Dept. Of New Urban Guessing Games: How Long Is The Idiot In Front Of You Gonna Take At The Parking Kiosk?

ppaYou will pardon the old-man-yells-at-cloud nature of this post, we hope, because real talk: Now that it’s the holidays and all the white-flighters are trickling back into the city for their Nutcracker this and their old-favorite-restaurant that, we’re finding that nothing makes us wanna HULK SMASH more than the sight of an entire family gathered in front of a damned Philadelphia Parking Authority meter kiosk thing, staring at it like each one of them was fucking Encino Man being given a Gameboy for the first time. How long will they take? Will they figure it out? Is there another parking kiosk down the street that doesn’t have a family of little Andy Reids all arguing about how to use it? Shit, there isn’t? We knew driving here was a bad idea in the first place.

  • gabe

    I feel ya. But to be fair, the interface design of those machines is abominable.

    Who wants to bet that the kiosk company owners were pretty well-connected and had little competition for the contract?

  • fichadelphia

    Umm parking is free after 11 AM in Center City during the Christmas season. Duh.

  • emmkay

    Free after 11AM on Saturdays only. Also free Wednesday nights year round.

    But I agree with Gabe. I know how to use the stupid thing, but that doesn’t mean it won’t spend 5 minutes spitting out my card/dollars. My favorite part is when it takes a couple dollars, then rejects more dollars and spits out a ticket with less time than you need, forcing you to either come back at the time it decided on or start over for a new ticket.

  • http://www.PhillyChitChat.com PhillyChitChat

    So true. Saturday night the kiosk at 2300 Market would only allow me to buy a ticket for the full amount (4hrs) which took me to 1AM, but parking was free after 10PM.

  • mordesquitos

    Then there was the time that I the machine would cancel the transaction every time I used a credit card when I’d press the green button to finish. Apparently, jerking me around for 5 minutes was the machine’s way of saying that it wanted cash only. This was around 300 s. 9th st.

  • bgurly

    are you kidding?!? these kiosks are the least intuitive atrocities which seem to coincide with the whole arsenal of ppa drones!

  • blerg

    Gotta join the chorus here. Those kiosks are EVIL. If you have somehow figured out how to obtain a ticket for the amount you wanted in less than 5 mins, you must be Satan himself.

  • http://brianalexandrowicz.com thebrianator

    I worked with the PPA on fixing the interfaces of these kiosks last year as part of a class. Our team came up with some good ideas, but there’s really not much help for the things unless they get entirely new machines.