Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Now, to Find a Parking Spot, Drivers Look on Their Phones"

Those lucky people in San Francisco now have an iPhone app to help them find empty parking spaces, according to the New York Times (May 7, 2011, by Matt Richtel). This could be a good thing; it will probably reduce stress and frustration (and perhaps road rage) and alleviate downtown congestion, some 30% of which is estimated by city officials to be caused by drivers looking for a place to park.

The city installed sensors in nearly 20,000 parking spaces that alert a computer system when those spots are filled (or emptied) as part of a $20 million parking initiative. (Unless the initiative covered other projects, that's $1,000 per parking spot.)

As the article notes, San Francisco isn't the first city to try this out, but it is the most widespread (so far). Can anyone doubt that it will lead to more distracted drivers and more collisions - including automobile/pedestrian collisions?

When Google perfects its self-driving cars and hooks in this system, San Francisco will be driving paradise.

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director

1 comment:

Ken Pimple said...

The New York Times has another article on San Francisco's experiment with PAIT-enabled parking control ("A meter so expensive, it creates parking spots," by Michael Cooper and Jo Craven McGinty, March 15, 2012). See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/program-aims-to-make-the-streets-of-san-francisco-easier-to-park-on.html