Mayor Bloomberg & the DOT Commissioner announced a plan to eliminate the hassle of finding and paying for parking
Can you imagine driving your chariot into the Belmont Business Improvement District of Little Italy, finding available on-street parking spaces in real-time on your smartphone, and paying for parking with a couple of clicks on your mobile device? Nah, no way…Yes, way:
“The parking payment pilot allows motorists to pay for metered parking via a smartphone app, the Internet or by telephone for 264 spaces along 18 block faces, as well as at the Department’s Belmont Municipal Parking Field.”
The second program, the parking availability pilot:
“…uses innovative sensors embedded in the roadway to produce a real-time parking availability map viewable on the Internet, smartphones and tablet devices. After reviewing the map before starting their trips or working with a passenger, motorists can head directly toward blocks with available spaces, reducing the time needed to hunt for spaces and the associated congestion as drivers circle for parking.”
Wowzers! [via press release]
Who are these parking pilot program guys?
PayByPhone won the bid to give the mobile app, payment processing, and customer service at no taxpayer cost. Here’s a short video explaining how the process works.
To learn more about how this wonderful app works, you may wish to check out the PayByPhone website.
How do we find on-street parking spaces in real-time?
I’m glad you asked. NYC is working with Street line to give this data to the wonderful NYC driving community via their mobile devices. Here’s a link to the Streetline website that will allow you to learn a whole bunch of stuff about how their service works. Here’s a part of the press release dedicated to the parking availability pilot program:
“The real-time parking map, now available on the Department of Transportation’s website and on Streetline’s Parker smartphone app later this spring, uses state-of-the-art sensors installed last year at no cost to the city in the roadbed along portions of Arthur Avenue and East 187th Street to detect the presence of a parked vehicle and wirelessly transmit data. The real-time map shows a color-coded display indicating the likelihood of finding parking on each block within the pilot area, which drivers can use to minimize the amount of time spent circling blocks and looking for an open spot. On these blocks, individual parking spaces will be marked in the roadway, increasing the accuracy of the sensors, though the map will not direct drivers to specific spaces within an individual block, given the high-parking demand in the area and the passage of time between checking the map and arriving at a destination” [via press release].
Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference
Here’s our honorable mayor doing his Ed Sullivan imitation while announcing, explaining, and giving credit to various stakeholders of these two excellent pilot programs.
I’m not sure there is any other city in the country that makes the innovative use of technology more seriously to make life easier for its citizenry and visitors. Kudos to our leaders for initiating a pilot program that will make locating and paying for parking a lot less of a hassle.
One small point…My parking ticket eyebrows are raised a bit when some of the languages bandied about to describe the pay for parking app is “feed-the-meter.” In the parlance of NYC parking violations, feeding-the-meter connotes the act of paying for time on a parking meter or muni-meter beyond the legal parking limit. For example, if the legal limit in a parking zone is one hour, a member of the driving community cannot “feed-the-meter” beyond the one-hour limit.
However, since parking can be paid for in 15-minute intervals, a parker may estimate she needs the one-half hour of parking time to complete his mission. However, if the mission requires more time, the parking app will allow this parker to pay for an additional thirty minutes, up to the legal one-hour limit. If that foolish parking pays for an additional one hour of parking time (and parks beyond the legal limit of one hour) she will be issued a parking ticket for “overtime” parking, a.k.a. “feeding-the-meter.”
In any event, the press release makes it clear that you are only permitted to pay for parking up to the legal limit in a particular parking zone.
[Larry’s note: My special thanks to Vincent, a wonderful friend of New York Parking Ticket, for sending me a link to an article in Gothamist about this pilot program].