July 14, 2008
gottapark and smart dust — is parking the new 'San Francisco treat?'
"Looks like parking is so bad in San Francisco that there's a new service [gottapark] that lets you rent out your driveway. It'll be interesting to see if it takes off. Columbus [Ohio] parking isn’t much better, so I'd much rather my money go to Joe Driveway than some long-term parking company," wrote James Thornburg in an email that accompanied a link to this enterprising startup.
Just this Saturday past in the New York Times appeared an article by John Markoff about the city of San Francisco's ongoing effort to create a wireless mesh network of public parking spaces.
They're doing it the old fashioned way, to wit: people go up and down the streets with 4-inch-square radio-transmitting devices called "bumps" (below) that they glue to the street wherever there's a public parking place.
A small tech company called Streetline has adapted wireless sensor technology aka "smart dust" to enable the bumps to not only let parking officials know if spaces are occupied or vacant but also monitor the speed of traffic, enabling a real-time map of congestion information to be generated on the fly.
The idea is that motorists who in the past would drive around and around waiting to spot a car pulling out, sometimes getting into such heated disputes over who saw the spot first that violence occasionally broke out, will now far more easily be able to find a place.
"Solving the parking mess takes on special significance in San Francisco because two years ago a 19-year-old, Boris Albinder, was stabbed to death during a fight over a parking space," wrote Markoff.
Kenneth, what was that frequency...?
July 14, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink
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How long before someone prises the bump off and shoves it across the entrance to the local police station or somewhere else "unsuitable"?
Posted by: Skipweasel | Jul 15, 2008 8:47:45 AM
yes! at last a solution! (usually, nobody gets stabbed here in MA, but they might get beat over the head with a lawn chair)
Posted by: teg | Jul 14, 2008 9:35:21 PM
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