Can a New Map Simplify Parking in Chicago?

This new tool, made possible by open data, could also be used to help people decide where to live.

by / December 18, 2014

Every city dweller has been there: downtown, late for an appointment -- and will be even later because there's no place to park!  The city of Chicago hopes to make such a thing easier with its new detailed parking map and accompanying mobile app released Dec. 18.

Using open data, the interactive map details the location of all 1,429 of the city’s residential parking zones and their associated restrictions, so drivers can find a parking space that suits their needs. The map replaces a "zone table," which is a 90-page book that details parking restrictions in the city's residential areas. City Clerk’s Office Spokesman Patrick Corcoran also noted that the map could be used to help people in other planning decisions, like choosing a residence. 

The app also could be used to help city planners identify patterns in parking rules and perhaps simplify them, as parking restrictions can vary from block to block, often confusing people.

"It didn't cost us a dollar to put this information in the hands of people who know how to use it,"
City Clerk Susana Mendoza told NBC Chicago. "We did it at zero additional taxpayer cost, and it will actually provide a benefit to taxpayers and hopefully lead to less tickets."