San Francisco installs open parking space sensors

Zack writes:

Last week I noticed that SFMTA was changing out the internals of parking meters along Folsom street and I was immediately curious about Location Based Services and car aware parking meters. In a former life working for a larger tech company there was a discussion of a free wireless grid over the city and intelligent parking meters were one of the services intertwined, so seeing this finally realized is incredible! (Not to mention it will be nice to be able to find a parking space when I need it!)

He passes on this article at the Times. It appears that San Francisco is indeed putting 6,000 wireless sensors throughout the city which will plug into a network that will show drivers where spaces are open. And that’s important, because according to the article:

timesdisilvapark190.jpg

“If the San Francisco experiment works, no one will have to murder anyone over a parking space,” said Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose work on the pricing of parking spaces and whether more spaces are good for cities has led to a revolution in ideas about relieving congestion.

Each of the “bumps” has a duty life of five-to-ten years.

Can’t Find a Parking Spot? Check Smartphone [NYTimes.com]

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8 Responses to San Francisco installs open parking space sensors

  1. Enochrewt says:

    If someone is willing to murder over a parking space, they’ll be willing to murder over some other trivial thing. This won’t stop murdering. Just sayin’

    And as for the homeless guy that blocks spaces, you run them down. They’ll get out of the way. Just be prepared to bring the pain when you get out of the car, hopefully they’re injured by your attack on the parking space, making it an easy fight.

    In all seriousness, there’s been a park by phone system in my city for a couple of years. It’s not as easy as this, you have to know the phone number to the lot and call to reserve and pay for your space. Is sure sucks for the guy that pulls in and goes to the pay machine only to find that the space is already paid for by someone else though.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Will there be a corresponding increase in legal motorcycle parking spaces, since these sensors won’t see or count them? False positive for an available spot.

  3. zuzu says:

    Each of the “bumps” has a duty life of five-to-ten years.

    Which in real-life will mean one-to-two years. Just wait until the murders unfold from people receiving false-positives. “The map said there was a free space here!!! KHAAAAN!!!!!

    I wonder why they didn’t use those buried electromagnetic field interference detectors, like for toll gate arms at parking garages, instead.

  4. patela says:

    Great, a service that screws ALL citizens but only helps the ones that have a wifi device in their car.

    And does this mean that everyone who is looking for a parking space will be intently staring at their iphone instead of paying attention to the road.

    And if it works as well as Muni’s NextBus system (you know it’s innovative because the second syllable is capitalized), then one will never find a parking space again.

    And nope, this will definitely not stop the homeless guys who hang around empty parking spaces regardless if you can find them yourself or not.

    FAIL.

  5. markhaas says:

    Just what we need, a bunch of crazed parking space seekers staring at their phones while driving in a dense urban environment. In my experience, the half life of an empty parking space in most of SF is about 15 seconds, and so by the time you see the newly vacant space posted on your phone and drive there, it’ll likely already be gone anyway.

  6. styrofoam says:

    Is the bump to tell the drivers that there’s an open spot, or to tell the parking meter to please reset itself back to 0 because the original payor has vacated the spot?
    Or tell a parking enforcement official that hey- expired meter, AND there’s a car in this spot?

  7. mgfarrelly says:

    Or tell a parking enforcement official that hey- expired meter, AND there’s a car in this spot?

    PRECISELY my thought!

    The notion that any city would do this out of the kindness of it’s heart without finding a money-making angle is absurd.

    If the tickets off set the monitors, well that would be quite nice actually.

  8. idyll23 says:

    undoubtedly if they do indeed communicate with the meters then a vacant meter will reset itself to 0, but at the same time considering that sometimes you can spend 10 minutes driving around searching for an open meter the amount of fuel and emissions easily compensate for this inconvenience.

    additionally, it would be nice not to have to deal with the entrepreneurial homeless guy trying to flag you down to the sole open space on the block because he expects a finders fee.

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