Hat’s off to On Street Escrow in San Rafael


Hat’s off to On Street Escrow in San Rafael

I was pretty hard on Pay and Display designers a couple of weeks ago. “Hard to work, not intuitive, local merchants have to ‘splain to their customers how to run the machines.” Now I have something positive to say about some on street equipment.

The city of San Rafael has instituted a policy of “escrow payments” for its parking meters. This means that if you park at say 7:30 AM, and the payment requirement starts at 8 AM, you can put your quarters in the meter at 7:30, but it won’t start deducting time until 8. Pretty fancy, huh.

Local parking chief Mark Miller tells me that the escrow or prepay feature is being embraced by the community. He says “I’ve been surprised at the level of interest in our community.”

Hat’s off to Mark, and to POM, the manufacturer of the mechanisms that provide the feature. Well done.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. Good Morning John,
    I am a bit surprised by your “surprise” with the ability of a meter to “escrow” parking payment on-street.
    Parkeon multi-space meters have offered this functionality for over a decade. The city has the choice to accept “pre-payment” or to keep the payment inlets “closed” until its hours of operation begin.
    If the city chooses to accept pre-payment, the motorist can arrive at any time, buy the amount of time he wishes to stay, and his “ticket” will indicate that his paid period starts whenever the hours of operation begin, not when he arrived.
    It is a very useful feature, but not really “cutting edge” anymore.
    Best regards,
    Dave Palmer
    Marketing Director, Parkeon

  2. Dear John: POM has also offered this feature on our current and previous 2 versions of meters. Unfortunately, most cities find what we call “multi-rates” (different rates, or modes such as OFF, No-Parking, Free-Parking, Escrow period, etc., kicking in at different times of the day or week) too confusing. We have a few cities using the Escrow feature and we’re pleased to hear that San Rafael is having a positive response to it.

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