseguera.
Radio problems between the meters and the Parkmobile app also led to many tickets.
“There really was a communication breakdown between the app and the parking meter,” said Eierman.
Adjustments have been made but, “it’s still going to be a possibility that it occurs but we’ve stopped that by having a secondary check in place,” said Eierman. That means parking officers now have to call dispatch and to see if an online payment has been made before writing a ticket.
“With all of these technologies, there’s going to be these unanticipated issues that are going to creep up. The key is how well does the city react once they’re made aware of those issues,” said Oseguera.
The audit also found it’s taking too long — about six months — for a contested ticket to get fixed. The city is hoping to purchase new handheld devices in the next six months so parking officers no longer have to call dispatch before writing tickets.