How might we make it easier for people in big cities to keep track of street cleaning regulations and street parking time limits so that they can avoid receiving a parking citation?
Large cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have gained notoriety for their exorbitant street cleaning fines, which are not only costly but can be found in abundance. A street cleaning ticket will set you back $85 per pop in San Francisco, $73 in Los Angeles, and $65 in New York City.
Big city goers and dwellers who opt to park on the street are faced with the daunting task of locating and interpreting the many street parking and street cleaning signs that dictate where and when they can park without fear of receiving a citation. For city goers, it can be difficult to locate street cleaning signs. And for city dwellers who are unwilling to shell out $300+ per month for a dedicated parking spot, it can be easy to forget to move your vehicle on street cleaning days.
With street cleaning fines on the rise, this issue is a big pain point for city visitors and dwellers, even today. Just last year, San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency, or SFMTA, issued a whopping 500,913 street cleaning citations, the most in any city in California. Los Angeles rang in at a close second with 478,576 citations and San Diego followed with 118,668.
User interviews and a survey were conducted to gain insight into habits related to driving and street parking in cities. Most questions focused on the parking experience specifically, and a few questions were asked regarding driving habits in the city to create user segments.
- Remembering to move car for street cleaning / time restrictions
- Finding an appropriate parking spot without having to worry about street cleaning or time restrictions
Survey data showed that 68% of respondents utilize street/curb parking when they drive in the city. Though 68% of respondents also set an alarm or timer to keep track of street cleaning / 2-hour parking limits, street cleaning was still the largest offense responsible for parking citations among respondents.
Feedback demonstrated that respondents would be most interested in a solution that focuses on reminding them or sending them a notification to move their car when street cleaning or time limits are approaching.
Landing on the Solution
Based on user pain points, the solution will focus on two main features, in order of importance:
- Notification system that reminds a user to move their vehicle before an impending street sweep
- Ability find an appropriate parking spot so users can park without having to worry about street cleaning or time limits
Explanation of Solution
CitiPark is a mobile app that addresses the two main pain points uncovered in user research.
Remembering to move car for street cleaning / time restrictions
- CitiPark will send users a phone notification reminding them to move their vehicle before a street sweep
- The app will exactly pinpoint the user's location when they park, identify the street cleaning regulations for that parking spot, and automatically send the user a reminder a desired number of hours before they need to move their vehicle
Finding an appropriate parking spot without having to worry about street cleaning or time restrictions
- CitiPark will provide an interactive map where the user can identify appropriate streets to park on given certain criteria
- User sets their destination, # of blocks from the destination they are willing to park on, and length of their stay
- Map will highlight all streets that fit the above eligibility criteria
A few “nice to have” features that could be added on moving forward:
- Many survey and user interview respondents pointed to safety as another prevalent issue with street parking; a potential feature to explore once the CitiPark app has been fleshed out could point users to where safer neighborhoods / areas to park might be, according to app user feedback
- Another deterrent that many respondents brought up was time limitations for street parking
- A possible feature to add is the ability to look up all streets in an area on a map view that do not have 2-hour parking limits in the city
Product Manager Learnings:
A few of my biggest takeaways from the SPRINT22 program:
- Staying in the problem space and learning not to get too attached to a problem
- Seeing first-hand how important it is for a PM to ensure that we're delivering value to our customers
- Learning to brainstorm effective, to-the-point survey questions to get the information you need