With the ubiquity of cell phones, it's rare to hear someone ask the time anymore. But when your battery dies, as mine has doing all too quickly, how do you know what time it is? Of course you could ask a stranger, and watch them look at their cell phone. You could use your ATM card to check your account balances or buy something in a store and look at the receipt.
Or you could check a MuniMeter. For drivers (or, more precisely, parkers) in New York City they are the digital parking meter, the only thing that stands between you and a ticket. For all others, they are just a highly redundant street clock.