On-street parking sensors in Port Macquarie and San Francisco

The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has recently announced the introduction of on-street parking sensors, which electronically monitor how long the vehicles are parked in the bays and alert rangers when they over-stay time limits. The sensors are planned to be introduced for a 12-week trial under 50 parking spaces in the Port Central Shopping Centre area, with delivery of the sensors expected in mid-April.

The city of San Francisco installed a network of around 6,000 wireless sensors in the downtown area on Saturday February 20, with the aim of monitoring both parking availability and the volume and speed of passing traffic. The city hopes that, by displaying information from the sensors on Web maps, smart phones, and signs on the street, it will reduce the traffic and pollution caused by circulating cars.

These two projects, whilst similar in nature, appear to have differing agendas.  Whilst San Francisco City’s intention is to assist drivers to find spaces and provide information about traffic and parking availability, Port Macquarie Council’s concern is to improve the efficiency of enforcement and issue of penalties.

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