By on November 30, 2016

barn2-610x472

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.

barnacle

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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108 Comments on “This New Parking Enforcement Device Really Sucks...”


  • avatar
    Chetter

    I hope this company has great umbrella insurance coverage because I can totally see them getting sued to kingdom come once the inevitable idiots try to drive with their head out the window and get into an accident.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Windshield replacements on prole machines like my 09 Civic are cheap and are done by mobile teams

    Joke’s on them!

  • avatar
    Acd

    Depending on the car a new windshield may be cheaper than the ticket and the fees associated with removing the device.

    • 0 avatar
      aTelecine

      That’s actually a very good point. However, they’ll probably catch up with you and surely add some other charge to an likely already long (and ghastly amount of fines) that you have to deal with. – Cheers

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    This is ingenious!

    Fie upon scofflaws.

    • 0 avatar
      sctknox

      draw a line crossways on the rivets x pattern w your rechargeable drill drill a hole thru the plastic -no vacum- the device will fall off the windshield .You really did not see it laying in front of your car as you drive over it on the way out.if the gps survives its still in the same place

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        I’m 62 and I have the tech savvy of a newt but even I’d have thought to have the installer upload your license#, date, time & location upon or before slapping the thing on your windshield.

        Even if that alone isn’t sufficient for prosecution it could at least bring elevated attention to you and any outstanding tickets.

      • 0 avatar
        aTelecine

        I see no reason that would not work – However, as I said above likely one’s problems will likely get worse.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This is a pretty good idea, I think. It helps that you can take it off yourself after paying, and go return it wherever (I’m imagining through a slot, like you did with VHS tapes at Blockbuster.)

    Trying to get that thing off your window would be about as easy as opening a jar of Classico pasta sauce.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I saw an article about this in the local paper a few weeks back. The parking authority in Allentown, PA is switching over to these from traditional boots. These devices appear to be made of plastic or cast aluminum and could be easily defeated by drilling a small hole through the outer shell and into the suction cup with a cordless drill. Voila, the vacuum is gone and the device and could be picked up up and thrown in the trash.
    Am I missing something here!

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      My first thought was a drill to the suction cup area also.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Well, you can also remove standard boots with a cordless sawzall.

      Destroying these devices is likely to get your car towed the next time you are caught illegally parking, and possible criminal charges, so it’s not exactly a great alternative.

      • 0 avatar
        John

        And, sans witnesses or video – how will they prove YOU removed it, instead of that anti-authoritarian superhero FreeParkingMan, who goes around town removing them?

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      My hunch is that license and/or VIN are recorded when the device is attached. Remove it without authorization and you’re inviting orders of magnitude harsher penalties.

      As sirwired said, any of these devices can be defeated. The big thing is making it less of a nuisance to fellow drivers, parking enforcement personnel and customers. Having to wait around for an official to remove a boot is a PITA.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        I like that you remove it yourself with a code. No waiting for someone to show up to remove it for you. Of course then you’d have to bring it somewhere to return it as well, so that’s an inconvenience. But hey, if you’re parking illegally, you gotta deal with the consequences if you get caught.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Right, pretty sure I’d rather return this device at my earliest convenience than wait on someone to come and remove the boot of shame, if I were in such a situation. At least if you’re already late and find your car dinged, you can be on your way in a few minutes using a cell phone and a debit card.

          “Hold our table, pulling out now, be there in a minute”
          vs.
          “I have no clue when I will even pull away from this parking spot, so have fun eating alone, baby. No, I’m not at a bar with the guys!”

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      The devices are also alarmed.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’ve never received a parking ticket and I don’t like those that feel they can park where they want, but…

      If someone places something on my property (automobile), I disagree with penalizing me for removing it, even if that removal involves the destruction of the device.

    • 0 avatar
      aTelecine

      Nope

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I can think of a couple of ways to remove the device without damaging the windshield. However, that wouldn’t eliminate the fact that there’s a parking ticket and fine associated with it AND that those tickets and fines will still be valid and will only add up with other fines for illegally removing it and improper disposal (I see the potential for three separate charges per instance) that could eventually come down to a permanent loss of license in some states.

