CLEVELAND - Driving downtown and frustrated? City officials heard your woes and Thursday, unveiled a new parking app that is expected to help Downtown drivers.
The app is called "Streetline Parker Mobile" and can be downloaded to any smartphone. The purpose of the app is to identify those open meter parking spaces and parking lot spaces so drivers can easily get to them.
Once you select your location, the app will then turn your phone into a GPS and navigate you there.
The need for this came out of the parking spaces, or lack thereof, when it comes to people trying to visit downtown Cleveland.
"It's an issue that a lot of people run into, especially during lunch time when you're really trying to get in and out," said Antionette Thompson, Cleveland's Interim Commissioner of Parking Facilities.
Marcus Gaither is a random driver who works downtown and told NewsChannel5 it can sometimes take him up to 30 minutes to find an open space.
"Some days it's good. Some days it's bad. It all depends on what time of the day it is," said Gaither.
The app works by sensors positioned in certain locations. Those locations in Cleveland include: Prospect and Huron Avenues from East 4th St. to East 9th St. The sensors then tell the app which spots are available, which show up on your phone. You're able to choose if you would like a meter spot or parking lot.
One of the questions NewsChannel5 asked was - what are the chances of multiple people being directed to the same spot? Thompson answered, "Well one of the things that you'll see when you download the Parker app, it'll say it has two spaces available or less than one space, so it'll tell you exactly where you need to go."
Doug Timmer already uses a national app similar to the Cleveland one, but still welcomes the Cleveland "Parker app."
"It helps out so you're not wasting a bunch of time," said Timmer.
Gaither told NewsChannel5 he'll be downloading it to his smartphone.
"I think it's a great app, it's something that I could use. I work at the Justice Center all the time so it's definitely something I can use," said Gaither.
Cleveland now joins other cities like Los Angeles, Indianapolis and nearly 40 other cities across the U.S. and Europe in utilizing this smart parking system technology. Right now, it's a pilot program for the city of Cleveland that's expected to last about 90 days.