Some motorists got free parking in the city Monday because of a programming error with the new parking meter pay stations.
Electronic messages on about 550 machines advised motorists that they didn't have to pay for parking because of Presidents Day. Monday was not a city holiday, however, and the machines shouldn't have indicated that it was, David Onorato, city parking authority executive director, said.
The messages were removed Monday morning, but Mr. Onorato waived enforcement for the 3,500 spaces covered by the machines for the rest of the day.
"It was the right thing to do," he said, noting it was impossible to know when motorists had parked in the spaces. About 3,000 of the spaces were on streets, and the rest were in metered lots.
Mr. Onorato said he didn't know how much revenue was lost because of the error but noted that traffic was light Monday because of the holiday.
Enforcement was not affected for residential permit parking districts, about 4,000 on-street spaces with single-space parking meters and parking lots with single-space meters, Mr. Onorato said.
The city parking authority last year paid Cale America more than $7 million for the machines and seven years of maintenance. Mr. Onorato said Presidents Day inadvertently was included in a list of holidays programmed into the machines at the beginning of the year.