Are parking apps dangerous?

If you’re looking for parking, you’re probably driving. So, unless there is another person in the car who can use the app for you, how do you you use a parking app safely?

Cleveland area residents are asking the same question after the city launched a pilot program to make its downtown area more friendly to its ever increasing population. The program includes Parker by Streetline to guide users to open parking spots.

Those who speak for the interests of bicyclists and pedestrians voiced their concerns at a recent meeting.

“By no means do we encourage interacting with the app while driving,” said Britanny  Blasing with Streetline in an email.  “To navigate to the closest available parking, a motorist would enter the desired destination before driving and then follow the voice guidance prompts.”

But is that realistic? The city wants more traffic in its downtown area – and not just those who come by car. An increase in traffic that includes cars, bicycles and walkers, and an app that leads drivers to look at their phone for parking is a recipe for disaster.

Councilman Joe Cimperman vowed to take the concerns raised at the meeting to his colleagues and the city administration.

“How do we do it so we’re not encouraging people to break the law?” Cimperman asked.

Texting and driving is banned not only in Cleveland and the entire state of Ohio. I’m sure there’s a solution out there and I’ll be glad to hear about it when it’s discovered.


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