Parking in downtown Missoula isn't as easy as it used to be. I never thought I would say that I miss the old parking meters, but I do. I miss them. I understand the need to modernize, what some would consider antiquated technology. I also understand the need to increase revenue for the city. I still miss them.

Reasons I Miss Missoula Downtown Parking Meters

There are a few reasons I miss those things. When we had parking meters, it made parking downtown more of a game. Not only were you looking for an empty spot, but it was like a reward when you found a spot that still had time left on the meter. Like a "gold star" on a school paper.

No More Missoula "Parking Meter Friends"

Parking meters gave people a chance to be generous, and anonymous. I can't tell you how many times that I have "fed" a meter that was out of time over the years. I always kept coins in my ashtray to not only pay for my parking, but I would also try to make sure other parkers wouldn't get a parking ticket when their time was up.

Technology Isn't Always a Good Thing Missoula

Those times are long gone now. Now we have parking "kiosks". No more helping someone out when the meter runs out; since you have no idea how much time someone has anymore. Now you have to know your license plate number, to use the machines. I have gotten in the habit of taking a picture of my vehicle's plate in order to get the correct numbers. I don't have the best memory, this is another issue I have. This is an argument for personalized plates, so it is easier to remember.

You Can't Pass On Your Time In Missoula

If you pay for an hour of parking and you only are downtown for twenty minutes, you can no longer "gift" that time to the next person. You now have options of paying with coins or with a card. Paying with a card is another challenge. Ashley was recently downtown and went to use a kiosk. Someone had left their credit card in the machine. What a bummer that would be.

I Will Need To Give To Missoula In A Different Way

The parking meters are not coming back, the kiosks are here to stay. That means that I will have to find a different way to be generous and anonymous to the drivers in downtown Missoula.

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