The City Council of St. Petersburg, Florida recently approved a three-year agreement with Streetline – a smart parking firm that delivers data and advanced analytics solutions – to install on-street sensors throughout the downtown area that will provide notifications of when parking spaces are available. When a parking space is empty, an aerial map of the location will show an icon indicating there’s an open space with additional details about parking limits and price. Streetline’s app “Parker” is free to users, and the service comes at no cost to the city as the company makes its revenue by aggregating the data collected from the sensors and selling it to interested third parties.
A sensor will be installed on each city block, thus requiring the use of a combination of data to estimate parking availability. Incorporated data would include parking trends, motion patterns, and the city’s parking management cameras that read license plates to enforce time limits.
“We have available parking downtown, but it’s just not always available right where people want to park,” Evan Mory, director of municipal parking management, said. “We feel like this will really help with that perception issue.”
St. Petersburg completed a major Downtown Parking Demand and Adequacy Study in 2016 noting an expected increase in population in the Downtown District with over 2000 additional residences under construction. It concluded that it would be critical that the city pursue smart communications in the form of mobile applications and connected vehicle technologies that could guide motorists to available parking and downtown destinations. Its current infrastructure includes CCTV sensors and cameras, along with dynamic message signs.