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The Idea

I created NYC Street Parker out of frustration with having to move my friends' cars multiple times per week while they were out of town. I wanted a simple way to identify streets with once-a-week parking on particular days. Although there are other websites that convey similar information - including the City's own DOTMap - I didn't find any to be especially user friendly for my needs. I hope people use this website to find spots that will best allow them to avoid needless driving. A study by Transportation Alternatives suggests that during some parts of the week nearly half of all traffic in Park Slope is attributable to people driving around looking for spots. All of this driving exacts a high toll on the environment and New Yorkers' quality of life.

The Data and Site Design

NYC Street Parker uses data feeds available from NYC's Department of Transportation.

@NYCASP Twitter Feed

NYC Street Parker shows if ASP regulations are in effect today (if before 4 pm) or tomorrow (if after 4 pm) by pulling in data from DOT's ASP Twitter Feed. I used Abraham Williams' TwitterOAuth PHP library to authenticate with Twitter along with some PHP code found on webdevdoor.com.

Alternate Side Parking Google Calendar

NYC Street Parker pulls in upcoming ASP suspensions using an iCalendar file available on DOT's website, which I subsequently uploaded as a Google Calendar. To pull and parse the Google Calendar JSON, I used jQuery/Javascript derived from Kevin Deldycke.

  • Upcoming ASP suspensions loading.

I used DOT's Parking Regulations Shapefile to identify sign locations for which there are no regulations that compel you to move your car more than once per a week. I then identified all street side segments with at least two signs and used ArcGIS and Python (ArcPy) to interpolate polylines based on sign locations. Unfortunately, that's where the tough, tedious work began. The location of street signs in the Shapefile proved to be quite poor, resulting in many badly rendered polylines. As a consequence, I was forced to visually review and edit the 21,000+ street side segments that are home to once-a-week parking regulations.

NYC Street Parker is built entirely around free, open-source mapping solutions.

Derek Eder's Searchable Map Template serves as the foundation of NYC Street Parker. The template is built around Google Fusion Tables, Google Maps API v3, jQuery, and Twitter Bootstrap.

NYC Street Parker makes use of Nianwei Liu's Fusion Tips javascript code to achieve map mouseover effects.

The Findings

By mapping ASP regulations, I was able to estimate the total available once-a-week spaces. Overall, NYC has once-a-week spaces for about 400,000 vehicles. These spaces are distributed relatively equally across weekdays. Other than Saturday, which has only 1,000 spots, Wednesday has the fewest spots (73,000) while Tuesday has the most (84,000).

Brooklyn is home the most once-a-week spots (200,000), followed by Queens (150,000), the Bronx (35,000), and Manhattan (10,000). Staten Island does not have street sweeping regulations. In recent years, more and more once-a-week spots are getting created as the public takes advantage of a 2011 law that enables community boards to request reduced ASP regulations if streets are acceptably clean.