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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Big Brother is watching our parking spaces now

There is a new parking sensor program that the Miami Parking Authority is currently setting up in Coconut Grove, it's a one year pilot program. 

There will be sensors at parking spots on the streets that notify the MPA about what is going on at specific parking spaces, but since it is a pilot program, a lot of the info is moot at this point. Miami-based WiseMoving Technologies Corp. won the bid for this project, where 150 sensors will be placed around the Center Grove up to Douglas Road.

The MPA says that the sensors do not collect any information about the vehicle aside from its presence. The sensor pilot program is not tied to the meter or the PayByPhone 
payment system, so if the meter runs out, no one will be notified and no one will receive a ticket, unless the usual meter reader happens by. This is not to say that won't change in the future because it only makes sense that it would. How easy it would be to notify the main MPA office that a car's parking has expired and then they mail out a parking ticket. Sort of like a red light camera. 

Solar-powered ‘SmartSpots’ will be installed on some lighting columns and the sensors in the parking spaces themselves. There is one obvious one on the light pole at Virginia and Grand Avenue, you can plainly see it there.

Some parking spaces will be unavailable for a short period of time during installation – but it will be clear where these are and they will keep disruption to a minimum.

There will be three phases for the installation, starting in March and lasting for about 12 weeks in total. Once installation and thorough testing is completed, customers will be able to see the live parking information using the parking app that is in place now and available free on all smart phones.

The MPA says that these sensors will "alleviate traffic congestion, maximize parking space occupancy and reduce unnecessary fuel emissions by obtaining an accurate parking picture for the area." 

A parking sensor is a small electronic device installed in the ground of each parking space. It detects and records the time a vehicle arrives and departs in a parking space. The sensors will help motorists find parking more easily through the phone app, too, showing empty parking spaces in the village.

I can just see it now - 20 cars racing to get the one open space in the Grove. 

The sensors will also be installed in some limited-waiting spaces like loading zones. This will support local businesses by ensuring that deliveries can be made while still allowing customers to find a place to park quickly and easily. For instance, if the loading zone is only to be used for deliveries at certain times, the MPA can easily see if a truck is in the space when it should not be there and have the driver move it.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the sensors and really not quite sure how they will work at this point in time, you know, whether they are a good thing or not.

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