After circling block upon block in search of a rare vacant parking space, or scrounging for quarters at a blinking meter, many drivers may arrive at a common thought: There's got to be a better way of doing this. UCLA professor Donald Shoup, an authority on parking management and author of "The High Cost of Free Parking," agrees.
While paying for your parking meter using a cell phone is not a new thing, the Dutch city of Utrecht has announced a program that goes a step beyond. From April 1st 2010, citizens parking their cars in this city will need only a cell phone and their registration number connected to a nation-wide database. What's the database for? To download information into your GPS system to find the closest empty parking space to your destination, saving time and fuel, for one thing. For another, Utrecht has
Ever since the advent of the parking meter, there have been hoods cracking them open and stealing the coins inside. Historically, we're talking about nickels and dimes here, but while those can add up, this is a different ballgame altogether. A gang of criminals in Queensland, Australia, has been arrested for stealing a whopping $800,000 (in Australian dollars, or about $550k in American greenbacks) from local parking meters.
Have you ever rushed out of the office to feed your parking meter to find a friendly traffic cop writing you a sweet little love note? Wouldn't it have been nicer had the cop just called you to say, "Hey, just though you might want to throw a couple of quarters down my way." Sorry, not gonna happen.