Following in the footsteps of major cities like New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, the city of Allentown has added an online parking reservation service so people driving into the city for events and attractions will be able to find and book parking spots before they even get in their cars.
The Allentown Parking Authority has partnered with ParkWhiz, which will provide parking information and reservations through the parking authority’s website and on the ParkWhiz app.
The app will “eliminate the burden of finding a parking space before an event,” said John Morgan, executive director of the authority. “This easy-to-use technology supports our goal of providing our community with the most up-to-date and convenient parking options.”
His assistant, Janet Canevari, who is in charge of organizing the program, said people coming downtown for events often aren’t familiar with where to find parking. They drive around looking for spots – adding to traffic congestion – and by the time they get to a parking deck or lot, it may be full and they have to start looking again.
With the app, drivers will know the location of the lots and decks and how close they are to the venue they are going to, such as the PPL Center, and they can directly reserve a spot.
“That way it doesn’t matter if the lot has 40 or 400 spots. There’s a space there that’s for them,” Canevari said.
Also, since motorists can pay online in advance, they won’t need to carry cash for parking. Instead, motorists are given a QR code that can be scanned directly from a smart phone or printed paper.
While ParkWhiz will be working with the city to develop the parking program over the next several months, the company said it expects it to be operating in time for events this weekend, including Friday night’s Meek Mill concert at the PPL Center.
The app and website, while most helpful for events, can be used at any time and can also be a tool to help downtown workers and residents reserve parking, according to the authority.