Free Parking in NYC. We all want it, we all deserve it. So why is it so hard to find? Because there are nearly 1 million cars driving into Manhattan every day and probably another 60,000 cars owned by local residents who are already parking on the street. A number of websites and mobile apps have popped up to help people find NYC street parking. These apps typically focus on showing where you can parking legally, or using a crowd-sourcing model where users offer and claim street parking spaces. Here’s a wrap-up of some of these sites and apps:
NYC Department of Transportation Parking Signs are shown in this full map of every single NYC parking sign for each block, and where the sign is located on the block. There are some flaws, such as the site doesn’t explain the confusing NYC parking regulations in NYC like No Standing, No Parking, and No Stopping. The site also doesn’t tell you which way a one-way sign is pointing – a critical element in a city of one-way streets. The site would be helpful as an app.
Roadify started out as an online system of buying and selling NYC street parking availability in Brooklyn, with users earning and spending credits for parking. The app continues to win local awards and has expanded to include schedules for public transportation including NYC subways and buses, LIRR, Metro North, Staten Island Ferry, etc. Users can ‘report’ on delays and on-time status. We tried to search for street parking in Manhattan, where we were, but the iphone app kept insisting we were in Brooklyn. It didn’t have any street parking options so it offered some NYC garage parking. The app also couldn’t give us Manhattan bus routes. Also active in various levels in Austin, Jacksonville, Miami, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego. Iphone stores gives it 4.5 stars out of 5.
Streetline is a leader in mapping out real-time street parking legality and availability. Streetline installs sensors into every parking space and then relays occupancy data to a central location. NYC is currently testing the sensors on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and on Roosevelt Island. Park Edge, another element, will list parking garage locations and rates and will take payments for some locations.
StreetParkNYC is an online system of buying and selling street parking spaces. Search where you want to park, see what’s available, agree to a space, arrive at the right time, and the space is yours – as long as the other person leaving the space waits for you. The currency is ‘credits’, with 1 credit = $1. You will receive payment, in dollars, at the end of the month if you have credits. We searched in five areas on the site and no parking was available.
ParkMe is a funded by VC funds Fontinalis (Bill Ford is a founder) and IDG. The site has street parking data for 60 US cities and off-street (parking garage) data for 200 US cities, including locations and rates. The app placed us 3 blocks farther South than we actually were, and gave us parking garage data for nearby garages. We didn’t find any street parking information on the app. Iphone store gives is 3 starts out of 5.
PrimoSpot began by posting NYC street parking regulations so users know if it is legal to park there. This app does not give you information about real-time availability, but will tell you if a space is legal and for how long. Visuals and functionality are nice. The app has NYC parking garage information for some garages, including rates, hours, distance, and parking coupons. NOTE: The coupon we tried to use made us wait 30 minutes to become active. You can also note where you’ve parked your car. The site covers most of NYC, Boston, Seattle, and Hoboken. The disclaimer warns that the parking rates may not be accurate.
Parking Auction is another online system of bidding for NYC street parking spaces. The website has only a Home page and no functionality that we found, and seems to be in Beta status since 2011.
SpotSwitch is in Beta mode. Users offer and take street parking spaces with no charge. The app will give you directions, show all available spaces, and let you enter when you need to retrieve your car. Iphone’s app store gives it a 2 star rating out of 5, with the majority of criticism about the set up process and there aren’t enough people using the app. Visuals and functionality look nice.
Best Parking is by far the most comprehensive site for off-street garage parking and covers 43 cities and most major airports. You can look for monthly parking in most cities and download daily/hourly parking coupons in NYC. The app is available on all three mobile platforms. The site has a Legend for street parking, but we couldn’t find anything about street parking on the maps.