New Rochelle Parking Meter Vandal Strikes for 4th Times in 10 Months, 5 of 6 Machines Across Two Downtown Lots Now Out of Service

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Cursing Strome 2For the fourth time in 10 months, Parking Pay Stations in downtown New Rochelle have been rendered inoperable. All three of the pay station machines at the Prospect Street Lot were rendered inoperable. One pay station machine at the library lot was again rendered inoperable in an attack last night. One pay station machine is still out of service since the previous attack in October. Two previous attacks took place in February and May.

The latest attacks come just days after parking fees at downtown lots were doubled from 50 cents an hour to $1.00 an hour suggesting the possibility that the attacks were a response to the increase in parking fees. No signs indicating the change in parking fees were visible at any of the downtown lots.

The cost to taxpayers for the oft-vandalized machines now stands in excess of $50,000...and counting.

As we have reported several times before, the technique used by the vandal is simple, quick and totally destroys the inner workings of the machines. No one has been caught vandalizing a machine. All of the vandalism has occurred since the City went to 24/7 parking enforcement in the downtown area. Talk of the Sound has repeatedly pointed out that simply fixing the damaged machines will only be a prelude to further vandalism, more losses and increased expenses.

Last night a congealed blue liquid was clearly visible, having streamed down the front of one of the damage pay stations.

Pay Station1

City officials have previously told Talk of the Sound the average weekly revenue for the library lot is $1,200. The metered area of the Prospect Street lot is about the same size.

Police have continued what is described as "targeted" investigations. The City has planned on installing cameras and it appears that at least one of the machines may now have a camera installed so it is possible that the police will be able to obtain an image of the perpetrator.

Vandalism is not covered under the city's service contract so not only is the City out about $2,500 a week in lost parking fee revenue (and counting) but will pay about $10,000 to repair the damaged meters, some of which have been repaired multiple times over the past year. Prior to the recent attacks the City had lost over $25,000 in parking revenue and spent roughly $10,000 in repairs. The total cost will soon exceed $50,000.

Any costs are in addition to the amount of parking fines not collected in the two lots when all of the machines are inoperable.

Making matters worse, the "local" vendor does not keep the coin sensors in stock so those parts must be shipped from the manufacturer in Vancouver, British Columbia. As most of the parking pay station revenue for the lot comes in the form of coins, the coin sensors the most critical part of the machine.

Pay Station4

P2y Station1

Pay Station2

October 2011: Deja Vu All Over Again as New Rochelle Parking Pay Stations Disabled by Vandals for Third Time in 8 Months

May 2011: Machines in Library Lot hit by Vandals Again

March 2011: New Rochelle Library Parking Pay Stations Vandalized, Damage and Lack of Enforcement Will Cost City Over Ten Thousand Dollars

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Citizen Observer on Thu, 01/05/2012 - 14:25

1 remove the meters completly, the vagrants may move on, No more revenue for them.

2. Put the mayor on one of his robo rants,it goes something like this

We Intend to clean up our City there is no more leaf collection this year. Have your leaves removed or face a 250.00 fine, which will not be negotiated at The City court.

Give the people 2 weeks to comply, Put the police and DPW out there giving fines.

We get a clean city and revenue to boot. Win Win!

Keep our City Clean!

 

 

Fifth Ave Guy on Thu, 01/05/2012 - 15:04

That's a real friendly approach to the city's financial mess, hand out fines to the citizens.  Why not set-up road blocks 24/7 and hand out tickets that why?  And why leaf collection?  Do you know how many trees are out there?  And now you want me to purchase a hundred or two-hundred paper bags to put leaves in?  Will Noam the environmentalist be for all this waste?  Where are the tree huggers?  I'd rather have my garbage picked up once a week.  And we should probably privatize the whole garbage collection operation to bring in innovative ideas, like 1 man trucks.  And with that the city would only need a much smaller city yard, so it would make the giveaway of Echo Bay that much easier. 

Again NR issues are with how it operates and spending, not revenue.

Citizen Observer on Thu, 01/05/2012 - 20:30

I think you miissed my point, I also dont want to fine taxpayers, I pay more than my share.

However when I drive through New Rochelle every day. And see people put out garbage on the wrong days (all weekend), Put there leaves out after pick up time has expired, Then see no enforcement of qulity of life issuses. Thats the point I was trying to make

 

Bob McCaffrey on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 14:05

The city can’t be expected to manage ignorance or stupidity. They put out two mailings and a calendar for us. They have a web site and a public channel on cable. I shake my head every week when I see the wrong things put out on the wrong days. However as I have said, when there is a change or disruption of the norm, they need to communicate better. They can robo call at election time so use the system to the cities benefit. People just don’t pay attention anymore, nor do I think some even care what people say or think. If it is a neighbor then say something or start a post of problem spots in the city on TOTS. People don’t seem to change unless they are embarrassed enough to make change or take the time to do things right.

Fifth Ave Guy on Fri, 01/06/2012 - 17:43

Repeat offenders deserve tickets, but the solution should start with warnings 1st and then move up the ladder. 

John D'Alois on Wed, 01/04/2012 - 22:47

As you may recall, city councilmember  liar, Barry Fertel, proudly proclaimed, lied, to every person sitting in the audience and to all who would watch the candidates debate on TV, that the city has solved the problem and will be replacing all the meters with smart meters that not only take credit cards, but can be paid up with your smart phone as you enjoy your dining experience in downtown New Rochelle. No need to get out of your seat to feed the meter while you feed your face. He told this to anyone who would listen, except, of course, Chuck Strome. Probably the one person who really should need to know this little bit of information, lie. Strangely enough, a mere one week later on the In the City show, someone asked Mr Strome about this very same Fertelism. I believe Mr Strome's reply was " He's effin Nuts we can't afford to pay attention, let alone pay for new meters"( that's not actually true, but you can see how a lie can affect one's perception.) Mr Strome did in fact go on to say, that there is nothing in process nor did he know of any plan, either short term or long term to replace the meters with smart meters. Now who would you believe, a city manager with no reason to lie about the status of parking meters, or  a "politician" who is on stage trying to improve his image by blowing smoke up your, well, you get the idea. Under pressure to defend his failed term as a councilman, he needed to redirect the conversation to instill the illusion of accomplishment for something he not only didn't do, but doesn't even have a plan to make it happen.  Go back and watch the debate, then call him to see if he really has a secret plan Mr Strome is unaware of.

John Imburgia on Wed, 01/04/2012 - 23:53

Anyone who puts any stock in what Fertel says needs to have their head examined.  

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