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Automating parking ramps (sucks)

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Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby narcoleptish » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:51 pm

I just read a Q&A with a parking employee in today's Capital Times insert, I couldn't find it on Madison.com with their deplorable search function so I can't link it. Sorry.

On the issue of fully automating city parking ramps I am completely against it. I know the majority of posters on here probably have no problem with the automation and that's fine, but I don't like it and I know there's a lot of people who agree with me, granted they are probably all older than I, but possible downtown consumers just the same. The guy in the interview talks of the thousands of people a year who need assistance exiting the ramps when human tellers are not available. That would be my parents, if they were still capable of going downtown to shop, and the first time that happened would be the last time they tried to go downtown. I think a lot of older people might come to the same decision.

Me, sure I can figure it out but I just prefer to still take part in a society with lots of human interaction. Plus, if the machines don't offer a cash option I'll try to park elsewhere. I don't feel the need to throw my debit card info out there for every piddly daily expense.

Of course there's also the matter of the human beings who will lose their jobs..
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby rabble » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:59 pm

If we put fully automated parking ramps next to some roundabouts we could rid the world of old people overnight and then we'd have more money so the recession would end.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:01 pm

Last time I checked the automated ramp machines do take cash. Me, I'm all for them. It makes getting out of the ramp that much quicker. Any older person who can use a cash machine, can use the automated ramp machines. It's not that hard.

narcoleptish wrote:Me, sure I can figure it out but I just prefer to still take part in a society with lots of human interaction.


Human interaction with some of the most unfriendly and cold people I've met. Passing money through a window isn't what I'd call personable interaction.

Bring on the robots.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby narcoleptish » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:05 pm

rabble wrote:If we put fully automated parking ramps next to some roundabouts we could rid the world of old people overnight and then we'd have more money so the recession would end.


Hmmm..... could I use those parking spots for the elderly at Shopko then?

Stebben, you just put your headphones back on, we won't bother you.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby Bad Gradger » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:51 pm

The argument that the booth attendants are somehow a vital part of downtown hasn't held any water for me since this proposal was first brought up. But if the city is going to eliminate them, it needs to ensure there is some kind of speedy backup available in the event of an equipment failure. Although I've never had a problem with the pay-on-foot machines, I've already had two instances of the new multi-space meters not working with credit/debit cards. As aggravating as that is, it'd be a whole lot worse if I was stuck in the ramp.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby HOMOsapien » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:07 pm

Bad Gradger wrote:if the city is going to eliminate them, it needs to ensure there is some kind of speedy backup available in the event of an equipment failure.


There already is, its called getting out of your car and manually lifting the barricade.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby eriedasch » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:30 pm

narcoleptish wrote:I On the issue of fully automating city parking ramps I am completely against it.

I agree.

I parked in the Mifflin ramp recently and when we came to the exit gate found the attendant was not there. Since I also prefer to pay in cash we had to back out of line, find the cash payment machine at the opposite end of the ramp on another floor, pay in cash, then drive back to the exit and finally able to leave the ramp. Sure, I guess if I would have known about the lack of attendant we could have paid before getting into the car, but still seems everyone would need to make that mistake at least once before they know the process to pay in cash.

Another issue is security. Already cars are broken into quite regularly in ramps. With no attendants that crime will be even easier to get away with.

Finally, technology is prone to fail. Tech vendors are great at showing how much money you can save by buying their new products, but rarely do they spend much time on how they handle problems. If the new credit card parking meters are already failing I can just imagine the problems the automated ramps will cause when they fail. Will the city have techs on hand (on call?) to rush out to fix the problems or will they be at the mercy of some vendor in another state? How much parking revenue will be lost when they have to lift up the gates and let everyone park for free because the "system is down".

It seems to me this is not the time to be investing a lot of money into automating something that seems to be working fine in order to lay off a bunch of people in rather low paying jobs.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:00 am

Even curmudgery cannot incite a lively discussion here anymore. It's bitchin about the elections or nothing. It's fucking boring.

Couldn't even draw out Thighmastersex. He must have been busy scarfing up office space in the rotunda.

Well, thanks to the five people who showed up. Don't forget to validate your parking stubs before you leave or you'll never get outta the stupid ramp.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby Ducatista » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:26 pm

I liked the pay-by-sms meters I saw in the Benelux this summer. Once you're a registered user, you just text the meter or ramp kiosk, give it your license plate number, and walk away. You don't even have to give it a space number. When it's time to leave, text your departure and drive off.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby jjoyce » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:15 pm

But I have to take out my reading glasses if I want to use my phone. Can't there just be a person there to hand my paper money to and get directions to the nearest bakery from?

I banned Time Master over the holiday weekend. His ten-day run was three days too long, as evidenced by his last few posts.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby HOMOsapien » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:41 pm

jjoyce wrote:I banned Time Master over the holiday weekend. His ten-day run was three days too long, as evidenced by his last few posts.


How long do I have to make it before getting my award?
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:31 pm

Wouldn't that be everyone else's reward?

Awww you walked into that one.... you don't bother me, carry on.
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Re: Automating parking ramps (sucks)

Postby rabble » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:51 pm

jjoyce wrote:But I have to take out my reading glasses if I want to use my phone. Can't there just be a person there to hand my paper money to and get directions to the nearest bakery from?

Wait a minute. You mean I'd have to PAY them?

Forget it. I don't need any of that flibbertigibbet mumbo jumbo tomfoolery.
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