The Raleigh City Council voted Tuesday to donate $5,000 toward the development of a downtown parking smartphone app.
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance would seek contributions to fully fund the program, which would help visitors find parking, keep track of events and road closures, and walk to their destination.
“Our single biggest complaint that we get during the day is people getting lost in parking garages or not being able to find them,” DRA president David Diaz said. “It’s constant.”
The app would be similar to one developed recently for North Hills. Visitors could plug in their destination – a restaurant, bar or shop – and the app would identify nearby parking options and prices. The user would then get directions to the parking area, then to their destination, and the app would keep track of parking fees.
“This is more than a parking app,” Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said. “It can serve multiple purposes, it’s a great deal for the city, and it’s very worthwhile.”
The $5,000 from Raleigh is considered “seed money” because the app’s final cost will be higher. “We’ve got to raise a lot of money from the private sector to make this work, so it’s not a done deal,” Diaz said.