    I guess the really upsetting part of all of this is the fact that society has become so self-centered that they simply don’t care if they break laws to have their own way.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      There are laws, and then there are stupid laws. Some of the parking laws on the books are easily qualified under the latter.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      I actually like this as an enforcement device. It reduces risk to the installer, other drivers (while being installed) and is more convenient for the perp (not having to wait around for official to show up during your appointed time window).

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Like a pooper scooper, it’s an invention that makes a distasteful task a bit easier on everyone.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Speaking of pooper scoopers, that reminds me of something! One of my old neighbors was a dog owner but a very irresponsible one. They would let the dog out to do its business (no fence) and the dog would do its business wherever it pleased, often in my front yard. I would scoop his poop and fling it over the fence across the street into the retention pond, but I got tired of doing that. One day the dog had left a really juicy steamer and this upset me quite a bit. So I flung that towards the neighbors’ front walk… and it was a perfect shot! The stuff went everywhere all over the sidewalk in front of the door. I felt a tinge of regret while the poo was flying through the air, but the sight and sound (and even smell) of the payback made the regret go away.

          Anyway, back to inconsiderate parkers…

    • 0 avatar
      tbone33

      You just made two bold assertions.

      1. People once paid parking tickets, but now fail to pay at a higher rate. Please provide evidence and not just an anecdote.

      2. Selfishness is the cause. Good luck proving that.

      I do know that parking ticket prices have increased by over 50% between 2006 and 2012 in Los Angeles.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Then it’s a good thing I don’t live in Los Angeles, isn’t it?

        Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve only received ONE parking ticket in over 40 years of driving, either.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        “You just made two bold assertions.

        1. People once paid parking tickets, but now fail to pay at a higher rate. Please provide evidence and not just an anecdote.

        2. Selfishness is the cause. Good luck proving that.

        I do know that parking ticket prices have increased by over 50% between 2006 and 2012 in Los Angeles.”

        Somebody call the WAHHmbulance .

        I’ve never fought a parking ticket I didn’t deserve and I got towed early this Month ~ my own fault for being in a rush and didn’t bother to look for a sign ~ of course there was one 15′ from my car.

        It’s always the selfish and jerkoffs who whine and cry instead of following the rules….

        I was $marting from that tow you bet but MY FAULT , no one else to blame .

        -Nate

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I’d love to get one of these for my apartment neighbors who can’t park worth a ^*&#@. Dude has parked his suburban half in the handicap spot and half in the walkway next to it, even with one of his wheels on the wheelchair ramp. Handicap permit/driver’s license/man card… you gotta give up at least one of them, pal, because you don’t rate all three anymore. Better for all of us if you give up two or all three.

    (He’s parked on the edge of the wheelchair ramp twice. I’m not making that up.)

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      See? Asswipes deserve this!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Ha, I found a brand new Ford Ranger with its rear passenger tire over the line (therefore in my reserved spot). I was driving something small that day, can’t remember, I think it was the 1992 Tempo LX, and I was able to squeeze it in. Anyway, I put a note under his wiper saying:
      “Nice truck, now learn to park it!”

      For the rest of the time I lived there, the guy parked textbook perfect every time, lol. You’d think he got out and measured the distance between his tires and the lines on both sides with a ruler.

      I was in a very busy grocery store parking lot the other day, and this chick in a TrailBlazer cuts in front of another car about to park so she could strattle the line and effectively take up two spots (the only two empty spots on that row). Me and the lady in the other car exchanged looks like “can you believe this b¡Гch?”. There were three other adults in the TrailBlazer, all acted as though it were completely normal.

      I don’t get people sometimes.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Could be worse, police in Prince Edward Island have threatened impaired drivers with the following ” When we catch you, and we will catch you, on top of a hefty fine, a criminal charge and a year’s driving suspension we will also provide you with a bonus gift of playing the officer’s copy of Nickelback in the cruiser on the way to jail,” reads the post, alongside a photo of Nickelback’s 2001 album Silver Side Up.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    I guess the parking enforcement agencies have seen too many booted wheels replaced with spares?

