The New York City Department of Transportation recently announced that it wants to help motorists find on-street parking- without even having to drive around.

It seems a bit ironic- the pilot to help motorists find parking without having to drive around, but that's exactly what the city is aiming to do. NYC DOT installed nearly 200 "high-tech" parking sensors along a busy parking corridor a few months ago to see how the devices planted in the road would handle NYC conditions- that is constantly being driven over, stepped on, and beaten up. The sensors, made in Holland by Nedap AVI, cost about $250US each, and two are needed for each parking spot. The sensors have been provided at no cost by the three companies involved in the pilot, ACS, IPsens and Streetline.

The sensors would tell drivers where available spots are located, on a cell phone app, aiming to cut down the thousands of hours of wasted time and gasoline that NYC motorists spend looking for available on-street parking. NYCDOT commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, said that if the parking sensors survive three months of New York City abuse, the city will launch a free cell phone app to let drivers see which of the spots are vacant. “There are benefits, not only to drivers, but to the surrounding community. You’re relieving the congestion and pollution associated with those people who are cruising around looking for parking. Right now we’re just testing the equipment. The parking app has worked in other cities that have done it,” she explained.

I reminisce about the Seinfeld episode where George and Kramer's friend, Mike, argue over a highly sought after parking spot. Perhaps if George knew that many motorists were coming after the spot he wouldn't have taken his sweet time to park.

According to the NYC DOT, "if successful, the pilot has the potential to ease congestion by giving information on how many spaces are available on a particular block by wirelessly transmitting real-time parking information to users, reducing the amount of time spent cruising for a spot."

Do you think installing these sensors is a good idea? Is parking even an issue in your area? Let us know, we'd love to hear.