Motorists in San Carlos thinking of overstaying their welcome in parking spaces can no longer look for tell-tale chalk marks to know if enforcement officers are ticking down their time.
Beginning Oct. 1, the city launches its “smart parking” pilot program which eliminates the need for officers to mark tires and instead lets them use a network of sensors embedded in the pavement. Once a vehicle is detected in the space, the system starts a time and alerts officers when the space remains occupied past the allowed limit. The officer will then go to the space, validate the violation and issue a citation.
The new mode of enforcement is the second prong of the pilot program which also lets drivers use “Parker,” the mobile app by Streamline which offers real-time space availability information. Parker also has a timer function so motorists can personally track their time before it expires.
The city began preparing for the pilot during the summer when oversized numbers were painted in several spaces. Rumors abounded that the numbering was the first step toward metered parking but city officials later clarified that parking will remain free and the large size was a contractor error later rectified.
The trial program begins Monday, Oct. 1 and is expected to run through December. Once finished, the city and Streetline will evaluate the effectiveness and come before the City Council in early 2014 to decide whether to continue in the future