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San Jose's Towering Parking Meters Present A Challenge

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- The city's new parking meters provide all the latest in modern pay conveniences, but there is just one problem -- they are too tall for some drivers to operate properly.

San Jose replaced hundreds of meters and a recent survey found that nearly 100 were above the 5-foot height limit set by officials. The smart meters LED display screens are also angled in such a way as to not be easily visible to drivers under 5-foot-4.

"We looked at all of our 2,400-odd parking meters and found 99 of them were out of our acceptable range," Colin Heyne of the San Jose Transportation Department told KPIX 5.

Concord's Sandy Bogner stands an even 5 feet tall and says she can't see the display even 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.

Likewise for Traci Hess, a San Jose resident who stands 5-foot-2.

"It's almost eye level for me," she said. "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."

Standing 5-foot-3, Don Long agrees.

Tall San Jose Parking Meters
Don Long, who stands 5'3" tall, stands on his tiptoes as he uses a parking meter in San Jose. (CBS)

"For those of us on the shorter side, it really is a barrier and a challenge," he said.

And there is no relief on the way for now. Work to lower the meters will not be completed until next summer.

"We're very sorry for the inconvenience," Heyne said. "If people can't read it they are going to have to find a different parking space."

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