This ‘Parking Ticket’ Is As Big As Your Car Windshield

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It doesn’t get much more conspicuous than a new parking regulation enforcement tool that uses suction cups covered in bright yellow plastic to render your car windshield useless.

It’s the idea of a Philadelphia native who says the device — despite its appearance — is designed to be friendly to law violators and enforcers alike.

The appropriate response when seeing the Barnacle is ‘what the…?’

“The Barnacle definitely gets your attention,” says Kevin Dougherty, president of Ideas That Stick.

You can spot it covering the glass from more than a block away. What you can’t see is anything from the front seat of your car.

“It attaches to the windshield using commercial-grade suction cups that provide 750 lbs of force per suction cup. There is no brute force way of getting it off,” Dougherty explains.

The Barnacle is placed by a parking enforcement officer, but it’s removable by you — once you cover the cost of the violation.

“It’s got a motorist-release feature which allows people to pay over the phone and enter a code on the Barnacle keypad,” Dougherty says. “The device then automatically releases and the person drops it off within 24 hours to a predetermined location.”

The company run by the Drexel grad and former Marine launched the Barnacle this summer.

“It has a tamper and movement alarm that goes off if somebody’s messing with the device, or if they try to move the vehicle,” Dougherty says. “And it’s also GPS-enabled.”

What would happen if someone did try to circumvent the suction cups and remove it — would it crack the windshield?

“You’d need to be standing on the hood of your car to try it,” Dougherty says. “You’d be likely to remove the Barnacle and the windshield at the same time.”

For enforcers, the foldable, lightweight Barnacle is designed to be easy to store and transport and safer to slap on your car than a wheel boot, since it can be deployed from the curbside and not amid oncoming traffic.

The Barnacle is in use in Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale, and in Allentown, where Dougherty says the “forward-thinking” parking authority was the first to test the device.

More from Ian Bush

One Comment

  1. manniep says:

    You can probably get under it with a sharpened rod or wire, and puncture the suction cups. Then run it over or smash it. They have to be expensive to replace.

    1. ron says:

      you can use the car oil dip stick slide under the rim of suction pad if thin enough as these are on all cars already nothing has to be bought or remembered or a knitting needle. look through winsheild from inside car to guide if needed.

    2. Greg says:

      I wouldn’t suggest smashing it. They can likely get that tied to your registration renewal. But I’m sure there has to be some way of removing it once you get it home, which could be done by driving with your head out the window.

    3. ron says:

      The sort of people that would probably remove these things are serial parking offenders and have many outstanding tickets, drive a very old cheap car and do not have registration in their would not give a….

  2. Jacob Tothe says:

    This is extortion, plain and simple.

  3. Of course the parking trolls have never booted a legally parked car.

  4. TPP says:

    Former Marine? What an embarrassment. He should take the barnacle and shove it up his freedom hating bum. This is extortion plain and simple and people should NOT put up with it. They put this communist thing on your vehicle then blackmail you into paying them then add insult to injury by making YOU bring back the thing THEY put on your car within 24 hours…. or what? More extortion/blackmail. This is a grotesque overreach

  5. Kit Cat says:

    (deep sigh….) I’ve lived in a few areas and keep trying to come back and “love” my hometown Philadelphia… But then the parking authority, not happy with the boot, comes up with this idea that screams “THE PARKING AUTHORITY HATES PEOPLE” out loud.

    This is anti forward thinking.

    It’s just plain embarrassing for Philly. We already have a parking authority made famous on Parking Wars.

    Now this. I’m becoming ashamed to say I’m from here.

  6. I will never visit fascist Philly again.

  7. This is crazy…what if you had to cancel your debit/credit card or lost it….? who wants to go to philly or ft lauderdale anyway…

  8. Knife or Fork says:

    I’d use a Knife or Fork to remove it.

    I’m just saying.

    The police are all about collecting money but do nothing about government corruption.

  9. Most places give you time to pay a ticket….. this is more like the ‘clamp’ or ‘Denver boot’.

  10. Rich Hall says:

    So now the city is trying to force me to get rid of my FLIP PHONE and buy a new idiot phone (oh sorry smartphone) to pay my tickets. I’ll deduct the cost from my real estate taxes I figure ( if I paid them to begin with)

  11. dorpmuller says:

    Very creepy.

  12. Jack says:

    The Barnacle photo gallery shows a rubber gasket around the perimeter, and the “commercial grade suction cup” is also made of rubber. So, a thin metal shim, pushed in between the device and the windshield, could penetrate both and release the suction seal without scratching the windshield.

    1. ron says:

      slim jim car opener would probably do job…. Or long metal knitting needle.

      1. ron says:

        Update: Every car has the ideal thing to remove these devices as part of it already…
        The engine oil dipstick which is long and thin like” slim Jim car opener” already oiled just slip between suction cup and windscreen to break vacuum on each side. Have a blanket ready to wrap device into to deaden noise of any alarm place on rear seat of car to be disposed off ASAP as may have GPS tracker inside and away you go! Or just leave by side of the road closed and undamaged if alarm not sounding.

  13. ron says:

    Two points here would be illegal to use privately ( not police use) for parking enforcement in UK as same as clamping or blocking car in to prevent driving away.
    Looking at it from engineering point of view after seeing pictures of it folded held on by vacuum as somebody else has just pointed out drilling a hole through middle of square on each or maybe just one side with small high speed drill would release vacuum and device will come straight off. They could have thought of this and both sides would have separate vacuum lines so releasing vacuum in one other still in place until drilled. They also might have fitted a ceramic drill resistant plate under cover to stop this (increasing cost and weight considerably of device so not lightly) but if so then a diamond drill or hammer drill should work. This device is much more expensive than a clamp but much easier to remove tools wise. Probably has loud alarm as well when attacked. There is another thing they could do but I would be a fool to say what here! just for you at company guy says glass drill .5-1mm through glass screen from inside will release vacuum without damage to device. Big failure before it starts have spotted two more flaws without even seeing device! forget UK market.In Europe you will never see any you put on cars again. in Paris France they tried clamping every person carried superglue and put in lock of any clamp (Boot) they saw. Italy, person putting on car would need police protection!

  14. Citizen44 says:

    what if there’s a real emergency and you need to move your car or drive somewhere?

    1. Richard C Sander Jr says:

      Does Philly normally use The Boot like we have in Los Angeles? I used to watch guys hacksawing them off on the way to work.

  15. JakeF20 says:

    That, my friends, is what is called a “graffiti magnet”. Can’t blame the car owner for vandals tagging this thing when it’s on their car.

  16. Richard C Sander Jr says:

    Wow. 1984 and Brazil rolled into one.

Comments are closed.

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