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I went to downtown Chula Vista earlier this week for a meeting and I had to park on the street. Running late, I grabbed a handful of quarters and began shoving them into the meter.

I was used to plugging San Diego’s meters, where a quarter buys you a measly 12 minutes.

After cramming two quarters into the machine, I saw the little machine inside cranking away. It kept cranking. And it stopped on a whopping five hours. That means each quarter buys you two and a half hours.

I immediately thought that I had the solution for broke Chula Vista‘s budget problems.

It turns out someone already had the idea, although they got paid for it.

From a November story in the Union-Tribune detailing the Chula Vista City Council’s decision to ramp up the rates:

The increases to Chula Vista’s rates were recommended by a parking consultant, Michigan-based Rich and Associates, which the city paid $45,500. The consultant suggested a $50 rate for parking tickets, but city officials decided that was too high.

The rates were supposed to increase Jan. 10 for most meters, according to the story, which also said that Chula Vista hadn’t increased its meter rates for 44 years.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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