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Friday, April 10, 2015

Mobile App, ParkWise, Now Supports Somerville!

An app that offers real-time information on open parking spots in Boston has expanded to Somerville and Cambridge as of April 1st. Boston’s own Streetinfo Tech developed the app that offers street sweeping alerts along with locations of available or soon-to-be-available parking spots.

For those of you playing at home, you may recall the recent ban in Boston on apps that allow drivers to sell or “hold” parking spots. The (FREE) ParkWise app only notes spots needed or occupied by users with further technology that alerts them to street sweeping. It does not allow selling, saving or renting-keeping it within city regulations and off the radar of the City Council.

This record-breaking winter brought the subject of parking to the forefront as snow clogged streets provided the absolute bare minimum of parking for residents and visitors. More often than not, anything that was empty featured a spot-saver of some sort ranging from orange cones to vacuum cleaners. Of course, the clusterf#%! that was the MBTA, as well as, hiked Uber prices certainly didn’t help either.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh kicked off the street sweeping season with an announcement that Boston would not tow cars in the way of the springtime machines through a pilot program that would have violators seeing their cars, but with $90 tickets.

Somerville has made both positive and negative changes to its parking policies in the past few years, but they did beat Boston to the punch as they were the first to launch a pay-by-app parking system. ParkMobile launched this past fall allowing users to pay simply by inputting a zone and space number along with credit card information. A .50¢ charge is also applied. Hints at demand-based parking and 10pm meter feeding times have been made by Mayor Joe Curtatone, but nothing has been formally announced as of yet. 

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