SF Parking Via IPhone App

The goal is to reduce traffic congestion, pollution and consumer frustration when it comes to finding metered parking in San Francisco.

A lofty goal, indeed, but SFPark's manager Jay Primus is striding toward achieving it, according to sf.streetsblog.com, and one way to get there is with an iPhone app.

"People we talk to are sometimes skeptical about the (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's) intentions, that somehow SFPark is meant to gouge drivers for additional parking revenue," he told the blog. "That's just not the case."

The app provides a real-time parking map, showing occupancy and price rates at every meter and parking garage in the SFPark program. Other mobile formats for the app are coming soon.

Dark-blue blocks indicate parking vacancies, while red blocks suggest one should look elsewhere. Tap on a green block and users will get the pricing for that meter or garage.

And, just in case a driver was tempted to "app and drive," there is a feature that detects if the iPhone is traveling faster than 10 mph -- which will then remind the user to disengage.

Later this year is perhaps the piece de parking resistance: pay-by-phone functionality.

So, fight the highways and bridges and tourists and sometimes-unruly bicyclists to get to the city ... and then let your phone do the rest.

(No word if the app will be of use in dead spots, like The Lower Haight.)

An extensive interview with Jay Primus about the city's overall parking goals is at SF.Streetsblog.com.

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