It’s a Parking Meter Bonanza in Upper Darby

Someone putting a penny into an Upper Darby parking meter
Image via Victor Fiorillo, Philadelphia Magazine.

In Upper Darby, drivers stopping at parking meters have a chance to be penny-wise and quarter-foolish.

Apparently, sometime in the middle of 2021, people discovered that some Upper Darby parking meters would take pennies instead of quarters, writes Victor Fiorillo for Philadelphia Magazine.

The secret was spread informally, told at backyard barbecues and local taverns, intentionally kept off social media.

The normal relationship with an Upper Darby parking meter is 20 minutes for each quarter.  The flawed meters offered 20 minutes for each penny, though it gladly took quarters.

It does not work with nickels and dimes.

Sekela Coles, Upper Darby’s director of the township’s parking enforcement department, says they are aware of the problem.

 “We have two people on staff that service the meters, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up,” Coles says. “We have close to 1,300 meters in the township.”

Coles believes someone or a group of someones is tampering with the meters.

“Let’s just say that people get very, very creative,” adds Coles, with a laugh.

Bobra Schultes, technical sales manager for the company that makes Upper Darby’s meters, thinks it’s more about some of the meters getting old.  

Read more at Philadelphia Magazine about penny meters in Upper Darby.

A ‘meter fairy’ is told he can’t feed other people’s parking meters.

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