reEnforce is a data collection tool which utilizes SFpark’s real-time sensor and meter data to show Parking Control Officers (PCOs) where vehicles are parked at unpaid meters or in commercial spaces. When a PCO arrives at a space, he or she logs if a citation was issued or how the space was used, noting if the space was occupied by a vehicle with a disabled placard, for example, or if the meter was out of order. The app does not issue citations, and PCOs still have to visit each vehicle for verification and to write tickets.
The SFMTA is introducing reEnforce as a six-month pilot project, with five PCOs using the app at one time. The pilot will cover 1,700 parking spaces in four SFpark pilot areas: Fisherman’s Wharf, Marina, Fillmore, and Hayes Valley/Civic Center. The reEnforce pilot will continue through spring 2013, and in 2013 the SFMTA will evaluate whether to expand the program.
There are two main goals of this project. First, the SFMTA will test how new technology can be used to help deploy PCOs more effectively and help PCOs operate more efficiently. If successful, more efficient enforcement of parking meters will allow PCOs to focus more time on addressing other issues, such as sidewalk parking and directing traffic. Secondly, data from this app will help the SFMTA better understand how metered parking is being used and how we can better manage this limited resource.
No, PCOs must verify illegal parking and issue citations in person. In fact, there are many reasons why someone can be parked legally at an unpaid meter; a common reason is disabled placard permits that exempt drivers from paying meters. reEnforce simply shows PCOs on a map where vehicles are parked at unpaid meters, allows them to document what they did or saw at each space, and helps PCOs avoid visiting paid vehicles, empty spaces, and the same vehicle twice.
During the pilot phase ending spring 2013, five PCOs will use the app at one time.
reEnforce depends on data from parking sensors and smart meters. The SFpark project currently has sensors and smart meters at about one quarter of San Francisco’s metered spaces. The SFMTA is planning to upgrade all meters citywide in the coming years and will evaluate in 2013 whether or not to expand parking sensors outside of the existing SFpark pilot areas, which would allow reEnforce to be used more broadly.
A decision to expand the use of reEnforce will also depend on the results of this pilot test. The SFMTA’s evaluation of the reEnforce pilot will include user experience, quality and quantity of new data gathered, quality of the software and hardware available, changes to PCO productivity and the percent of drivers that pay the meter.
The PCOs have access to an interactive map with markers showing where vehicles are parked at unpaid meters and where vehicles have parked at commercial meters. The application hides spaces which are vacant, paid, or have been previously visited. Spaces that a PCO is responsible for monitoring but do not have smart meters or parking sensors will be displayed on the map without live information. The PCOs will also be able to see their location and important landmarks on the map.
What if I do not have time to get back to my parking meter to pay? Will a PCO be notified instantly?
During this pilot, drivers will receive a five minute grace period from when they pull into a space to pay the parking meter. When a meter expires but the parking space remains occupied, a marker will display on the map in reEnforce.
The project was funded by the US Department of Transportation as part of the SFpark pilot project.
The source code will be shared publicly after the software has been fully refined.
PCOs are testing a small Android tablet to access the software. The application was written in HTML5, allowing the application to be used on any device with a web browser, giving the SFMTA many options for what device to use in the future.