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Downtown Bend Parking Availability Signs Now Operating

BEND, OR -- The City of Bend activated a new Parking Guidance System Tuesday in downtown.

“First, when you drive into downtown, either on Wall or Bond Street, you see these big signs that have real time numbers of what parking is available in downtown on our paid lots, the south and the north Mirror Pond lot, the Greenwood lot, as well as in the parking garage, and as well as on-street,” Parking Manager Tobias Marx says information is sent from high-tech imaging devices, “The optical sensors, there's 54 installed in downtown including the parking lots. They do still images. And then the computer analyzes the images for what's in the spaces that are marked in the frames of the sensors.”

The displays are highly accurate, “On the street, we were about 100% accuracy, depending on the timing, meaning there is about a 30 to 40 seconds delay in the latency because the sensors need to communicate. On the lots, we were probably at around 96% which in, at 80 or 90 spaces per lot that's still very close within the margin that we feel comfortable about it,” Marx says adding for now, information is only sent to the digital signs, but future applications could let drivers look for parking with their phone or vehicle’s navigation system.

Installation of the Parking Guidance System cost the city roughly $304,0000, and was paid for with parking fees, subscriptions, and citations.

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