nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=acm50ieupgradebanner_112313 network-banner-empty upgradeBanner
Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

Parking meter Robin Hoods?

Parking Meter Robin Hoods?

In the quaint New England city of Keene, New Hampshire, a war is going on ... and you may be surprised what's causing all the controversy: parking meters.

What a group of young men who call themselves "Robin Hooders" are doing seems innocent enough. They go up and down the downtown shopping district and feed the parking meters before they expire. Since starting their "Robin Hooding," the city's ticket revenues are going down.

Even the local pastor finds himself getting in the middle of the controversy. "I think you guys are a couple of knuckleheads. Just because you have a right to be out here doesn't mean it's the right thing to do," Pastor David Berman told two of the Robin Hooders.

Pastor Berman says the so called do-gooders are in reality nothing but bullies, harassing parking enforcement agents by chasing them around town, videotaping and taunting them.

One of the Robin Hooders can be seen telling a traffic agent, "We're going to follow you wherever you go. You're not going to get away with it today."

The city's manager said one ticket agent got so fed up with what he says was harassment by the so-called do-gooders, he quit.

Now, the divided citizens of Keene find themselves videotaping each other.

While being taped himself, Pastor Berman told one of the Robin Hooders, "This is a camera and this is the idiot that holds the camera."

Lisa Guerrero spoke with Pastor Berman. "You actually pulled out a camera and you did some name calling of your own."

"I certainly did," said the Pastor. "I called them knuckleheads because they are knuckleheads."

"Do you regret using that kind of language?" asked Guerrero.

"I absolutely do not regret it. They are knuckleheads," he confirmed.

While these so called "knuckleheads" say they're just like Robin Hood, others call them anarchists.

Garret Ean and Graham Colson are two prominent Robin Hooders who cruise around town coming to the assistance of complete strangers by feeding parking meters before they expire.

"People appreciate it. You get a lot of positive feedback from it," said Ean.

"If you are physically running after somebody when they are trying to do their job, isn't that harassment?" asked Guerrero.

"I can see why that would make the parking enforcers uncomfortable," Ean replied. "That's not what I've been engaging in."

Some locals even accompanied female parking agents to shield them from some of the Robin Hooders.

One agent said to Garrett Ean while being taped, "I don't want to be followed." One guy got so worked up, he chased after Ean and Colson.

"If standing up for myself means smashing that camera over your head, so be it," said the guy to Garrett Ean.

"You've got citizens off the street come up, get in your face, challenge you. Was that surprising to you to encounter some of that?" Guerrero asked Ean.

"It's a sign that the activity is having an impact and I welcome that no matter how agitated that person might be," Ean responded. "As long as they are not making threats or being violent or anything like that."

Gary Lamoureux runs the city's parking enforcement. He told Guerrero, "We have no problem with videotaping. They can videotape all they wish. What we do have a problem with is getting in the way of doing their jobs or intimidating, harassing, or bullying our employees."

The city lost a legal case trying to keep six of the Robin Hooders away from their employees. It is now appealing that decision.

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
franccozeperelli March 08 2014 at 4:40 PM

I think that residents who pay taxes to a town/city should have "Free Parking." After all, they support their property, their schools, bridges, streets, small businesses , their state and finally their government. What is the need for that town/city to add burden to their fellow neighbor? At some level, the "getting over on" has to stop. As far as non-residents, their parking would be free as well because they are still supporting the town/city through dining, shopping, working, etc... As a result this would attract future residents bring more money.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
bpante March 08 2014 at 10:48 AM

You would be surprised by how many meters are timed wrong or just plain malfunction. Parking meters are another government fleecing.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
jillrev March 08 2014 at 10:47 AM

You're making way too much of one dopey pastor. He's just ******* up to the local bigwigs. What else is new?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
prlvate March 08 2014 at 4:58 PM

I see no problem with a town installing parking meters as a revenue source but I do have a problem with them hiring people to aggressively try to compound it by issuing fines.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
dave1marine prlvate March 08 2014 at 5:11 PM

Then WHAT is the point of paying for, and maintaining the meters, if there is no teeth in enforcing the parking laws?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jesusmartinez March 08 2014 at 10:46 AM

If a meter parking that is about to expire, gets money to stay on for two more hours, it is legal por two more hours, regardless of who put in the money in the meter.

Anyone has the right to put money in a meter. it is public domain.

good job robin h....

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
Ministry Man jesusmartinez March 08 2014 at 11:07 AM

I see your point but businesses rely on customers coming and going. If one car parks in a spot all day and serveral people feed the meter, true, the city still receives its parking fees but the local businesses can and do suffere hardships. And "public domain" means "the state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole". Using your words, well then, a person should move his car so others can use the spot for they need to "be available to the public as a whole" and not just one individual.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
nuthinleft March 08 2014 at 5:13 PM

Putting the coins in is fine. Harrassing the meter working is childish BS.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
game6e3 nuthinleft March 08 2014 at 6:15 PM

NO. It's payback for the days when cops got away with pushing people around.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
Lisa game6e3 March 08 2014 at 7:32 PM

They ARE NOT cops.

Flag 0 rate up
jillrev March 08 2014 at 10:46 AM

See the beginning of "Cool Hand Luke". That's the solution. "What we have here,is failure,to communicate."

Flag Reply +3 rate up
mjvenice March 08 2014 at 10:45 AM

Parking meters are the ugliest thing you can put in a small town. I love the movie "Cool Hand Luke" where Luke (Paul Newman) chain saws the parking meters.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
fredtrav March 08 2014 at 5:14 PM

It is fine if they add money to the meter. I have done it several times when I see an enforcement agent coming to ticket cars. But I would never confront the agent for doing his/her job.

Meters do do some good by freeing up parking spaces so businesses can have more shoppers. Put a meter and a time allowed sign. Send the enforcers around with chalk and chalk tires so they know how long the car has been parked. then ticket either by the meter or the time parked. Someone can feed the meter and keep the person from getting a ticket if they have parked under the allowable time.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
propickup March 08 2014 at 5:16 PM

I have feed them myself for people. those meters don't allow enough time to be bought so that the individual can do the errands they need to do . I have had someone feed my meter more than once so I pay it forward. That's people helping people. more of the same would not hurt in other areas as well. Thanks to all that do.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
aol~~ 1209600



World Series

More From Our Partners