Splain this to me — Pay by Space and Pay and Display in the same lot.


Splain this to me — Pay by Space and Pay and Display in the same lot.

I was out with wife, ex wife, son, daughter in law, and granddaughter.  Great afternoon at the foot of Pico, having lunch on the beach. (Life is hard, but someone has to lead it, right).  We discovered that ex-wife had parked in a lot nearby and she was commenting on how the gates were up and it was free.  HUH?

Son and I realized that she had missed the pay and display equipment, so to forestall a ticket, I went over to deal with the problem. I approached the P and D machine and when I pushed the button I realized I was in a Pay by Space location — Sure enough — there were numbers at every space.

However I had another problem, I had no clue what the ex-wife’s car looks like. So I wandered around testing key Honda key in all the Hondas — I was successful on the first one (OK I knew it was a mini-van).  It was in space 129.

I went back to the machine, input the number, put in the money, and got a receipt. On the receipt it told me to put it face side up on the dashboard of the car. Say What?  I had input the space, why did I need to also return to the car and put the receipt on the dash.

Then it hit me – it was a one pay, all day lot. No matter how long I stayed, I paid the same amount. So if I was there for an hour and left, the P by S machine would show the space paid and the subsequent parker would get to park for free. So, the machine should in fact be Pay and Display. There was no need for the space number.  At least I couldn’t understand it.

Virtually every new parker at the lot had to go to the machine, then back to their car and get the space number and then back to the machine. There were signs but they were small and no one seemed to read them.

Maybe someone from the City of Santa Monica or somewhere can tell us why both requirements were placed on their customers. 

I have one possible reason — They bought a Pay by space machine but discovered the problem with the all day rate and "fixed" it by simply adding the line "Place this receipt on your dashboard" to the printing on the ticket issued by the machine.  If that’s the case — Its a good, quick, cheap fix.

When I got back to the lunch, ex-wife proudly told me that if I had asked, she knew the space number.

Not only did she know the space number, but the table had been cleared and my half eaten sandwich was gone. I don’t think any further comment is necessary.


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John Van Horn

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