A makeshift parking meter system involving no less than cardboard boxes, buckets, or anything capable of obstructing parking spaces, has flourished in Mexico City, but times have advanced and city authorities are moving to institute regulated parking meters. Opposition is strong to the new meters, however, and it remains to be seen if the measure will pass.
Every day before dawn, dozens of men appear in the Mexican capital's hip Condesa neighborhood and block off parking spaces along entire streets using water jugs, cardboard boxes, buckets, crates and even blocks of cement.
As visitors start arriving for the district's restaurants, organic food stores, boutiques and art galleries, the men collect 20 to 40 pesos ($1.50-$3), remove the obstructions and let drivers park.
Here and in other well-to-do areas of traffic-choked Mexico City, authorities are trying to take back the streets by installing parking meters. They say the meters will make the area safer and more orderly, as well as encouraging less driving, which will be a boon for a polluted city with more than 4 million cars.
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