Dayton Parking Meters Flunk Math and Overcharge

  • Dayton Parking meter displaying 1:52 minutes
    Dayton Parking meter after 10 quarters, or $2.50, when it says $1.20 hr
  • Dayton Parking meter claiming $1.20 an hour, on a 5 hour meter
    Dayton Parking meter claiming $1.20 an hour
  • This is the meter that's shortchanging taxpayers
    Meter W4-226, the bandit

On Thursday, I was running to the Courthouse to testify at the William Pace trial. I parked on Fourth Street, at one of Dayton’s fancy new computerized, credit card taking, parking meters that said 5 hours. I knew I had a 4 p.m., and it was just a few minutes to 2 p.m.. The meter said 1.20 for 1 hour. I needed 2 hours plus a buffer. I started inserting quarters- at 5 quarters, I had less than an hour, at 10, or $2.50 I was at 1:52 minutes.

Is there an extra charge for using cash? When I came back, the meter was expired, or is this just another revenue enhancement strategy for the City of Dayton? Maybe with addition of a lever, we can advertise our parking meters as slot machines, since you are gambling with a ticket every time you park?

And, btw- Because this is a story worthy of the DDN front page iTeam investigation, remember where you read it first (that means you DDn crack reporters). Also, I’ll be nice- On Monday, April 1st at 2 p.m. there will be another session with the Court of Appeals on Mr. Pace’s case (and no this isn’t an April fools joke)


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ChrisAuston HensleyDavid LauriBrianDavid Esrati Recent comment authors
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larry sizer
larry sizer

One of the reasons I do not go down town anymore than I have to is because of parking meters.


I think that the lack of free parking in that section of town may constitute a breach of our civil rights. You should be able to conduct required city and county business, attend court, and visit the police station or the jail without paying for it. There is no free parking within walking distance unless you want to park on the west side and walk across the river. And that’s at least a mile. I realize that they provide free parking for voting, but I think if you have legitimate businesses in any civic office, you should also get a parking pass. It’s bad enough that downtown businesses suffer because of the ridiculous parking situation, but when you consider the civil rights implications, especially for the already disenfranchised poor, it’s downright chilling. 


If the meters weren’t there, the on-street spaces would all be taken by downtown workers by 8am daily and stay full until 5pm.  Meters serve a vital purpose.

David Lauri

I wonder if the underground parking garage to be built beneath the new downtown library will have free parking for library patrons.

Auston Hensley

Hi David–
That’s something that escaped my mind (and my usual sources of news) recently. Last time I checked, a quarter gave you 25 minutes of parking time (at least it does along Monument Ave., Ludlow St., and 2nd St. in front of the Kettering Tower – the last three places I tried parking on the street downtown). I have noticed the new meters from place to place but have only parked at them once (along Ludlow). They didn’t charge $1.20 per hour which seems to be twice the old rate. And given that your meter ran down all the more quickly I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a revenue enhancement strategy.
I remember sitting in Arcade Seafoods a couple months back, a guy walked in to pick up a sandwich, couldn’t have been more than 30 seconds, walked out, and the meter maid was pulling up – despite the guy getting to his car first, the meter maid still wrote the guy up.
That was one expensive fish sandwich.


Auston,  the conversation about the increased cost of credit card meters has been around for years. For example: