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Can't Find a Parking Spot? Check Smartphone (nytimes.com)
6 points by bostonbiz on July 12, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments

I wonder if this will make parking better or worse. If everyone knows about open parking spaces, then everyone will rush to the nearest space causing more congestion around it. Once they get to the space and realize someone else got lucky, they will all go to the next nearest open space. So are you really solving the parking congestion problem?

As the article notes, the goal is to price so that 15% of the spots are always open. So it's not really about finding one rare spot -- despite the fact that makes a nice 'gee whiz' vivid opening story. It's about changing the entire calculation about street parking vs. off-street parking or alternate transportation.

I think that this is a fantastic idea. I wonder what kind of variable and fixed costs come along with employing the parking sensors. A service like this will certainly justify a raise in meter fees.

I'm not sure a significant raise in meter fees is required. If the sensors are tied in with the meters themselves (letting you pay for it over your phone and whatnot), then a lot of the work for the city's parking enforcement is gone. All that would be required is to keep track of expired meters with cars still parked there, and any cars parked while parking is not allowed.

Although that will probably mean that a lot of people might lose their jobs, it means that the gov in turn saves money on gas|CNG|power for the cars, and possibly get more money from parking tickets.

Well, at least now you get something in return for the parking fee. I wish we had something lke this in Seattle as well.

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