By Jane Smith
Drivers who use the Old School Square parking garage in Delray Beach soon will be told where the empty spaces are.
On Dec. 4, city commissioners approved spending $260,000 for a parking program from Park Assist, based in New York with regional headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.
Jorge Alarcon, the city’s parking manager, said drivers no longer will have to risk driving to the roof without finding a space.
“We hope to start converting the garage to the Park Assist program in 90 days,” Alarcon wrote in an email after the commission meeting. “They will have it completed in four to six weeks.”
The parking program tracks occupied and unoccupied spaces by using smart camera sensors that light up green when a space is available and red when the space is occupied, according to Alarcon. The Old School Square garage has 525 spaces on five levels, he confirmed.
“The system will reduce customers’ frustration of looking for parking and help improve traffic congestion of moving motorists quickly into and through the garage,” Alarcon wrote.
In June, the city issued a request for proposals for a parking count and guide assist system for the garage. Eight vendors submitted bids.
Park Assist claims to be the largest South Florida parking guidance company, with six garage installations, including Miami-Dade Transit, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Sawgrass Mills mall.
For the Old School Square garage, the program will provide parking use trends, including current and historical occupancies and length-of-stay information.