L.A. Department of Transportation is the first transit system in the country to test grid-style signs to reduce parking confusion; bluetooth beacon technology installed for beta test to pave the way for smartphone parking info
LOS ANGELES - Mayor Eric Garcetti today installed the first of 100 new easy-to-read parking signs that use streamlined graphics and colors to explain confusing parking restrictions. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) will test the signs during a six-month pilot program on Spring and Main Streets between 2nd and 9th Streets in downtown L.A.
“My back to basics agenda is about creating modern city government that makes life easier for Angelenos, and these new signs are designed to help people find parking and avoid tickets," Mayor Garcetti said. "Some of these sign poles are simply out of control, so we should be taking common sense steps to cut the confusion."
The LADOT Parking Signage Pilot Program makes Los Angeles the first city in the country to create grid-style parking signs. The signs use graphics in green and red to pictorially summarize parking restrictions. The new signs are being placed alongside existing signs, in accordance with state law. A web address on the sign solicits input from drivers about the signs during this initial phase of the program: http://parkinginfo.lacity.org. In Phase II of the pilot program, LADOT will work with the California Traffic Control Devices Committee to gain final approval to completely replace existing parking signage with the new signs.
“Most Angelenos have had the experience of driving around, trying to find a place to park, finally finding one, and then seeing confusing parking signs stacked one on top of another,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian who introduced the City Council motion proposing the pilot program. “It’s aggravating and unfair. This new, grid-style sign and the pilot program we’re launching today should help remedy that. We want to revolutionize the parking experience by making it easy for people to read and understand parking signs. You shouldn't have to read hieroglyphics to avoid a parking ticket in Los Angeles.”
In addition to the redesign, the new signs also feature attached Gimbal and BKON Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) beacons, donated to the city at no cost to taxpayers. The transmit-only beacons can send information readable by smartphones and connected vehicles and provides the foundation for developers to create apps that provide parking and other information. The signs' QR code and web address also direct users to websites where they can find parking information: http://parkinginfo.lacity.org
Future, opt-in uses for the beacons could also include payment options or neighborhood event notifications. Developers interested in creating accompanying apps are encouraged to visit www.lamayor.org/beacons for more information.
"L.A. has long been the car capital of the world, and now, I want us to be the capital of transportation innovation. As we invest in L.A.'s infrastructure, I want to make sure it's designed in ways that allow developers to build onto it the next generation of apps and other customer service tools. I want L.A. to be a platform for innovation, in a very literal sense."
"All too often, Angelenos are stymied by a baffling array of parking signs that leave them feeling unclear on whether or not they can park safely or risk getting their car towed," said Councilmember Mike Bonin, Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee. "Thanks to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and my colleague Paul Krekorian, we will be doing a pilot program to try out a different approach to parking signs in L.A."
"We're always on the lookout for chances to communicate better and test new approaches to old problems. We hope the signs make it easy for people to quickly answer the question: can I park here?" said LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds.