In the tiny two-stoplight town of Winters, Calif., an April Fool’s Day trick has inspired public debate on the subject of parking. Some prankster put up a working parking meter in front of a local business, and a few residents paid into it. Rumor has it, city officials instigated the prank as a joke in response to complaints about inadequate parking in the city. The debate that followed shows that even in a town with a population of only 7,000, parking shortages are a subject of interest. There are those in Winters who see paid parking as a real option, and others who see free parking as the only option.
Store Manager Gino told FOX40 the prank was as much an April Fool’s joke as it was a jab at him personally. He claimed to have complained about the cramped parking situation downtown on multiple occasions.
“I don’t think we need meters, we need a parking lot. A free parking lot,” Gino said.
Neighbors agreed that even if the meter were real, people in Winters would opt out of paying for parking.
City officials are not taking down the meter or looking for the person who set it up. Instead, they’re taking the opportunity to make an impression on residents.
“In a small town you learn to have a sense of humor about everything. If we leave it out here for a week or so it will be the buzz of the town,” Donlevy said.
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