Two years in, Salt Lake City is still trying to get a handle on its new parking system.
Sold as a leap forward in 2011, the electronic system with its blue stations has faced technical problems and angered many city visitors. What's more, parking fees and fines have produced millions of dollars less than the city expected despite an increase in rates. The ease of credit-card payments apparently has been offset by machines that sometimes won't take the cards or screens that are too dark or even a spate of "heat stroke" that killed the machines in mid-summer last year.
Even the advantages for city parking enforcers real-time reporting that was supposed to automate the jobs of those who write parking tickets has been less than promised because the data processes too slowly. That was enough that the city of Juneau, Alaska, canceled its contract with Aparc, the provider of Salt Lake City's $4.5 million system. (Salt Lake City has withheld the last 20 percent of that sum to get Aparc to solve the problems.)