The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is looking for bidders to implement a cell phone-based system of finding and paying for parking at O'Hare International Airport. Great advances in smartphone technology have begun to revolutionize the parking industry, as we reported from the International Parking Institute convention here last May. But proposals like Chicago's bring a touch of Big Brother with the promise of added convenience. From the Sun-Times:
The winning bidder must also use a “mobile license-plate recognition system” to “capture plate images upon entry and exit and process those images to identify and record vehicle license-plate information.”
That system is to be used to prevent fraud, locate lost vehicles and help city crews identify vehicles belonging to scofflaws parked at O’Hare so the wheel-locking Denver boot can be applied.
Some garages already use the technology to help customers find their cars when they forget where they parked. Using it to detect and boot scofflaws raises the ante just a bit, as we inch closer to a day where we won't go anywhere without being videotaped or tracked.
The full Sun-Times report is here.
On the local traffic scene, champagne corks were popping (or more likely Iron City pop-tops) in the Mon Valley on Monday when PennDOT announced that the long nightmare called the Boston Bridge rehabilitation project, with its lane restrictions and long detours, was over. The project was begun in 2010 and expected to take two years, but ran over in part because someone stole materials from the construction site. The bridge crosses the Yough between Elizabeth Township and Versailles.
Road work will resume Tuesday through Thursday nights on the "bathtub" section of the westbound Parkway East (that's the inbound side going toward the Fort Pitt Bridge). Lane closures will occur after 10 p.m. all three nights, ending by 5 a.m. Ramps will be open. Crews will grind the roadway to prepare for concrete latex resurfacing this weekend.
Short-term lane closures are also possible on the Parkway East between Penn Hills and Monroeville from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday during bridge inspections. Outbound work will be in the morning, inbound in the afternoon.
Work to apply protective sealant on the Interstate 79 Neville Island Bridge will close the right shoulder and exit lane at the northbound off-ramp to Route 65/Emsworth-Sewickley (Exit 66) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The ramp will remain open.
Southbound traffic on Route 28 will be restricted to one lane at times between Shaler Water and the Millvale exit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday during installation of a sign.
Maintenance will close a lane of the inbound Fort Pitt Tunnel from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday.
Short-term lane closures are possible overnight on Route 48-Mosside Boulevard near Ross Street Extension between Signal Hill Drive and Wall Avenue in North Versailles and Wall during test boring for a future repair project. The work occurs weekdays after 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m. through May 19.
Relocation of a gas line may cause lane closures from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Noblestown Road in the area of Gormley Avenue and Wittengale Road in North Fayette and Oakdale on weekdays through May 15.
Lane closures are possible in both directions on Route 19/Washington Road from Alfred Street to Connor Road in Mt. Lebanon as crews take pavement core samples for a future improvement project from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.Scroll through earlier posts for more road work news.
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