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    For some reason I now want to order a pizza.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Heh… what if the miscreant has left a pre-’73 Beetle illegally parked?

    “Can’t git no suction!”

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Discouraging bad parkers isn’t difficult, I used to carry one of my Wife’s pink lipsticks in my bobtail delivery truck , I’d write ” no parking here ” neatly in small print on the windshield and every time the morons would attempt to wipe it off making for a smeared mess you cannot see through to drive .

    I never had the same fool park in the wrong spot twice .

    I’ll be interested to see if these really work ~ I can’t imagine them sticking well to the average dirty windshield .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That lipstick thing is a good idea.

      I’m going to write on the windshield of the Ford Flex driver who takes up one of the very limited number of “Oversized Vehicles Only” spaces in the garage for his 4WD van.

      The spaces are normally filled like:
      RAM 2500
      Nissan Armada
      Express 2500 van
      F250
      -Flex-
      Yukon
      Yukon XL

      Clearly, you don’t belong there.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        I’d write “I’m STILL with Her”, front & back.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Meh… drive a big truck expect big truck problems… first world problems…

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          “First World Problems ” .

          True enough =8-) .

          I decided to use the lipstick instead of flattening their tires….

          -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Which he doesn’t. Ha.

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          I went shopping black friday late, and there was an F150 taking up two spots at the mall which had limited parking to begin with. I went up to the truck to leave a note, unexpectedly seeing a parking ticket under the wiper blade. These were standard spots and there was no need to take up two spots. Truck would have fit fine in one. And it wasn’t like it was accidental as the truck was dead center split between two spots.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Really? People don’t drive delivery trucks in non-first world nations?

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Uh, most of those vehicles (RAM 2500, Nissan Armada, F250, Yukon) are driven by urban cowboys and/or soccer moms with their 1.8 kids. It’s a bit like a subcompact tuner that scrapes on speedbumps… running out of “plus sized” parking spots for big SUVs/jumbo pickups is most definitely a first world problem nine times out of ten. That doesn’t mean I wish ill on the owner–not at all–it’s just a simple statement of fact.

            Yes, the Express van is most definitely a work truck vehicle and there are examples out there of each of the other vehicles being used for work or to to cart around the Brady Bunch. But most of the time it’s just a big vehicle because somebody felt like getting a big vehicle so they could “feel safe.” And it always makes me laugh to see one of them having trouble parking the thing. By the way, I think Big Al’s quip about crapboxes is totally fair play.

            Geez, am I the only one who understood what Fight Club was saying about our frivolous, materialistic society?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I drove mine to work because I need to drive it sometimes, so it doesn’t just sit there. And I have 0.0 kids!

            :D

          • 0 avatar
            psychoboy

            I occasionally drive my long and tall sprinter cargo van just to keep it feeling useful. There is no parking space it will fit in, so I park out in the hinterlands and hike in to the stores.

            Then again….I never lose the 9 foot tall, 22 foot long wall of white in a sea of soccer-mobiles.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Meh, drive a little crapbox expect to not be able to see or fare as well in a crash.

      • 0 avatar
        NovaScotian

        You might think twice befor vandalizing someone’s automobile. Personally, I have two dash cams watching my car. Try communicating your message with kind words, face to face befor you take it to another level, which may lead to court time.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Actually the Flex is only 2″ shorter than the Yukon, of course those other vehicles are 4-5″ wider. And compared to most vehicles outside of full size trucks and SUVs and Panthers the Flex is an oversized vehicle

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          *I will add here that the height limit for the underneath portion of the garage is in fact 6’2″, and there’s a metal bar that hangs down to enforce it. The GMT800 SUVs are 6’2″, so I’d hit that bar.

          Those two inches means Mr. Flex can park anywhere in the garage.

          • 0 avatar
            psychoboy

            Ask any guy, a couple inches can open a world of garage possibilities….

