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We’ve all been there. Driving through narrow city streets looking desperately for any open space to fit our car just wishing there was an available aerial view to lead us to that ever elusive open spot.  At its worst the lunch hour can be reduced to just mere minutes as the least stressful part of the work day is filled with driving in circles passed missed opportunities.

Well ladies and gentlemen, the answer to everyone’s parking problems has arrived. Earthgarage is proud to announce that the future is happening in the form of a new iPhone app developed by Streetline called “Parker.”  And the beauty rests in Streetline’s simple and ingenious design.

By installing battery controlled sensors on parking meters and actual spaces themselves their network recognizes when a space is vacant or occupied. The information is then sent back to their servers via wireless low power mesh network that bounces off of the canopy above the parking spots, i.e. telephone poles, stop lights, etc.  Similar to our previously endorsed traffic flow apps this information is compiled onto the network and sent directly to your phone in real time.

Here are the potential benefits.  In just one neighborhood of Los Angeles the annual waste from searching for open parking spaces cost drivers 100,000 hours and 47,000 gallons of fuel for 700 metric tons of carbon in 2011.  Widespread use and distribution of this type of system represents a smart and easy way to reduce emissions, save money on gas and make the most of your precious time.

While only currently in operation on Roosevelt Island in New York City and parts of L.A. and San Francisco, Parker has major plans for expansion in 2012.  And even though this project represents a significant cost savings, development of the network requires a large initial investment with the majority of the return ending up in the consumers pocket instead of the creators.

Better urban design represents this country’s best chance at reducing collective environmental impact.  Those who attempt to tackle these very broad and interconnected problems do so with hopes for a cleaner and more cost-effective future.  If you are interested in having Parker available in your neighborhood go to the bottom of this page and type in your zip code.


Earthgarage – Greener Car.  Fatter Wallet.