Keene’s parking meter protectors ruffle feathers

The money they put into the parking meters comes from donations


KEENE, New Hampshire (WWLP) – The city of Keene, New Hampshire has some polarizing parking meter fairies.

They’ve been around since 2012, following parking enforcement officers with a stated goal of trying to save people from getting a ticket.

Part of the motto for the state of New Hampshire is “live free”, and in Keene, that apparently applies to parking meters.

About a half dozen people who call themselves ‘Robin Hooders’ have been following parking enforcement officers, putting change in the meters of strangers before the officer can write a ticket. The town has lost about $50,000 in revenue, but what’s worse, accusations that this band of Merry Men isn’t so Merry, harassing city workers.

Keene mayor Kendall Lane told 22News, “If they want to put money in the meters, if they want to keep people from getting tickets for nonpayment of parking money, that is perfectly legitimate and they are free to do that, but leave the parking enforcement officers alone.”

22News went to the Robin Hooder headquarters on Leverett Street. There we found Ian Freeman. He admitted his approach may make some people uncomfortable, but denies the allegations of harassment. “They’re in downtown, they stayed an extra five minutes in a store, and now you are issuing them as your job, a written threat that basically says if you don’t pay what we are demanding, then we are going to steal your car, and to me that’s an immoral job, and I don’t appreciate what they do.”

If your meter expires and Robin Hood of Keene saves you from a parking ticket, you’ll know it. They put a card on your windshield in the hopes you’ll consider a donation and pay it forward.

Peter Rooney, of Keene said, “I think they are an annoyance. The people who are working for the city are just trying to do their job and they are disrespectful frankly.”

Robin Hood of Keene is being sued by the city.

They say the money they put into the parking meters comes from donations.

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