Digital Communities

Cleveland Councilmember Eyes Parking App, Other "Low-Hanging Fruit" Tech

Councilmember Kerry McCormack is looking into app technology as an avenue to improve Cleveland's troubled downtown parking.

by Robert Higgs, Advance Ohio Media / August 2, 2018
Shutterstock

(TNS) — CLEVELAND — Cleveland Councilman Kerry McCormack is a point person on the city council for looking at how the city can integrate smart technology to improve quality of life.

And he has used part of council's summer recess to explore an app technology that he thinks could improve how Cleveland collects fees for on-street parking, make it easier for people to pay and perhaps boosting collections.

While traveling this summer in Michigan, McCormack got a look at a system that allows parking-meter payments to be made via an app as well as with coins.

Such a system could make on-street parking in Cleveland easier, he said. For example, motorists could put time on a meter via their cell phone and easily add more time, if needed, without having to return to their cars.

Parking is a key issue in McCormack's ward, which includes much of the downtown — the area around Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena, East Fourth Street, the Warehouse District and the Flats — and trendy Ohio City and Tremont on the West Side.

"I've got to believe anecdotally, and I'd want to do more research on this, that you probably could raise more money in the long run," McCormack said. "I'd be curious to see what some of the other cities have found."

McCormack has met with Mayor Frank Jackson's administration this summer to discuss technology.

The city is in the process of replacing more than 60,000 street lights with high-tech LED lighting. The new lights will have the ability to carry other items, too, such as digital security cameras.

McCormack has advocated that the city consider other uses of technology, too, such as sensors for monitoring air quality or equipment to provide neighborhood-wide Wi-Fi.

"The point is there's some low hanging fruit out there," McCormack said.

©2018 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.