The onetime perk of Middletown residency — running into CVS for a quick prescription pickup or Public Market for a gallon of milk and not having to put a quarter in the parking meter — has returned on an experimental basis.
When the city revamped its parking meter system in late 2011, motorists were given 10 minutes free, activated by a sensor under the pavement when an automobile pulls into a spot.
In December 2012, mechanical failure in the computerized parking system forced the city to suspend the 10-minute grace period. Parking Director Geen Thazhampallath told Middletown Patch vendor upgrades were needed.
The next time you stop into the parking department to pay a ticket (and even Middletown Patch has ponied up a time or two for a violation), check out the wall of giant flat-screen monitors that show activity beamed over by cameras throughout the city.
Parking spots on Main Street are 25 cents per quarter-hour and city lots are 75 cents per hour, with the first hour free.