Sep 16

Parking Authorities Find New Way to Extort Citizens

Imagine you're walking back to your car in Allentown, when you catch sight of a glaring slab of yellow almost block away. What the hell is that thing?! As you approach, you realize it's a huge, plastic-looking thing and it's attached to... your car windshield!! Why is it on my car?! How do I get it off?! You watch as one of the parking authority enforcers drive by laughing with a backseat full of those same yellow slabs. Son of a bi--

Meet "The Barnacle" -- Allentown Parking Authority's replacement for wheel boots. A giant yellow slab of plastic which suction cups onto & blocks your windshield so you cannot drive off until its removed -- extorting motorists for immediate payment to obtain a code to punch in to deactivate the device. Then, as if being extorted wasn't bad enough, the motorist is inconvenienced by the task of having to return it back to the parking authority themselves within 24 hours!

"The Barnacle" is GPS-enabled and has a movement alarm that goes off if you try to move the vehicle. And there is no way of getting it off by manhandling it due to the 750lbs of suction it uses to attach itself. You're more likely to rip off your windshield if you attempt to tamper with it (and will also trigger another alarm). However, there is speculation that a simple thin piece of metal slid underneath the suction cup could release the pressure... though this has not been proven yet.

In the meantime, the APA is being commended for their "forward-thinking" in regards to being the first to test this new device and is currently using it along with Salt Lake City, Utah and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

We're tempted to put the inventor of "The Barnacle"--  former marine & Philadelphia native, Kevin Dogherty-- onto the wall of shame for his invention. Dogherty claims the device was designed to be friendly to law violators and enforcers alike, and is "faster, safer, greener, and a whole lot cooler." No, Kevin, it's NOT cool. It's extortion, inconvenience, & just another way for parking authorities to abuse its citizens.

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Stephanie has assisted in developing & growing several groups throughout the Lehigh Valley in PA. Occasionally, she blogs, but mostly prefers to remain behind the scenes- contributing by using her expert graphic & web design skills.