By Anessa V. Cohen
One of the most frustrating experiences that we all have on a daily basis is parking. When going to work, shopping, attending a simcha, or especially going on vacation, parking and finding a space near wherever you are going is uppermost on every driver’s mind.
The next frustration, once you find a space and are ready to get out of the car, is hoping that when you open up your wallet, you will find enough quarters—or at least one quarter to get you started so you can go into a nearby store or ask passersby if they have more quarters—to put into the parking meter to hold you over for however long you need to be parked.
Am I starting to sound like one of those George Carlin comedy routines? Well, maybe, but instead of a comedy, this is a nightmare for those who find themselves in this position when trying to park their car—and we all know just about everyone has been in this debacle.
As this is a situation that no one ever gets used to, I was excited when I was last in Israel to find that once again they have created a solution to a vexing problem. An Israeli company created an app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone or computer. After registering your credit card and your other pertinent information, all you need to do once you park your car is sign on from anywhere, enter your license plate number into the app, punch in the amount of time you require, or, better yet, leave the amount of time open, and then just close it out when you are finished, to be charged automatically on your credit card for the amount needed for the particular parking space you are presently using.
This app pinpoints the location of your car in the spot where it has parked, automatically computes the amount being charged for time used at that spot, and waits for you to sign out to declare you are finished with that spot, billing your credit card accordingly without you having to do anything other than sign in and sign out.
This is the best thing created since ice cream! The only sad thing is that it has not been picked up by the various municipalities here in the U.S. so they can end our misery the way that Israel has done for its own drivers.
Imagine no more searching for and saving quarters! No more trying to figure out how much time you need for wherever you are going. Once you sign in, you can forget all about that meter until you are ready to leave and sign out. I definitely hope this is something that someone is pushing somewhere to market here in the U.S.
The next best thing to this wonderful parking app (which unfortunately we can only use right now when we are driving in Israel) is those new parking meters that have come out in the city that give you the choice of loading quarters the old-fashioned way—yup, searching high and low for quarters while you figure how many you need, since the meters allow only 15 minutes of parking for each quarter—or a new option offering at least some relief: sliding your credit card on the side of the parking meter and choosing how much time you want to reserve and be billed for on that parking meter.
Although sliding the credit card is still a better option than searching for quarters, nothing can compare to the ease of the app. I wait for this app to arrive here. I hope it is soon! v
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa.cohen@AVCrealty.com.