Imagine arriving at your badly parked car to find some… thing latched onto the #windshield like a blocky, yellow leach. That’s a reality motorists are living with in the U.S., as cities test out a vision-blocking penalty panel called the “#Barnacle.” The concept behind the apparatus, made by New York’s Ideas That Stick, is simple: It’s a rugged plastic rectangle that attaches with incredible force to the windshield, and can’t be removed until motorists pay a fine over the phone and get a release code. Adding insult to injury, drivers are then expected to return it to a drop-off location within 24 hours.
If they try to move the car or pry the “Barnacle” off, a la Homer Simpson jackhammering a #boot, an alarm goes off. And if they huck it into a dumpster after paying the penalty, a GPS tracker will keep it on parking enforcement’s radar. Here’s what it looks like from inside a car, dual-wielding its #industrial grade #suctioncups: Two U.S. cities are using “Barnacles” on a free-trial basis this year: #FortLauderdale, #Florida, and #Allentown, #Pennsylvania. #FtLauderdale wanted to try the “Barnacle” partly out of concern for the well-being of its parking enforcers. “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 city spokeswoman Monique Damiano. “This significantly reduces the chances of our officers being struck by passing cars.”