Are Easton's Parking Meters Too Tall?

City officials looking into complaints that people of a certain height have trouble reaching meters.

Easton officials are looking at whether they need to lower the city's parking meters.

Not the cost of the meters, mind you. You'll still pay a dollar an hour.

Instead, the city could physically lower some of its new credit card meters after complaints that some of them are too high for some people to reach.

Downtown business owner Faith Proctor spotted three of those drivers Monday morning outside her Third Street store, standing on their tiptoes and struggling for several minutes to figure out how the meters worked.

"One of them was laughing, it was so ludicrous," said Proctor, who owns Madame Mim's. "The other one looked like she wanted to kick the thing."

The topic was a popular one last week on the Easton, Pennsylvania Facebook group.

"I'm just shy of 5'7''," wrote local artist Susan Huxley. "I can comfortably read the screen on the newly installed meters on n 3rd. The average American woman (yes I know this for a fact because I design clothes) is 5'4". Dear city of Easton. WTF?"

Easton officials say they've heard similar WTFs, and are looking at lowering some of the meters.

Administrator Glenn Steckman said that although the meters are compliant with the height requirements set by the Americans With Disabilities Act, the city will lower any meters that need to be lowered.

Lt. Matthew Lohenitz, who runs the police department's traffic and records division, said the department is conferring with other communities and also the Pennsylvania Parking Association.

Lohenitz said he had begun hearing complaints last week—although he noted new meters had been in place near the Northampton County Government Center.

He said he enlisted a pedestrian who said she was 5'3'' and who had no trouble seeing the meters. He also pointed to the double meter outside the New York Tailor shop on Northampton Street.

One of the meters on the pole is the old coin-only kind, the other is a new one, and they're only about an inch apart in height, the lieutenant said.

It's a "negligible" difference, Lohenitz said, but as long as the department is getting complaints, it will try to make the meter heights more uniform.

Jimmy Madden March 26, 2013 at 01:35 AM
It seems similar to when the recently painted shared lane markings on South 3rd street were painted in parking spaces. How can any driver or cyclist know that is a shared lane with a car or truck parked over the lane marking? The city quickly repainted the shared lane markings so I wonder how fast they will address the meter height issue. From reading the article it appears the city of Easton is on top of the matter as they were with the shared lane mishap. Small things to pay attention to goes a long way.
Drive me crazy March 26, 2013 at 09:16 AM
What's really funny or absurd is that these same people that complain about a meter being too high, have no problem seeing over a dashboard. Maybe they should get handicapped parking permits? We see short people buying and driving big cars and trucks with no complaints. It's funny how some people just need something to complain about. I can't believe that this actually is considered news by some.
Sue Jarrell March 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Yes, I do think they are a little too high. Last week our party parked across the street from the State Theater and I could see what it was reading because I am a shorty at 5". Thank goodness my party was taller than me.
Carrie Havranek March 26, 2013 at 12:01 PM
I am 5 " 4' and the average height Susan Huxley mentions. I had to stand on tip toe to feed the meter by the post office. Ridiculous! I do not have this problem with Bethlehem's new meters, which seem to be identical.
Andy Novick March 26, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Paul Newman has a solution for the meters that are too tall! Watch this video...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bneviIHiIKs
Annonymous March 26, 2013 at 01:44 PM
I wonder how much more it will cost to reduce the height of the new meters now? Oh Mr. Panto - will you ever get it right?!
Jimmy Madden March 26, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Reading the comments posted I actually am realizing a bigger problem with the city. (Besides Drive Me Crazy's ignorant comment). A lot of work has been taking place and there always seems to be an error with the construction. It seems to me the men and women employed to do the jobs do not care about the quality of there work or they know they will be paid with tax payers money to do the job a second or third time.Someone please correct me if I am wrong. And Andy thanks for the Cool Hand Luke reference once again. If only that solution was as easy...
Andy Novick March 26, 2013 at 02:58 PM
It wont cost anything, but a case of beer if you hire Paul Newman to do itl. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bneviIHiIKs
tall in stature March 27, 2013 at 08:31 PM
ADA part 1 for discussion X02.6.2 Parking meters. X02.6.2.1 General. Where public meters are provided, each shall comply with the requirements set forth in this section. X02.6.2.2 Controls. The centerline of controls on all parking meters shall be no more than 42 inches (1065mm) above the pedestrian access route. Controls and operating mechanisms shall be operable from the pedestrian access route with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate controls shall be no greater than 5 pounds. Discussion: The 42-inch high dimension for parking control mounting height was selected to be consistent with the mounting height for pedestrian push buttons on traffic signal poles. X02.6.2.3 Clear space. Where parking meters serve accessible parking spaces required under this section, a stable, firm, and slip-resistant clear ground space complying with proposed ADAAG Section 305 shall be provided at the controls. Where only a parallel approach is provided, controls shall be within 10 inches horizontally of, and centered on, the clear ground space. Where only a forward approach is provided, controls shall abut and be centered on the clear ground space. Discussion: Some committee members felt that a larger clear ground space is necessary in the public right-of-way. See discussion under X02.3.1.3.
tall in stature March 27, 2013 at 08:32 PM
ADA part 2 X02.6.2.4 Location. A parking meter shall be located within 3 feet (915 mm) of the head or foot of the parking space so as not to interfere with the operation of a side lift or a passenger side transfer. EXCEPTION: Where meters are not provided at the accessible space, but payment for parking in the accessible space is included in a centralized collection box/paying station, the accessible space shall be connected to the centralized collection point with a pedestrian access route. X02.6.2.5 Display. Where instructions such as hours of operation are provided, they shall not be displayed solely on a horizontal surface of the meter. Discussion: Parking meter instructions are frequently located on a horizontal plate mounted near the top of the meter. These instructions can not be viewed by a person in a wheelchair or a person of short stature.
tall in stature March 27, 2013 at 08:33 PM
X02.6 Vehicular Ways and Facilities. X02.6.1 On-street parking.
tall in stature March 27, 2013 at 08:35 PM
tall in stature March 27, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Administrator Glenn Steckman said that although the meters are compliant with the height requirements set by the Americans With Disabilities Act, the city will lower any meters that need to be lowered. 42 inches people, get your tape measures out and make him accountable!
tall in stature March 27, 2013 at 08:49 PM
And to heck with you Jimmy M! I still think that if a person can see over a dashboard and drive an average car, they should be totally capable of using these meters without issue! Glenn Steckman just made a claim that I want everyone here to verify or dispute. Especially you! That is, if you care.
Jimmy Madden March 28, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Where did I offend you Mr.Stature? To be honest I could care less. I never pay a meter due to the fact I am car free. Yes that is right I ride my bicycle like you drive a car. My parking is free thanks to local artist ,Third Street Alliance and the city of Easton. I am not sure if I will be verifying or disputing much of anything. What I will do is measure a few of the new meters and give you some heights and locations. I am not sure what it will prove if anything. I can see your pretty riled up about the matter so you must have some tie to the new meters in place. Can you elaborate for us Mr. Stature?


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