Best Denver Invention That Immobilized the World

The Denver Boot

Back in the early '50s, some Denver cops were bemoaning the problems involved with towing cars -- and an inventor friend, Frank Marugg, shouldered the task of coming up with a better way to handle parking scofflaws. Enter the Denver Boot, the now-notorious clamp that paralyzes the front tire of an offending auto until its owner pays up (or gives up on the car altogether). Although Denver was the first city to use Marugg's masterpiece, it's since spread around the world.


In the big picture, a CashKey may seem like relatively small change -- but it can certainly change the lives of those who always have trouble finding a quarter (much less eight quarters) to feed Denver's ever-hungry parking meters. A $15 deposit nets you a programmable key from the Denver Department of Public Works; you buy $5 increments of parking that are loaded into the key. (The limit is a hundred bucks a shot.) And then you're good to go, and stop: Every time you insert the key in a meter, 25 cents is deducted; when you run out, you can just reload. The CashKey is available at five city locations (check out www.denvergov.org for addresses and payment information); it may be coming to a few more convenient spots, too.

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