Paying For Parking a Tall Order in Reno

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RENO, NV - Parking in Reno is now easier for some, and harder for others. Those new meters installed downtown last month allow drivers to pay with a card. But only if they are tall enough. The city has realized the problem and they're starting the long process of lowering more than 500 meters. It's just the latest in the seemingly never-ending problems Reno's having with parking enforcement.

It's not only an annoyance, it has potential to put the City of Reno in legal limbo. The new parking meters are so tall they're not ADA-compliant. On Wednesday officials jumped to fix the problem.

Parking is a pretty simple concept, but the City of Reno can't seem to catch a break when it comes to payment methods.

In 2011 Reno said goodbye to traditional meters in favor of kiosks that accepted credit cards. But those didn't last long. After repeated problems, they were abandoned and replaced with the old meters.

But a new system was still needed, so last month individual smart meters were installed. Problem solved right? Wrong.

"Well, I am a little short and they are a little bit taller than I am so it is hard for me to see when I put the money in," said Kathy Berning who was parking on Wednesday.

Most meters top out at about 5 feet, their screen is angled upwards so you have to be above it to get a clear view.

"I wish it were a little more short-person friendly," said Berning.

"We have 860 meters in place, and 510 of them have to be adjusted," said Marnell Heinz with the Reno Streets Department.

The City of Reno realizes the problem and it fixing it.

This morning crews began shortening meters to a max height of 48 inches. It's ADA-compliant and a foot shorter than before.

"The lowering of the meters is not necessarily a foresight on our part, but it is something that would have had to be done nevertheless," said Heinz.

Reno officials tell us they planned all along to lower the meters. They just wanted to get them in place first so people could pay to park.