Northern Virginia

How Underground Sensors May Help You Find a Parking Spot in Arlington

The sensors set to be used in Rosslyn, Ballston and along Richmond Highway also could potentially give guidance on what the price of parking should be

NBC Universal, Inc.

What if you could find a parking space without circling? 

A new system of underground sensors in some parts of Arlington, Virginia, may help you find a spot — and could affect how much it costs to park. 

The sensors will go into the ground near curbside meters and then wirelessly send information that can alert apps and websites when a space becomes available. 

The sensors are part of a three-year pilot program in Rosslyn, Ballston and along Richmond Highway, with 4,500 meters set to be used. The sensors are battery operated and have a life of up to 10 years.

“I think anything that makes it easier for folks to figure out how to park is probably a good thing,” one man in the area said.

The sensors will be able to collect information on which spots are used the most, and for how long. They potentially could give guidance on what the price of parking should be. That means some places could get more expensive to park. 

County officials say that on the other hand, making some spots less expensive could lead drivers to park there instead.

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