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Sensing a Parking Spot

By The Wall Street Journal

October 29, 2010

In the first taste of a technology that could transform the way people park their cars in the city, Roosevelt Island is installing a system of sensors designed to make it easier for drivers to find a curbside spot—or get a ticket.

At the core of the system are small devices embedded underneath parking spaces. They detect the presence of a car, then transmit that information to a central data center. From there, it can be fed to street signs that direct drivers to open spots or be matched up with parking-meter data. That way, ticket-writers can be dispatched to places where they know there are scofflaws. The data could also be used to design a scheme that increases prices when parking is in high demand and lowers it when lots of spots are available, encouraging people to park in less-sought-after places.

The goal is to cut congestion caused by people driving around looking for parking. Such a system also has the potential to raise revenue and allow the city to reduce the number of people it needs to pay to write tickets.

From The Wall Street Journal
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