Chalking tires parked in time-limited spaces, feeding parking meters, and circling a block looking for an empty parking space could soon go the way of the pay telephone.
Several Bay-Area cities such as San Carlos and San Mateo have for some time been piloting an electronic parking system that begins with sensors embedded in each parking space, and ends with a smartphone app that shows which spaces are occupied and which vacant. Connecting the two is a wi-fi system.
It’s very helpful to a motorist looking for a space. Instead of circling the block, increasing traffic congestion and air pollution, the motorist simply glances at the app, locates the vacant spaces on a map, drives to one and parks. It’s helpful for local businesses if shoppers can predict how much parking is available and park on main street rather than getting frustrated and driving to a big box store with acres of parking.
And there are some additional bells and whistles. For example, the system can log the time in and alert the parking patrol when the time elapses. No more tire chalk. And the potential exists to replace parking meters entirely with electronic payments by smartphone.
San Carlos, which has been testing the “Parker,” mobile app by Foster-City based Streetline, will decide Monday night whether to expand the system to another 95 spaces, according to the Daily Journal.
San Mateo last week discussed expanding its pilot at no cost using corporate sponsorships and advertising.
This story was originally published by Techwire.