If you reside or frequent a large metropolitan area, you're probably all too aware of the cost to park your vehicle. In cities like New York or Chicago, you can pay upwards of $30 or more for a full day of parking. To make matters worse, even with astronomical costs many drivers can't even find an open spot.

San Francisco is looking for a permanent solution to its parking problems by going high tech and paying big bucks to do it. Frisco is investing $25 million on a new electronic parking system that will constantly gauge demand for spots and raise or lower pricing accordingly. So why go to all this expense and trouble to set parking prices?

Parking that's too cheap may lead to spots getting filled too quickly, which will lead to cars circling around waiting for spots, clogging streets with unnecessary congestion. The goal of the $25 million project is to make parking cheap enough for people to afford it while at the same time expensive enough to ensure spots are always available.

The electronic parking system will work as a network, setting prices between a quarter and $6 per hour depending on demand. The high-tech solution will start with 190 new meters in the Hayes Valley area of San Francisco and in two years end with 6,000 metered spaces and 12,250 spots at the city's 15 parking garages. The system will eventually make it possible for advanced planners to go online to find where the most spots are located. Distracted driving aficionados will be able to search for spots on their smartphone, making it easier for multi-taskers to park and harder for pedestrians and other drivers to avoid getting hit.

[Source: NPR | Image: Ingrid Taylar - C.C. License 2.0]

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