Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Parking Meters

The Muni-Meters are coming.

Initially, I thought these posts springing up all over the East Village were going to blossom into payphones, which just didn't make sense. Then I realized: They're Muni-Meters, those European parking meters "prone to provoking anguished cries of confusion," according to the Times when New York City began adopting the Muni-Meters in 1999.

New York's analog meters had their guts replaced by digitals in 1995 until the last mechanical meter was removed from Coney Island in 2006. But the housings remained with us, those gray, cobra-head shapes made by Mackay in Canada.

The arrival of the Munis means the demise of the old parking meters, a familiar shape relatively unchanged since it was invented by Carl Magee in 1935.

I like clunky, clockworky mechanical things, so I'll miss the meters. I like giving them a musical slap with my palm as I walk by them. And I like their coin collectors--seeing those men and women coming down the street with their little carts, hearing the crashing of coin as they empty meter after meter. I guess this means they'll be vanishing, too.

Photo: Ron Luttrell II Collection


Anonymous said...

a good news. thx

ChickenUnderwear said...

I have one of those old "analog" parking meters (Don't ask me how I got it;). It is full of dimes, if you are in a quiet place and feed it a dime, you can hear it tik. At the end of half an hour it makes a big click. I have used it as a kitchen timer.

Jeremiah Moss said...

love it! sounds like a mild and gentle pet.

Anonymous said...

I like the old meters better!!!If it ain't broke why fix it? I really wonder why I am reminiscing so much--it is actually bumming me out-

Anonymous said...

brave new world. everything is better and more efficient. just like the borg. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED! Who needs fallible human touches anyway.

GothamTomato said...

And be forwarned: When the Muni Meters go in, the parking fees DOUBLE instantly. It is now $2 an hour instead of $1.

And not having the regularly spaced meters means that the space is not defined - causing more problems.

rob said...

...and you could chain a bike to a parking meter, but not to a munimeter.