Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The SFpark Program
BOMA San Francisco Members:
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is testing a new parking management system: SFpark. It uses sensors, new meters, and real-time parking data to take the guesswork out of parking in the City. These elements work together to, according to the SFMTA, make parking easier to find and more convenient. The benefits will cascade to drivers, Muni riders, bicyclists, pedestrians, visitors, merchants and more. SFpark will be testing its new parking management system at 6,000 of San Francisco’s 25,000 metered spaces and 12,250 spaces in 15 of 20 City-owned parking garages. The pilot phase of SFpark will run for two years starting summer 2010. Click here to view a map of the pilot areas.
SFpark sensors, installed in parking spaces and in City-owned garages, track in real-time where parking is and isn’t available. Sensor data is uploaded wirelessly to the SFpark data feed, which will then make that information available to the public via SFpark.org, street signs and smart phone applications. Real-time information about where parking is available will help drivers find parking with less hassle.
Parking will also frequently cost less. SFpark will adjust meter prices based on demand to encourage drivers to make trips in off-peak hours and to use parking lots and garages. While high-demand spaces will gradually go up in price, other spaces will decrease in cost.
As meter and garage pricing shifts to increase availability, instead of some blocks being full and others empty, the goal is to have, on average, at least one parking space available on every block. Once a space is found, longer time limits and new meters that accept credit and debit cards will make it easier to avoid parking tickets.
Three main technical components comprise the SFpark project—sensors to record parking availability, new meters to make it easier to pay, and a data feed to process and distribute information about where parking is available.