have been added, mostly on residential streets near downtown. Currently, 1,603 coin meters and 621 solar-powered e-meters are in operation. Since each digital meter covers about five to eight spaces, though, many more drivers now press a keypad than turn a crank.
Morehouse acknowledges the city's received a few complaints about the e-meters, particularly from older people annoyed by the extra walking (and the irritating waits in line). One upside, he points out, is that drivers can add minutes to their e-parking space from any e-meter in the city--though he estimates that just 10-15 percent of users take advantage of the feature. The bigger convenience is that e-parkers can pay with credit cards or cash.
When the city retires mechanical meters, Morehouse says, it has no trouble selling them--sometimes to small towns just starting to charge for street parking.
The following Calls & letters item appeared in the February 2013 Ann Arbor Observer: