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Tech Thursday – Can an App Fix Parking Problems?

While I was in Troy recently, I drove around the block where a store I go to was located, about 5 times looking and hoping for someone to pull out and leave an opening I could get into. If I had this app before I got to the street the store I visit was on, I could have known where to park before I got there and saved myself a trip around the block.

Screen shot CNN News Video

The City of San Fransisco asked tech companies in Silicon Valley to tackle the problem, and they did a pretty good job based on what I can see. Basically, sensors in the road tell if a car is parked in a spot or not. It then reports to a central server, wirelessly, and that information is sent to the free app that a driver downloads to their smartphone. Then on a map of the city, it shows you parking congestion.

Dark blue is good, light blue means it’s starting to get tight with spots, and red means nothing available. When the city of San Fransisco tested it, they said it was 90% accurate, and in the video the CNN reporter seems to have the same conclusion.

I know in these times of cost cutting and over extended budgets and deficits, seeing something like this getting implemented in the Capital Region is a pipe dream, but it would be cool to have something like this and would help with congestion as well as lower greenhouse gases from cars not circling so much. And that can also mean saving money on gas which at around $4 a gallon, is a welcome savings to me. But in the story they say it was all federally funded. I wonder if they talked to Matthew Lesko?

So if Mayor Tutunjian reads this, I would hope he takes a little time to look and talk about this idea. I think in the long run it could save some money and if he could get some of that funding San Fransisco got to implement this, it would be a win all around.

And for the record, I love Troy. Just hate the parking.

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