A new tool is looking to demystify the often complicated curb parking network in New York City by providing a digital map to drivers to plan their commute and the underlying data to software developers. Coord, a data mobility company that’s backed by Sidewalk Labs, the urbanism and tech subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company), is behind this new map.
Curb Explorer, as this tool is known, lets users zoom into the city streets to understand the different parking rules on each block. The categories the map lists are no stopping, no standing, no parking, passenger loading zone, paid parking, and free parking.
Coord’s CEO, Stephen Smyth, explained in a blog post earlier this year on Medium, that typically such curb information would have to be noted down by hand to be compiled into some type of guide, which would be a laborious undertaking. For this particular project, which first launched in San Francisco, the surveyors used a smartphone app, which allowed them to snap photos of street signs at a walking pace, averaging about 3 minutes per block to capture all the features. Coord used the city’s public parking sign database and then parsed and mapped the rules to create their own, user-friendly.
You need to create an account to access the tool, but once that’s done you’re all good to explore the map. Following the city’s recent decision to open public parking spots to car share programs, this new tool may be particularly handy to find the limited available parking spots in Manhattan.