Recently a friend told me that the parking tickets in Detroit went up from $20 per infraction for an expired meter ($10 if you paid it within a week) to $45 with no pay by date discount. That really caught my attention. You see, I was that person who conducted a cost benefit of risking the parking ticket versus paying a guaranteed $10-$20. If I had the change, and the meter was working, I would definitely feed the meter, however there are other times when I was running into a place for a few minutes, the meter was broken, I didn’t have change, or the meter wasn’t accepting credit cards when I would take the risk. I did this because generally the risk was worth it because at worst I would break even and at best I got free parking!
However, the recent change in rates really changed my perspective. At a cost of $45 per ticket the risk is no longer worth it, given that most lots are between $5 – $20 assuming there is not a sporting event or a special event. Now, when I am attending an event and face with the “should I feed the meter dilemma”, these are the 5 questions I consider:
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