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol, you edited that comment. He always leaves those electronic things people wear around their necks (dunno what they are) on his rear view mirror.

            I hate hanging things on the rear view mirror.

          • 0 avatar
            psychoboy

            yeah…the joke worked better from the guy’s perspective.

            maybe I should have gone with “ask any girl, a couple extra inches can go a long way towards opening more garages.”

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Is it just me, or is the entire logic behind taking an illegally parked car and preventing it from being moved from its illegal parking space a little…stupid?

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Fight fire with fire! I’d prefer Grand Theft Auto kinds of solutions, but those aren’t allowed in the real world.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Steal a neighboring Gallivanter Baller, and ram the car until the windshield explodes?

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          “Is it just me, or is the entire logic behind taking an illegally parked car and preventing it from being moved from its illegal parking space a little…stupid?”

          ~ You’re looking at it from the wrong angle : they want to not only get the vehicle moved but also to gain some of the revenue due as most illegal parkers have the habit and have lots of unpaid tickets .

          From the Municipal standpoint this or the boot is a win-win .

          -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            “~ You’re looking at it from the wrong angle ”

            I guess normalcy is wrong.

            “Hey, here’s a car blocking a hydrant and other important things. Let’s fix it so it can’t move until they pay us!”

            Jeez, just tow the sucker and be done with it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @npaladin2000 – would you rather have this stuck on your window or get towed?

            You could just tow every car illegally parked but in a big city of millions, how many cars will you have to tow before people get the message?

            This is better than a wheel boot in many ways because it is literally “in your face”. That sends a message more effectively than towing.

            Reserve towing for repeat offenders or if there happens to be an emergency and the car is in the way. I’ve seen vehicles that were legally parked get moved due to fire but weren’t impounded.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Rather get towed. Rather tow people too, gets them actually out of the spot that they’re not supposed to be in, problem solved. I chair a condo complex, so I have my own little municipality that I get to be benevolent dictator of. ;)

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Parking too close to a fire hydrant isn’t really as big a safety issue as it seems. The fire department has a suitable workaround that is not exactly a well kept secret. It’s also a lot harsher than this window thing, the boot, or getting towed…

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It still takes time to smash out two windows and route the hose through the vehicle; time that might prevent a fire from completely consuming a structure.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            It’s always about the “revenue.” Parking is just the most immediately convenient amongst a myriad of excuses, to grab some loot.

          • 0 avatar
            Middle-Aged Miata Man

            “Jeez, just tow the sucker and be done with it.”

            Remember, one significant benefit from The Barnacle involves reducing risk of bodily harm to the parking enforcement drones and other involved personnel. And I don’t mean fear of being struck by oncoming traffic.

            This allows the meter maids (to be clear, I’m using that term in a non-gender-specific, but still intentionally derogatory manner) to quickly slap some Barnacles on a few windshields, then flee the scene before disgruntled owners have the chance to… express their displeasure with certain municipal policies.

    • 0 avatar
      NovaScotian

      Agree…tow to impound yard asap.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      I would assume that if a car is parked somewhere cars shouldn’t be – in front of hydrant, construction fence, driveway, fire lane, etc – they still call a tow truck. This is for people parked in a legal space but in an illegal way (i.e. not feeding meter, violating time limit, violating “XYZ vehicles only” restriction).

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        In some cases of parking like that they install a boot so that the car is still there when the tow truck comes. However the biggest use for the boot is those people who have half a dozen unpaid tickets. You will not find one of these or a boot on your car because your meter ran out before you got back to your vehicle and you don’t have any parking tickets that are past their due date.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Maybe its for when they find a vehicle, that IS parked legally, but has many unpaid tickets? Ever think of that?

      If it were blocking something important, it would be towed.

      Use common sense man.

    • 0 avatar
      psychoboy

      That’s why I park in those marked off places. I figure…ain’t nobody s’posed to be parkin’ here, so I ain’t in anybody’s way.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    If it’s this or a boot, I think this is a good alternative. Faster and easier to place, more convenient for everybody to remove.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    What if you take it off and drop it off afterwards?

