Posted on November 7, 2012 at 6:42 PM
Monday, Mar 11 at 3:01 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There are 20 parking meters along Park Avenue, between Camden and South Boulevard in front of front of the Theory Salon. For Clarissa Lacy, the salon's co-owner, that means 20 different headaches she's had to deal with.
Lacy said that her stylists and customers are constantly dealing with meters that don't work or work intermittently.
"Our business relies on the parking meter parking to accommodate our clients." said Lacy who has co-owned the salon for six and a half years. "It happened everyday and at two or three meters a day. Or it goes to fail or they put all their money in and it goes to zero."
Other business owners and workers also said that people who use the meters are always reporting putting money in the machines and then saying the meters didn't show the correct amount of time, or they read "fail" or "dead." Sometimes the meters will run out before the allotted time and many times the end result is a ticket from Park-It.
"We'll actually have sales or clients come in and put money in the meters and it won't register and they come back out and they've received a ticket," said Scott Hensley, a partner with Piedmont Properties, also on Park Avenue.
"We're trying to do what's right: pay the meter. But often we're still getting tickets even when we do that." he said.
Lacy said that she has called and complained to Park-It, the company that the city has contracted to maintain the city's parking meters. She said Park-It does come out and check on the meters, sometimes fixing them, only to have the problem arise again.
"I'm a little irritated about the process because this is not my property; this is the city's property and [I] think they should take care of it, " said Lacy. "I'm not in the parking business. I'm in the hair business. I want this business to work, and I need this to work to help it work."
NBC Charlotte went to Park-It off Tryon to check on the problem on Park Avenue.
"We are the ones who are responsible for the repairs and up-keep," said Syreeta Ashford, project manager of Park-It, but she declined to speak specifically about the issues on Park Avenue.
Ashford referred NBC Charlotte to the Charlotte Department of Transportation or CDOT.
Linda Durrett, communications manager of the CDOT said that they have heard of the problems and investigated each complaint, and even made repairs to some meters, but they will look into launching a more in-depth investigation.
"At this time we see a pattern, a series of meters at this location. CDOT is taking this very seriously. We have said that we are going to investigate this even further. It may involve working with CMPD to resolve this situation." said Durrett.