SAN FRANCISCO — It is the urban driver’s most agonizing everyday experience: the search for an empty parking place.
It is part sleuthing and part blood sport. Circling, narrowly missing a spot, outmaneuvering other motorists to finally ease into a space only to discover that it is off limits during working hours.
In this city, it is also a vexing traffic problem. Drivers cruising for parking spots generate 30 percent of all downtown congestion, city officials estimate.
Now San Francisco professes to have found a solution — a phone app for spot-seekers that displays information about areas with available spaces.
The system, introduced last month, relies on wireless sensors embedded in streets and city garages that can tell within seconds if a spot has opened up.