Parking, or rather a perceived lack thereof, is often identified as a hardship encountered by those who shop and tend to run errands in downtown Kingston. Personally, I rarely have a problem locating a spot, but then again I don’t expect to park right on the doorstep my destination. Furthermore, I don’t mind walking a few blocks to save a few bucks, although that’s admittedly getting increasingly trickier with the advent of residential parking permit zones in adjacent downtown neighborhoods. Suffice it to say, downtown Kingston’s parking situation is inconvenient enough that some people outright refuse to shop there, and these folks do a great of bellyaching while endlessly circling the block in search of that perfect spot.
Last week, the City of Kingston revealed their latest attempt to make parking more convenient in municipal lots downtown. Honk is an integrated website and app, which allows users to locate over 15 paid lots in downtown Kingston. Once there, drivers can pay for parking with the app and even renew their parking pass without having to return to the lot or machine to purchase more time. This is something we advocated for in the past, and it is a huge step forward in terms of paying for parking. Even so, the app falls short of actually helping frustrated drivers find a vacant parking spot.
With Honk’s current capabilities in mind, we want to know:
Will you download and use the Honk app for parking?
- Not until I can find/reserve a spot with it. (61%, 567 Votes)
- Absolutely, it's long overdue. (23%, 210 Votes)
- Maybe, if it catches on. (12%, 114 Votes)
- No, I don't have a data plan. (4%, 37 Votes)
Total Voters: 928
Interestingly enough, each of Kingston’s parking lots listed on Honk specify that they are “non-reservable”, which leads one to believe that this feature could potentially be enabled and make both paying for and find parking a cinch. Perhaps that bonus feature was too difficult to roll out with the initial release in Kingston, or maybe it comes with a cost to either the City or users. Whatever the case may be, paying for parking with your phone is really only one side of the equation. Finding and being able to reserve a spot, especially when you’re running late for a meeting or on your lunch break, is the real missing piece of the puzzle. Either way, unless you have a data enabled cell phone, or are near some friendly WiFi, you won’t be able to take advantage of this.
How soon would you like to see reservable parking spots included in Honk? Do you think we should try this out in a few lots at first, with perhaps only a few reservable spaces, or would you prefer to see a much wider release? Should municipal parking lots have free WiFi? Drop off your parking woes and hopes for future parking technology below.