The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local Business

September 14, 2013

Balky parking meters, tickets frustrate downtown business patrons

ANDERSON — In all the years she has been driving, Debby Furney never received a parking ticket — until a recent Friday afternoon after meeting friends for lunch at the Cabbage Road Eatery downtown on Meridian Street.

When Furney returned to her car — parked in the city's metered lot across the street — tucked under the windshield wiper was a ticket giving her a $10 fine. She was surprised to see it. And frustrated. So was another friend who also was cited.

"That's the first parking ticket I've ever had, and I'm 65," Furney said.

However, Furney admits she didn't put a quarter in the meter. Experience told her it would be frustrating.

In the past, her quarter disappeared into the slot and she received no time credit on the meter. The first few times it happened, she moved to another space, only to find that meter also was broken.

Eventually, Furney decided to stop throwing good money after bad and she quit feeding the meters.

"I've put a lot of quarters in those meters and they just haven't worked,"

And it wasn't a problem. After a leisurely lunch, Furney and her friends would return to their cars and drive away.

Furney's companion the other week, Durena Reed, shares her friend's frustration, calling the whole experience "just another aggravation for downtown Anderson."

Anderson Police Department Maj. Sean Richwine acknowledged the women must have been frustrated. He advised people who encounter balky parking meters to walk across Main Street to police headquarters and tell officers at the front desk about the problem.

He added that department officers are attempting to enforce parking ordinances more consistently, and sent a letter to downtown business owners advising them of new enforcement efforts.

Reed scoffed at walking a city block to complain. The better solution, she said, would be for the city to keep meters in good working order and enforce parking laws consistently.

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