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San Jose Lowers Too-Tall Parking Meters After KPIX 5 Report

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – City crews began lowering parking meters that were placed too tall for shorter drivers to use properly, following a KPIX 5 report.

On Thursday, reporter Len Ramirez found workers shaving down several poles holding the meters. San Jose officials initially told KPIX 5 earlier this week that the work would not be done until next summer.

The city recently replaced hundreds of meters with smart meters that accept credit cards and smartphone payments, but nearly 100 were above the 5-foot height limit set by officials. Adding to the challenge for shorter drivers were displays that were angled up.

"It's almost eye level for me," said San Jose resident Traci Hess, who stands 5'2." "But because it's angled up I still really need to really go high up. And it's kind of embarrassing to have to stand on my tip toes in order to pay the meter. If you're a first time user, you really want to be able to read the instructions and see what it's telling you to do."

Sandy Bogner, who stands an even 5-feet tall, said she couldn't even see the display on her tip-toes.

"I wouldn't be able to put my money in the meter and I would have gotten a ticket," she told KPIX 5.

Crews planned to shorten several meters to the correct height Thursday, but it was not immediately clear when all 99 affected meters would be fixed.

San Jose city workers scouted some of the tallest street parking meters around the Civic Center before cutting them down to size.

Two meters on San Pedro Street lost about six inches of pole height each. The city now says it wants to get the work done sooner rather than later.

"We've sent some staff out to go through the motions and actually adjust some of those poles and track how long it takes and how many crews it takes so we can get this work done as soon as possible," said Colin Heyne with the San Jose Department of Transportation.

The transportation department said Thursday's work will give a realistic time table for fixing the rest of the too-tall meters.

KPIX 5 reporter Len Ramirez asked some of the drivers who appeared in the original report earlier this week to test out the meters that were fixed. Most were pleased.

"Oh that's so much better," said Hess. "Oh yeah, wow. That's awesome, totally can see it now. And both feet are flat on the ground."


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