Sunset Strip Gets Hi-Tech Parking Meters

New parking meters on West Hollywood's glamorous Sunset Strip have even the most sophisticated shoppers doing double takes – and checking their cell phones for time left on their meter.
wehonews.gifParking meters users along a choice section of the Sunset Strip inhabited by the Sunset Plaza shopping and dining mecca, Users key an assigned space onto a digital screen, pick how long they want to park, and dial a national toll-free number for directions. The user's cell phone will ring with an automated reminder when time at the curb has expired.

The city sees it as a convenience for other parkers as well as those who will avoid tickets.

West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land said, "People will use the stores. We might lose money in parking fines, but we will make it up with sales tax from people coming to our restaurants and retail shops."
"If people will move off the spaces, there will be more parking available," said Mayor Land.

While watched, one man, apparently gazing at the machine for the first time, finally gave up and moved his car. When asked why, he replied, "I'm trying to park, not order my wife a new blouse with my Blackberry."

The meters also require a 45-cent convenience surcharge in addition to the parking rates.
Meters also accept credit cards and change.
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