A Trio of Trouble When Installing Parking MetersDuring the aggressive upgrade of the 15,000 parking meters Washington, DC, Lockheed Martin IMS (now ACS) construction manager Anthony Natelli was repeatedly confronted with three issues that, despite extensive research, were not satisfactorily addressed by the available meter-mounting technology.
These included securely mounting meters over "hollow" sidewalks, preventing meter heads from being pried from poles and preventing vandals from cutting off poles with the new breed of portable high-powered reciprocating saws that were being introduced to the market. The DC meter program had been historically plagued by vandalism and theft to the point where more than 25 percent of the meters were missing in action or vandalized by 1997.
Natelli first addressed the "hollow" sidewalk issue. Using his knowledge of high-tech construction adhesives, which had been developed specifically for anchoring steel in concrete bridge structures during retrofits to meet stringent California earthquake codes, he invented the Nexpole Anchoring System.
Further development resulted in a meter pole that incorporates patented features that deter vandals from sawing through poles or prying meter heads free, and can be installed and in service in as little as 20 minutes total. The efficiencies associated with the new method of installation, led LMIMS and their client, the D.C. Dept. of Public Works, to specify Nexpoles for all subsequent installations of meter poles in solid surfaces.
Washington, DC, could be just the first of many municipalities and parking facilities that take advantage of the new anchoring systems. A crew of two can install well over 50 meters per day. The system also allows meter heads to be set within minutes, recovering revenue almost instantly.
The product was so successful that Natelli left ACS and founded Nexpole to manufacture and market it
The parking meter stanchion was originally invented as a secure and efficient method of installing parking meters over "hollow" sidewalks. The efficiency and reliability of the system evolved to virtually all parking meter and signage installation applications.
The design includes four "anchoring" pins that are affixed to the base of a meter pole or sign bracket. An installer drills four holes, blows out the dust, fills the holes with a special adhesive bond and then places the pole -- a three- to five-minute process.
Meter heads, or signs, may be installed within 15 minutes of the base installation. Crews do not need to return later and meter revenue can be realized immediately. Since there is no concrete work or excavation necessary, utility mark out calls are not usually required. The system meter poles also have two patented anti-theft features. Each pole has three weld lines that make up an almost-impenetrable material that is designed to destroy the blades on most saws that thieves use to remove meter heads.
If a pole is run over or damaged, a template is provided to mark the spots to "drill out" the original anchors in preparation for the replacement base. As municipalities try to save money, and other entities look to raise revenue, the mounting system helps accomplish these goals with an effective, time-saving product and system.
The Washington, DC, meter program began specifying Nexpole poles for all meter installations in solid surfaces including new and replacement meters. John M. Brophy, group President of ACS' State and Local Solutions group says, "Nexpole systems has revolutionized parking meter installation with a quick, easy and innovative patented solution that requires no excavation or core drilling. The system has dramatically reduced our meter installation costs, saving us real time and money."
The system has been used in many of the privatization bids and programs being implemented both in the United States and abroad. "We are seeing great interest in our products since we came to market in the past months. With thousands of successful installations in the Washington, D.C. program, we have increased our marketing and manufacturing efforts to expand our business. We are extremely excited to see how our product has performed over the past few years in the Washington environment," Natelli said.
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Side Bar 1
A Trio of Trouble
Three problems with mounting meters:
1. Securely mounting meters over "hollow" sidewalks.
2. Preventing meter heads from being pried from poles.
3. Preventing vandals from cutting off poles with the new breed of portable high-powered reciprocating saws.