Back in November we told you about Streetline, a new service that offers drivers and cities a real-time view of available parking spaces. The service just got a lot more driver-friendly yesterday, with the debut of a new iPhone app that points the way to roadways ripe with ample street parking.
Parker, currently only available in areas near Hollywood, California, displays for drivers a real-time Google map with available spaces. Streets with multiple open spots are highlighted, and garages are also listed as an alternative. Anyone whose been lured deep into a parking garage only to find obscenely high hourly rates posted beyond the point of turning around will appreciate that current garage and meter rates — in addition to time limits — are also available with the swipe of a finger.
For Los Angeles, it may be a chance to reduce congestion without drastically changing infrastructure. “By making parking easier, we can help people get where they are going faster, and reduce pollution and traffic congestion caused by drivers circling in hopes of finding an open spot,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Streetline requires the installation of sensors into existing parking spaces, then connects parking infrastructure through an infinitely expandable wireless network. With the network in place, drivers can find, reserve and pay for open spaces, and cities can tell where violations are and set dynamic prices for spaces based on demand.
We tried out the app and wish it were already available in every city we’ve ever driven. Though it took a half second to get the hang of the interface, streets with multiple open spots were clear. It was also easy to get directions, albeit to another city, from our current location.
The Parker app might be the best example we’ve seen so far that having access to real-time parking information could be the difference between finding a space and circling the wrong block endlessly, or seeing that parking is at a premium and deciding to leave the car at home.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Useful. New App Finds Street Parking From A Smartphone | Autopia | WIRED