Meter Man Keeping Busy

Thursday, May 15th 2008, 6:08 pm
By: News On 6

The City of Tulsa is converting all downtown parking meters to the new computerized variety. They accept coins and even credit cards, and when they get jammed, they send a signal via satellite that they need maintenance.

News On 6 reporter Rick Wells reports the man who answers those calls for help is a busy man.

All the meters on Boston Avenue between 3rd and 9th Streets, are those new multi-space meters. There are more of them on other streets too and more coming.

Jerry Wall maintains the new machines.

Bad coins, bent coins and slugs. Over the years he said people have jammed anything from paper money, bubble gum and even food into parking meter coin slots.

In one case, after some jiggling the offending coin fell out. It was one of those Oklahoma quarters.

"Oklahoma quarters work in the machine you just put ‘em in the right slot," said Walls.

The new machines are computerized, but they are pretty easy to use.

It's easy to operate, easy to fix, but people keep trying.

The meters are pretty smart too, they can send a satellite signal for help when they need maintenance and that keeps Jerry Wall on the move.

"Best job I ever had, plenty of exercise out in the weather. I love it," said Wall.

Some parts of downtown will continue to have the old style single space parking meters, particularly in areas where there might be some new construction.