New app lets city drivers pay to park with their phones, but some think it’s one app too many

If digging for quarters or even using a credit card seems like too much of a hassle in order to pay for parking, there's now an alternative available in all five boroughs of New York City.

On Tuesday Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced that the city's ParkNYC app is live, citywide, for use on anyone's smartphone.

One thing that New Yorkers do seem to agree on wholeheartedly is that finding a place to park throughout the city is a challenge, to say the least.

"The population has increased here," said Rafael Yunaev on a busy street in Forest Hills. "The parking has become hectic."

"It's very hard to find parking," agreed Dané Brown, who works nearby.  "There's a lot of traffic."

One challenge to parking is spending time putting money in the muni meter, and then having to rush to refill the meter when time runs out.  The ParkNYC app brings that to an end.

Still, not everybody appreciates the change. Some people feel that this is one app too many in a world where there seems to be an app for everything.

"It's too much technology," one man told PIX11 News after having just gotten a parking receipt to display on his dashboard after he'd pumped quarters into a muni meter.

For many New Yorkers like him, the transportation commissioner said that the way the ParkNYC app works should be just fine.

"The good news about the parking technology is you can still use quarters, but if you still want to use your phone, now you can do that, too," Trottenberg said.

However, not everyone may want yet another app on their smartphone, even if, like the parking app, it may be helpful to have. But the co-founder of social media PR firm Socialfly told PIX11 News that easy organization on a smartphone makes an abundance of apps easily  manageable.

"You definitely cannot have too many apps," Stephanie Abrams Cartin said in an interview.

Cartin, whose company specializes in helping clients reach people most effectively, including through apps, said that the best way to maximize apps' uses is to organize them.

By grouping apps by category, she said, a savvy smartphone user can fully take advantage of  the speed and accessibility that apps provide.

Conversely, she said, a smartphone user may be wasting time and effectiveness by keeping unused apps.

"If you haven't used it in a year, it's worth deleting" Cartin said.

She said that "in a busy city like New York," having the ParkNYC app "can be very helpful."

Nonetheless, its reviewers have given it barely two stars on Google Playstore.  Most of the reviewers were displeased that ParkNYC won't let them extend the amount of time they park.

However, as the transportation commissioner pointed out, that really may not be a problem with the app. New York City parking laws limit the amount of time a vehicle can remain parked in a particular zone.

"You don't want people to feed the meter all day long," Commissioner Trottenberg said. "You want turnover, so businesses and restaurants can get customers."