Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Here's a neat Web site: Santa Monica, California has a real-time map of where parking spaces are available in its downtown and at the beach. You can move your cursor onto a location to find out how much you'll pay if you park there. Then, if you click, you can zoom in to get a closer look.
Maps like this are only one piece of the future of parking technology, which might also include online reservations, in-car navigation systems that direct you to an open spot and variable pricing depending on demand.
For now, the biggest problem with Santa Monica's effort may be that out-of-towners, the people most likely to need directions to parking, aren't likely to know that this Web site exists. If every city has a parking availability Web site in the future, that won't be a concern any longer.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.