CLE’s New Parking App Getting Mixed Reviews

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Finding a parking spot in downtown can be tough, but the city is trying to make it a little easier with a new app.

It’s called "Parker" and basically helps drivers find a parking spot. It sounds pretty nice, but some residents worry it could cause more harm than good.

"We want to have something that you can have your hands on the wheel if you need to,” said Mark Giuliano.

He’s the pastor at Old Stone Church in Cleveland. He recently got word of the new app and thinks it will only encourage more distracted driving.

"I know everybody thinks they're a good driver and everyone else is a bad driver, but the fact of the matter is things happen and it's the things that we don't expect that create problems,” he said.

FOX 8 reached out to the app’s creators at Streetline. One of its reps said it was never meant to be used while driving, but rather, before you leave for your desired destination.

She also added that it has a voice navigation feature just like a GPS so you don’t have to look down at your phone while you’re on the road.

Residents met Wednesday night to talk about Parker and most shared the same concerns over whether the app is safe.

"We have a ban in Ohio and Cleveland against texting and driving, and I don't know in what scenario someone is not going to be looking at their phone to use look at app,” said Joe Baur.

Baur coordinated the public forum.

Michael Cox, Cleveland's director of public works, said the app is a part of a 90-day pilot program. He said after that, they’ll reassess its value.

Meanwhile, Councilman Joe Cimperman just wants to make sure everyone downtown is safe, whether that be bicyclists, pedestrians or drivers.

“I mean clearly there are a lot of people interested. It’s not easy to come out on a week day night while it’s snowing, but we got a room full of good people who are trying to figure out how to make downtown more humane and user-friendly,” he said.

He plans to report feedback about the app to city council.

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