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Solution: Get an old VW Bug, or something with a similarly small windshield.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Just buy your own, stick it on, and park illegally wherever you want.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I wonder if it can (or will) be installed on a car with a small crack in the windshield. I can see it now—complaints that the suction caused a crack or caused a crack to spread to the point that the windshield needs replacement.

  • avatar
    2manycars

    There is also the possibility that they’ll mistakenly put this gadget on an innocent vehicle due to someone entering the wrong information when a ticket is issued.

    I had an invalid parking ticket “credited” to me years ago when out of the blue I received a dunning notice from the New York City Parking Authority when I and my vehicle had not been anywhere near there. The description of the car did not fit mine, but the meter maid had entered the plate number incorrectly.

    It took quite some time to resolve. Government thugs and gangsters always believe their own even if the evidence is against them. They see the public as sheep to be sheared and are highly motivated to forcibly collect as much money as possible whether it’s actually owed or not.

    They finally relented and recognized my car was not the one described on the ticket – after I started billing them at $125/hour under my company’s name for my time in dealing with them. (Never did collect but at least they did finally void the ticket.)

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      There will always be mistakes, 2many, but with a boot or now this such mistakes are much more difficult as they are attached to the offending vehicle and not just relying on a license plate number. An honest or even semi-honest individual would resolve the issue as intended, where an openly dishonest one would make other sacrifices to dodge the offense.

      However, as you say there will be those occasions where you may get fined due to an officer’s error. The best defense there is to enter the courtroom with all the legal evidence you can supply. The officer’s description becomes almost irrelevant when you can produce your registration info that shows beyond doubt that the plate number does NOT match the car described in a court of law. That’s one instance that I would have taken it before the judge rather than trying to fight the police department itself.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        They are not going to put one of these or a boot on a vehicle where there is a single violation. They are going to enter the wrong plate number slap the ticket on the right car and when the guy sees that the plate is wrong he’ll throw away the ticket just as happened to 2manycars. Then in 3 months when their license plate reader gets a hit on that wrong plate number then they will boot it or stick this on the windshield.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        I was way too far away to make it feasible for me to go to court over a stupid parking ticket. And why should I have to spend my valuable time and money to resolve the mistake of those so-called “public servants” in the first place? It’s only because they are armed thugs running a protection racket who will happily cage you or even kill you if you fail to observe their gang rules and cooperate with them.

        That’s the bottom line, pretty much the same as dealing with the mafia.

        http://ericpetersautos.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/authoritah-1-696×348.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I routinely see “meter-maids” taking pictures of illegally parked vehicles with their work issue cell phones. That makes it hard for the perpetrator to argue the ticket.

        Mistakes do get made and there are avenues to correct them. Too many people claim the ticket was an error so that makes it difficult to get a legitimate error corrected.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I’m sorry but I can think of an easy way to remove it w/o damaging your windshield. So what if it’s alarm starts going off, people in the cities where they use this method of extortion don’t call the cops when a vehicle alarm goes off because someone is breaking into the car. So they aren’t going to call the cops when someone is removing one of these from their car. They are more likely to watch to get tips and then cheer when it is tossed on the sidewalk blaring away.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Negative, your violation will already be in their database along with the boot number or RFID tag.

      If you break the boot/barnacle/whatever, you could be charged with vandalism of public property, and that is something you probably don’t want on your record.

      There’s a story of someone who was able to get the boot off of his car without damaging it, a hilarious read.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The people who are getting the boot know probably aren’t afraid of the future consequences. You will not get a boot or one of these put on your vehicle for an expired meter or another single parking violation. You’ll get one of these when you have a half dozen unpaid tickets. What I’m thinking about wouldn’t harm the device at all. What happens to it while lying in the street is another matter.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Return it back? Yeah, after drive over it a couple times with my WWII vintage Sherman tank.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    A hero will always rise to fight such tyranny.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/3112670.stm

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    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.

  • avatar

    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.


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