By James O’Brien
Parking is one of the few pains that people and cities share. When you need a space, you can’t find it. Or if you do find one, it’s too far away. Or it costs too much and you’re running out of time. All the while, you’re burning gasoline and boosting your carbon footprint.
Meanwhile, municipal planners take the heat when businesses want more parking to attract shoppers. And developers throw their hands up when zoning officials claim they don’t see enough parking in a plan.
“Parking is one of those unsolved urban challenges,” said Kelly Schwager, chief marketing officer at Streetline. “And it doesn’t have to be that way.”
For the past eight years, Streetline has been working to make the future of parking happen. The organization is tackling the space-available equation from multiple angles by working directly with municipal and private parking operators in 40 locations across the U.S. Since their product launched in 2010, the California company has also expanded internationally, with recent partnerships in the U.K., Germany, and Spain.
“We install sensors into individual parking spaces, and those sensors then transmit data,” Schwager said. One applications fueled by this data is ParkSight. With it, municipal officials can view real-time parking usage and crunch the numbers on historical usage and demand.
“They can really get the sense of it,” Schwager said. “Is our parking priced appropriately? Do we have too much parking, or not enough? And then they can look at shifting policy hours to generate more revenue.”