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Digital Pay and Display Machines Let the Cash Tills Ring on Lake Como

Rosa Maria Lamberti on Lake ComoCari amici, dear Lake Como friends. The digital era has arrived on our wonderful Lake Como. Some municipalities around the Lario have realized that they can take more money from motorists in the digital way.

A good or rather a bad example is Bellano on the eastern shore of Lake Como.

Not so easy – Parking in Bellano

Reduced parking in Piazza San Giorgio in Bellano on Lake ComoParking in the centre of Bellano is particularly difficult on market days. The parking spaces in the old town in Piazza San Giorgio have been reduced due to building measures.

Over time, they are no longer available and are relocated to the area of the station. Paid parking at Viale Tomasso Grossi, the lakeside promenade, is also insufficient, especially on market days.

Money, Money, Money …

If you have managed to get a parking space on the lakeside, the next test is waiting for you: the handling of the new digital Pay and display Machines.

If you speak Italian or have good eyes or reading glasses, the very small written instructions may help you.

In the other case, you should do the following:

  • Press the green Valid button and enter your license plate number using the keyboard.
  • Again press the Valid button.
  • Only then you can start the payment process.
  • If you want to pay „cash“, you have to have the appropriate coins ready. The machines don’t give change back but let it go into the city tills or the cash registers of private operators.
  • Banknotes will not be accepted.
  • It is clearly favored that you pay at the digital pay and display machines by credit card or mobile phone.

Digital parking meter in Bellano on Lake ComoParking time is often limited. If you don’t have enough time, you can’t “recharge” and extend the parking time, as it was possible with the old parking meters.

This means that users are virtually told how much time they have to spend on business, visits, shopping, sightseeing, etc.

If you leave your parking space before the parking time is over, no other car will be allowed to use your remaining time.

Because the license plates don’t match, the next driver will be fined. So parking time is often paid twice.

Where is the Data Protection?

By entering the license plate number and by paying by credit card or mobile phone, a lot of data is collected, which is actually nobody’s business.

By using a digital pay and display machine, the relevant authority or company can find out our license plate number, our most important bank and mobile phone data and can trace exactly when, where and for how long a vehicle was parked. The fact that everyone is recognized by name on the basis of this data is self-explanatory.

I wonder whether this is compatible with the otherwise so strictly handled data protection.

Finally Something Positive

It is pleasing to note that almost all car park terminals on Lake Como are operated in an environmentally friendly way with solar cells.

And really, in some places they still exist, the good old park meters and very occasionally free parking. You just have to find them 😉

I wish you every success with parking.

Tanti saluti e a presto
Rosa Maria Lamberti