City works to fix broken parking meters

11:16 PM, Aug 15, 2013   |    comments
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On Wednesday, a parking meter on 18th St. and Cumberland Ave. read "Fail."

(WBIR-Knoxville) Finding a parking spot in Downtown Knoxville or near Cumberland Ave. can be a challenge. But add to that, broken parking meters and a higher demand when students are back at the University of Tennessee.

According to 311, there have been 60 complaints so far this month related to broken parking meters. That is compared to 45 complaints at this time in August last year.

"It's really not as much of a jump as you might think for the same time. Looking at it year over year, for the last few years, we're about even," said Russ Jensen, 311 director.

According to Jensen, there are more than 1,600 parking meters in the city of Knoxville. Jensen said parking meter complaints pick up for the first couple weeks of football season, when more drivers are using the meters.

The most complaints are reported near Gay St., Cumberland Ave., and the Fort Sanders area.

"Well it's kind of hit or miss. Some work, some don't. It's a little frustrating," UT Senior Ellie Terry-Emert said.

Terry-Emert went on to say, "One time I did put my money in, paid, and I came back and apparently like it hadn't worked at all and I had a ticket there for me. So it was kind of annoying to say the least."

Drivers who notice the parking meter is broken after they have paid can call 311.

"Most important piece of information is the meter number. And they will give you a service request number to show that you reported it," Jensen explained.

Drivers who are ticketed at a broken meter can show that service request number, and avoid paying a fine.

Jensen said it usually takes the city one to two days to fix a broken meter after it is reported.

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