2015 should be the year that The City attempts to figure out what sort of parking improvements it’s going to make, if it wants to attract more businesses and shoppers to downtown Buffalo. At this point, there are still coin operated parking meters and solar powered paper ticket dispensers, depending on the block. It’s a mishmash of systems, and inevitably a driver must either deal with myriad issues that include:
A) A broken parking meter that eats quarters without doling out time
B) A paper ticket machine that is half way down the block during a rain storm
Now some progressive cities are looking at Smart Phone technology to deal with parking meter woes. Just think of it. A driver pays for the parking space via a phone app. Then goes about his or her business. When the time starts to run out, the driver is notified and asked whether or not to dole out another monetary sum to increase the allotted minutes.
The app could also serve to notify drivers about construction issues, running races, or where to find an available parking space. Or it could simply welcome people to Downtown Buffalo. The app could even have a link to other websites that could help visitors navigate the various districts.
Companies such as Xerox have already solved smart parking issues via smart parking integration, violation processing and meter operations, which are being rolled out in various cities.
Instead of wasting more time trying to figure out the battle between the parking meters and the solar ticket machines, let’ get off to a fresh start that will take us to where the future in parking is obviously heading.
*As a courtesy to city residents and visitors who will be shopping and dining downtown and citywide this holiday weekend, Mayor Byron Brown and the Buffalo Common Council granted a temporary reprieve from parking meter enforcement on Friday, January 2, 2015 and Saturday, January 3, 2015. Enforcement resumes Monday, January 5, 2015.
Mayor Brown stated, “The members of the Common Council and I firmly believe that this measure offers an excellent opportunity to continue to drive increased business to stores and restaurants citywide, further promote our commercial districts and local businesses, while at the same time providing a significant benefit to the residents of the City of Buffalo.”
Photo: Washington Post