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San Carlos's New Solution to Downtown Parking

The city showcased its Smart Parking system Tuesday.

On-street parking spaces in San Carlos will become easier to find thanks to new technology created by the city in association with Streetline, Inc., a company based in Foster City.

The Smart Parking system was unveiled Tuesday by the City of San Carlos with Streetline, Inc. and Cisco Systems.

The system uses sensors, and the free consumer app 'Parker'™ from Streetline. It works in conjunction with the intelligent networking technology platform from Cisco.

Sensors Identify Available Parking

Sensors that provide real-time data have been installed in approximately 100 parking spaces on the first three blocks of Laurel Street (between Olive Street and San Carlos Avenue) in downtown San Carlos.  This allows residents and visitors to quickly and easily identify open parking spots near their favorite San Carlos shops and restaurants.  Local businesses will also reap the benefits of this system through increased parking space turnover and decreased traffic congestion.

San Carlos City Manager Jeff Maltbie said, "The city is looking forward to the Smart Parking project with Cisco and Streetline.  Cisco's intelligent network in Downtown San Carlos, which was provided by Cisco and currently delivers free Wi-Fi to residents and visitors, will also provide them with a new way to quickly find available parking on Laurel Street."

Sensors embedded in the pavement of select parking spaces can detect when a space becomes available.

Cisco's smart routers communicate with Streetline sensors to aggregate sensor data and, at the same time, communicate with Streetline cloud center to deliver the availability of the parking spots.

The network platform captures the data and publishes it into the free mobile application, Parker, which displays real-time availability of these spaces, as well as locations of off-street parking garages and lots. 

"By deploying this cutting-edge Smart Parking technology, San Carlos has taken a great step towards becoming a Smarter City," Streetline CEO Zia Yusuf said.  "We are pleased to be working alongside Cisco to bring this technology to San Carlos and hopefully resolve one of the most pressing concerns facing today's cities: parking."

Some of the notable features of the Parker by Streetline app include:

  • Real-time availability of select on-street parking spaces to guide consumers to spaces; Parker updates automatically when a car is parked or leaves
  • Hands-free voice navigation system that safely guides drivers to parking facilities using an audible cue when available parking is nearby
  • Ability to toggle between availability and price, including real time updates as prices are changed or updated
  • Easy access to rates, hours and time limits for both on-street spaces and off-street parking facilities metered and on-street parking where available
  • Ability to enter an address or search by points of interest including airports, universities, shopping centers, featured neighborhoods, transit and hospitals
  • The ability to enter an address within Parker and view parking options nearest to that destination
  • Mark areas on the Parker map to keep track of where a car is parked (and later get guidance back to the car), set reminders, take a picture of a car and take notes about the location. Parker also saves parking history data for easy access later

In October 2012, Streetline was named a finalist for the prestigious 2012 World Technology Awards.  For more information on the company, visit their website.

For more information and to download the free Parker app, please visit www.theparkerapp.com



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TM December 05, 2012 at 04:18 PM
A few things wrong here; I hope the city didn't pay a dime to have this 'technology' installed? [As opposed to fixing potholes?] Or that it seems a step or two away from parking meters installed? Or that one isn't supposed to be staring at their phone while driving? Or that when driving down Laurel St, the car ahead of you gets that spot your phone said is available? Patience folks, and maybe to have the physical ability to walk more than 50ft to that front door you wanted. Or will your phone tell you how many calories you will burn to do that?
Harry Phillips December 06, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Those of us that do not use or want to use"Smart Phones". will still find parking. Those using "Smart Phones" to find parking will find very high parking fee's after they pay the fine for driving while using their smart phones. Really very smart. NOT.
Bob Winters December 07, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I could see the value if you we're in a multi-story parking garage, but for street parking on Laurel?? During busy times, an empty spot on Laurel remains empty for a few seconds at most. To think I'm going to check an app before leaving my house and expecting to find the empty spot I saw a few minutes prior when I arrive at my destination on Laurel is a joke. Another example of technology providing another "answer to the question nobody is asking".
Holly Bell December 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I agree - this seems like the prelude to parking meters, which are a terrible idea. Those "smart" meters are exactly why I avoid downtown Redwood City.

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