City Experiments With Street Sensors to Build a Parking App That Shows Available Spots

Bewildered by life's non-mysteries.

At a press conference in the Bronx yesterday, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced that the city would be installing 177 parking sensor. No one tell the Juggalos, but the sensors work using magnets. They can sense when a vehicle is present, as well as the moment a car enters of leaves a space and an individual vehicle’s “magnetic signature,” reports StreetsBlog.

For the next three months, the city will be testing to determine whether the sensors can stand up to “the rigors of the streets of New York,” said Ms. Sadik-Khan. The eventual goal is to develop a smartphone app that tells drivers how many on-street parking spots are free on a particular block.

Considering that the senors can also be linked in real-time to parking meters and enforcement officers, StreetsBlog senses the possibility of something nefarious, or at least more expensive, afoot . . . especially considering this same technology has been used in San Francisco to price on-street parking by demand and in Los Angeles and Paris to target enforcing parking meters. Not that we haven’t tried something similar:

“New York has its own program, called ParkSmart, to align curbside parking prices with demand, and the city has shown interest in the full range of applications for parking sensors. When the Bloomberg administration notified companies in 2010 that the city was interested in next-generation parking tech, DOT hoped to not only use sensors for dynamic pricing and enforcing meter violations, but to crack down on placard abuse as well. And last November, Sadik-Khan told a tech conference that New York City’s smart parking technology would be used to manage the price of parking.”

However, yesterday Ms. Sadik-Khan said, of the new sensors, “That’s not the intention right now.” Perhaps with something of a Muhahaha under her breath?

City Experiments With Street Sensors to Build a Parking App That Shows Available Spots