Ohio city implements sensors to ease parking

Columbus, OH implements parking sensors
Columbus, Ohio, is installing sensors at parking spaces in is Short North area in a three-month demonstration program. (Maddie Schroeder, Columbus Dispatch)

The city of Columbus, Ohio, will start a demonstration project in the Short North area next month that helps drivers find parking spaces more easily, according to an article in The Columbus Dispatch.

Under the three-month demonstration project to begin October 1, the city’s Division of Parking Services will test three vehicle-detection systems that, if they work, could be integrated with the city’s ParkColumbus mobile app.

Sensors the size of soda cans will be embedded into the pavement at parking spaces in the Short North section, along a section of North High Street south of 2nd Avenue, and along Park Street south of Russell Street. They are being placed at 300 of the Short North’s 600 metered spaces, according to the article.

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“Each of these sensors tells us whether there’s a vehicle in the space,” Robert Ferrin, the city’s assistant director of parking services, was quoted as saying. Three companies are involved: CivicSmart Inc. of Milwaukee and Fybr of St. Louis, which will test in-ground sensors, and IPS Group Inc. of San Diego, which will test sensors in parking meters.

According to the article, the initiative is part of the city’s Short North parking plan implemented in February, which divides the area into zones that either require a parking permit or for drivers to pay hourly rates using the smartphone app. The Short North has about 8,500 parking spaces, including 2,000 in parking garages.

Other cities that have been using parking sensors include Washington, D.C.; El Paso, Texas; Fort Collins, Colo.; and San Francisco and Santa Monica, Calif., the article was quoted as saying.

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