This New Parking Enforcement Device Really Sucks

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
this new parking enforcement device really sucks

There is a new form of embarrassment for rule-breakers of the parking variety. It’s an irremovable suction-based clamshell blindfold for your car that inconveniences you to the point of having to cooperate with authorities.

Devised by Barnacle Parking as a friendlier alternative to the infamous “boot,” the device is already being tested in a few American cities and might one day make it to yours.

The underside of “The Barnacle” is fitted with two massive suction cups that hold the yellow rectangle firmly to the windshield. According to its makers, the item cannot be removed until drivers pay a fine over the phone and receive a release code. They are then required to return a Barnacle to a designated drop-off location within 24 hours.

Attempts to pry the device off of a car will be met with the sounding of an obnoxious alarm. Barnacles are also equipped with a GPS locator, so disposing of them improperly isn’t really an option after you’ve paid the fine.

Barnacles are currently being used in two U.S. cities: Allentown, Pennsylvania and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “We wanted to see how the Barnacle held up in a variety of environments, and Fort Lauderdale’s heat and humidity made it a perfect test market,” company president Kevin Dougherty told City Lab.

Fort Lauderdale spokeswoman Monique Damiano claims her city wanted to try the device out of concern for their parking enforcement officers. “Since the ‘Barnacle’ can be installed on the front window of a vehicle from the safety of a sidewalk or curb, officers do not have to kneel down on the street, often with their backs to traffic, as they do with a boot device,” says Damiano. “This significantly reduces the chances of our officers being struck by passing cars.”

“Other reasons [we] wanted to test the prototype,” she adds, “are that it is quick and easy to install, easier to transport and store, and due to its compact size officers are able to carry more of the devices in their vehicles.”

As convenient as it may be for enforcement, it doesn’t technically stop an infuriated driver from sticking their head out of the window while driving down the street at speed, endangering other motorists. It also doesn’t keep a committed rule-breaker from damaging their easily replaceable windshield and leaving the item beeping by the side of the road.

[Images: Barnacle Parking]

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2 of 108 comments
  • Shortest Circuit Shortest Circuit on Dec 01, 2016

    Finally, some use for that floss I forgot in the glove compartment. Just pull it under the suction cup, and let that obnoxious alarm blow in a nearby trash can.

  • W Christian Mental Ward W Christian Mental Ward on Dec 02, 2016

    Here in Atlanta, the boots are applied by private companies hired by the retailer or property owner. You have to wait for a separate guy to show up after you have paid. And it is not a matter of stacks of unpaid tickets, its a matter of minutes, or being observed walking into the wrong store after parking in front of the Starbucks. The folks putting them on cars are paid by commission, so they are quite aggressive. So if a private company puts this on my car, it will be dealt with in a manner I decide. Then we can move to civil courts and they will have a challenge of proving I did anything against a jury of my peers who will always hate them.

  • Theflyersfan They might not be convertible friendly, but if they work on getting the last of the winter crud off of the car during the first spring wash, it's worth its weight in gold. So many of the self-serve car washes seem to have some kind of mechanical problem with one of the nozzles, or out of some chemicals - want to do that at home.
  • Bill Wade It's worked perfectly for me. Google maps is quite good and music streaming is flawless.
  • TheEndlessEnigma How much is TTAC getting from the Amazon referral links? Once again, nice ads camouflaged as an article.
  • Prabirmehta Great review! Brought back memories of my 2005 Z4 - loved it! I recently drove the 2023 Z4 and it felt similar in many ways to my 2005 (despite the much nicer and updated interior). Now your review has me rethinking whether to buy another one? :)
  • Haruhi Where’s this exact location