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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Downtown Officials, Residents to Discuss Safety Concerns Over New Parking App

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 9:08 AM

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Cleveland is still in the midst of a 90-day trial period for its new parking app - the aptly and so cutely named "Parker." But there's enough concern in the air to prompt a public meeting between downtown leaders and residents.

The conversation happens at 7 p.m. tonight at Old Stone Church.

From a Nov. 15 Scene story:

Parker's Streetline, as it's officially dubbed, is a smartphone app that "directs drivers to available parking," Commissioner of Parking Antoinette Thompson recently told Scene. Sensors located in front of some 100 meters on Prospect Avenue between East 4th and East 9th Streets will send signals to smartphone users identifying vacancies, meter rates, and time limits, as well as nearby garage parking, she said.

In theory, the app is expected to help reduce traffic congestion, increase parking turnover, and provide real time parking data while easing the frustration of finding a place to park.

That all sounds peachy, but doesn't there seem to be something fundamentally wrong with motorists checking their smartphones in highly congested areas? In fact, it can be downright dangerous. (Just watch 5 minutes of Werner Herzog's haunting documentary "From One Second to the Next" and you'll never want to check your phone while driving again.)

Consider this meeting a public check-in before broader implementation of the app. It's also likely that other safety concerns relating to cyclists and pedestrians downtown will come up, as well. More information is available on the meeting's Facebook page.

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