BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Rick Serra, President of Allpro Parking in Buffalo, believes he has found a better way of getting chronic freeloaders to pay up at his parking lots.
It is an immobilizing device called the “Barnacle,” and once the device is stuck to a car’s windshield, it is extremely difficult to remove, just like the crusty sea creature for which it is named.
The Barnacle looks like a bright yellow briefcase made of heavy gauge plastic, with two massive industrial strength suction cups designed to hold it against the windshield of a parking offender.
Serra said he has studied the device, which he believes it is safer for the car and driver than the traditional “Denver Boot,” and more effective.
“It is one thousand pounds pressure of suction to the windshield. So now it blocks the view. of anybody trying to drive the vehicle.”
Once the Barnacle is placed on the car’s windshield, driving off is practically impossible because it blocks the driver’s vision, and alarms go off.
To remove the apparatus, Serra said the owner can scan a QR code with their smartphone, or call the office to get a release code.
“They punch in the code–there is a little key pad on the unit. They put in the code, the vehicle is released from the unit, they fold it up and put it in their trunk.” The driver then has to drop off the Barnacle at a drop site.
If a parking offender decides to keep the Barnacle in the trunk, Serra said their credit card will get dinged for a $200 security deposit, or more.
The fee for removing the Barnacle is $65 plus the cost of parking, which is $10 dollars less than what the city allows. Serra said the Barnacle and the boot are only used for catching repeat offenders, so they will also have to pay past unpaid parking fees and late charges.