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Posted at 11:06 AM ET, 10/18/2011

An example of government at its best

On Monday, I relayed a story of government at its most baffling: a myriad of overlapping or contradictory forms just to pay $90 in unemploy­ment insurance. On the opposite end of the spectrum, one government service has become amazingly simple and easy to pay for: parking.

All parking meters in the District support pay by phone, and it couldn’t be easier. Parkmobile, the vendor, offers native apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Once you sign up, all you have to do is see the number written in huge numerals on a sign near the meters or on the meters themselves, enter it into the app, pick a time, and it charges your credit card.

The whole thing takes maybe 30 seconds. A significant chunk of that time comes from the Parkmobile app needing to check whether the parking code entered is in D.C. or some other city. Some of the time the same code also matches a parking space in Dearborn, Mich., and I have to tell the app each time that, yes, I’m in D.C. But that minor annoyance is nothing compared to the work involved in using a multispace meter, or worst of all, finding quarters.

[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By  |  11:06 AM ET, 10/18/2011

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