July 2015

Parking spaces

Salem to sell reserved parking spaces | Local news

SALEM – The city is testing the idea of ​​selling reserved parking spaces in its two downtown garages, launching a pilot program for people who want a guaranteed parking space for one year.

The city has reserved 50 parking spaces – 40 at the Museum Place Garage on New Liberty Street and 10 at the South Harbor Garage on Congress Street – with a price of $ 1,500 apiece.

“These would be placeholders,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said. “They will cost a bit more for those interested in having a reserved space rather than just a parking pass.”

The city already sells annual and monthly parking cards, but they don’t come with a guaranteed spot. Parking is always first come, first served. Parking passes cost $ 702 for a year, $ 500 for those who can take advantage of a special price for condos, $ 250 for seniors, and $ 200 for seniors residing in Salem.

“During peak times of the year, if it’s a snow emergency or a busy weekend in October, just because you have a regular pass, it’s not a reserved space in the garage, ”Driscoll explained.

Museum Place has 914 parking spaces, while South Harbor has 225.

The number of spaces to be reserved in the pilot program will be a small fraction of what is available, but there has been some opposition nonetheless.

“The business community in general opposed it,” said Rinus Oosthoek, executive director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce. “The fears people had in this situation were that there was already pressure in the garage in South Harbor where the removal of 10 spaces would create more pressure.”

Much of the feedback Oosthoek received was about South Harbor’s smaller garage, he said.

“If you look at the garage at Museum Place, the biggest question is, ‘How will this influence the people who are already buying passes? And “Who are the people buying the passes?” “

Companies were also concerned about how the program would be run at the end of next summer and how officials would follow up on comments.

“If this is a pilot program, how will we assess whether it is working or not? Oosthoek asked. “I hope it won’t be assessed if they sell the spaces. I hope they will assess the pressure on the other spaces as well.”

Visitors who do not purchase a pass pay 75 cents an hour to park at Museum Place and 25 cents an hour in South Harbor.

Today there are around 480 parking passes in circulation, said Dominick Pangallo, chief of staff to the mayor. About 45 of them are held by elderly people.

“This is made up of annual and monthly passes,” he said. “Some of the monthly passes are used for October and some for the winter.”

With 50 reserved spaces available, demand may exceed supply.

The city has opened an application process. Applications must be returned no later than August 19 and places will be available for those who have received them for one year starting September 1 and ending August 31, 2016.

If the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, the city will hold a lottery on August 20 to determine who gets the place.

For more information visit To download the app, visit Requests can be returned to the Collector’s Office at City Hall, 93 Washington St.

For news and inquiries about Salem, email Salem reporter Dustin Luca at [email protected], call 978-338-2523, or message @DustinLucaSN on Twitter.


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Parking spaces

Parking spot finder apps hit the spot

One of the biggest headaches of driving in the city – finding a parking space – may soon become easier.

Inrix, a Washington-based technology company, has developed apps that can detect open parking spaces in downtown garages, surface lots, and metered street spaces, then alert drivers via systems on-board navigation. Inrix is ​​partnering with select cities in North America to better understand traffic patterns and says it is working with select automakers to deploy the technology in cars and trucks across the country.

“It’s a big plus for the driver,” said Jim Bak, director at Inrix. “In the next two years, it will be a fairly standardized offering on vehicles.”

Inrix parking apps, shown at a telematics conference last month in Novi, use high-tech sensors in smart meters along selected city streets to show drivers a red-yellow-green heat map on their GPS. Green means parking is available; red means look away. If the counters are broken or lack the technology, an algorithm predicts with up to 80% accuracy where points should be opened.

Already available in Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Cologne and Copenhagen, Inrix says the service will expand to cover 23 cities by the end of the year. Detroit isn’t one of the cities Inrix has worked with, in part because of its outdated and frequently broken parking meters and the fact that, despite recent advances in downtown and Midtown, it’s still not as difficult to find a parking space compared to many other cities.

The new on-street parking feature joins an off-street Inrix app launched in 2013; it finds prices and availability for over 80,000 car parks and garages in 31 countries.

Inrix claims to have worked with Audi, BMW and Lexus, although none of the three brands has contributed anything to the US market. Ford Motor Co. explores the use of parking space tracking in 25 mobility experiences around the world.

There are benefits for drivers looking for stress-free downtown driving experiences, and for cities trying to better understand traffic patterns and make the most of available spaces.

“Anyone who drives a car knows how complicated parking is,” said Dave McCreadie, manager of electric vehicle infrastructure and smart grids at Ford. “Someone who can streamline this is going to reap the business benefits of providing their customers with convenience and value. The connected car is going to open up so many possibilities and services.”

“We can reshape mobility”

Industry experts say the need for smart parking apps is great.

Inrix cites studies that estimate that up to 30% of traffic in congested urban areas where on-street parking is in high demand results from drivers looking for a parking space. They say drivers often spend close to 20 minutes looking for good spots.

Frost & Sullivan, a Texas-based research firm, found in a recent study that drivers waste an average of 55 hours a year looking for a parking spot. He estimates the cost to consumers and local economies at nearly $600 million in lost time and fuel.

These numbers are likely to increase. In its Sustainability Report released last month, Ford predicts that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030, and a growing middle class will increase the number of cars circulating in urban areas.

And in a recent Ford-commissioned study of drivers aged 34 and under, the automaker found that 57% were concerned about finding a parking space, and a majority of drivers were interested in technology to solve problems. aspects of driving such as parallel parking.

“We think this technology is absolutely essential,” McCreadie said. “It’s an inflection point where we can reshape mobility.”

Detroit’s low-tech system

The Inrix technology gets its data from a number of sources, including sensors on meters and in the roadway, as well as payment information from car parks and parking lots. The cities they partnered with installed much of the infrastructure and shared the data.

“Cities are as interested in this information as drivers are,” Bak said.

But it would be a challenge for a city like Detroit to use the parking data needed with low-tech infrastructure and often-broken meters. Last year, it was reported that about half of Detroit’s 3,196 on-street meters were malfunctioning.

Instead of relying on Detroit or other cities to install expensive meters in sensors or parking garages, Ford’s technology would allow cities to access vehicle data directly, through sensors already installed and used for hands-free parking assistance and blind spot detection. .

McCreadie said the Dearborn automaker has been experimenting with parking for about a year and plans to eventually market it, but there are no plans to market it yet. “Technology is here to transform what used to be a pretty outdated space,” he said.

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