UPDATE: Why was the city secretly experimenting with a parking app without telling the public until caught?

UPDATE: So I accidentally ran into someone tonight who explained the issue to me. I guess the ‘APP’ is NOT the problem, I guess the problem is the app is not communicating with our parking meters correctly. I guess the city is not using a very good telecom (not Verizon) for the communications to the meters which is causing the issue. This surprises me since the city just rolled out 5G with Verizon.

They finally announced today, but not until some folks on FB caught them. It seems to be happening at city hall a lot these days from potholes and floods to transparency, every time someone busts them they announce they are working on the issue;

The City soft launched the app in late 2018 for downtown parking ramps. Since then, the reach of the app has expanded to include many downtown parking meters. Soft launching the app to the public will help the City gain appropriate feedback to ensure potential bugs and issues are worked out before the official rollout, planned for August 2019.

So I guess the city’s innovation department is using us as lab rats for not just 5G, but now parking apps. I will post later about how Bloomberg is using our mayor as a lab rat. What I find interesting is that this gives meter maids a heads up of what meters are expired. Maybe this was a revenue idea they wanted to keep secret.

This was the response from the city;

Jason ReisdorferI appreciate everyone’s passion with regards to this app. We think it’s going to be a big win for the downtown scene. This app wasn’t built on the backs of the taxpayers and we’re not paying to have it developed. This is a free add-on to the pay by CC meters the city purchased (before my time). We compared several similar products, this one is the best option for our citizens for several reasons. We have been working closely with the app developers to work out the bugs and to get the locations geolocated properly. If you followed me at all with the ‘SF App’ launch, you will know that I promoted the heck out of it once we were ready…but it was live for several weeks in public beta before it was launched because I wanted thorough testing before a bunch of people jumped on and had issues and a bad user experience. There’s no reason that we’d want to keep something this awesome a secret…I just wanted it to work properly. I think KSFY is running a story tonight, and now that the cat is out of the bag on this, we’ll launch a presser tomorrow…but like anything new, I’d ask for your patience as we’re about 2 weeks ahead of schedule for when we wanted this thing pushed out full scale. I’m confident all you smart people can help us work out the bugs, so send me any feedback you have while using it and we’ll pass them along to the developers. Thanks for all the support! #OneSiouxFalls

Great video here;



16 comments ↓

#1 SL on 03.28.19 at 6:31 pm

Should provide interesting discussion at the next Council meeting.

#2 LJL on 03.28.19 at 9:50 pm

Soft launching services is very common and makes sense. If it needs to be tweaked or changed very few will be affected during a soft launch. If its fully launched and has issues, you will be equally outraged.

Tech is hard to test as so many different types of devices and people will interact with the app. It’s like building a garage with only fractions of an inch to spare but so many different sized cars.

#3 Jesus on 03.28.19 at 10:00 pm

Umm they could already track the electronic meters. That’s the point. If you didn’t know that you’ve never watched the meter maids. They literally come from nowhere. The meter knows if there is a car there and reports it’s status.

Every time you try to show how clever you are you really just show how out of touch you are.

What exactly did you “catch” them doing? Developing something at no cost to tax payers? I don’t even like this administration and I still can’t wrap my head around what you’re bitching about. Literally everyone in there is someone I have personal issue with and still, this is a non starter.

#4 l3wis on 03.28.19 at 10:10 pm

LJL, you realize this was an app that ALREADY works and has been working in multiple cities across the country. There were NO bugs to work out. It would be like buying a Honda Civic in Iowa and wondering if it would run in South Dakota.

#5 l3wis on 03.28.19 at 10:16 pm

Jesus, always love it when fictional characters like to join the conversation. You are welcome.

I wasn’t bitching about the cost, I wasn’t bitching about having the app, I wasn’t even bitching about meter maids giving out tickets (we have a private parking ramp to pay for afterall). My point was why keep this a secret? As I said to LJL, this wasn’t something the geniuses at city hall were rolling out. This is an app that is used across the country. Trust me, as a person who knows and is related to several software engineers, the testing is done before putting it on the market.

The rumor going around is that the city was attempting to create their own app while testing out one that already works then claiming they are being ‘innovative’. It would be like me creating my own toilet paper.

#6 PizzaBoy on 03.29.19 at 8:10 am

Creating your own TP….that actually is innovative. In case someone would accidentally print off all your posts, they could actually use it for something meaningful.

#7 Paul ElevenHaken on 03.29.19 at 8:51 am

It’s a little beta test. Not exactly the pentagon papers here.

#8 Ljl on 03.29.19 at 2:31 pm

I do realize it’s already used but intergration into the cities system (backend) is just as challenging.

#9 Consevative here on 03.30.19 at 9:18 am

I don’t think every single thing our city govt does needs to be aired to the public. I bet they have had several security updates for Windows machines this year. Should we have a press conference? Rumors going around huh, you working for CNN and doing another anonymous sources story (sarc)

#10 l3wis on 03.30.19 at 12:45 pm

I very famous anon source brought down president Nixon.

#11 Warren Phear on 03.30.19 at 2:51 pm

CH…you’re a really funny guy. One network wrote the book on BS, and they’ve been doing it for more than twenty years. Your network c.h.

https://youtu.be/96XjN_jas44

#12 Blasphemo on 03.30.19 at 6:57 pm

Warren Phear: thanks for sharing the Youtube clip. It’s awesome! On an unrelated note: I don’t know who the podcasters are in the furnished video. And, I think Reisdorfer’s response is another example of “the new city hall’s” smugness in withholding public information because “the masses just won’t understand and will slow us down”. Now, it may be wholly inaccurate to consider the podcasters to be of the same generation of, say. . . Reisdorfer/Nelson/PTH. But, just for the sake argument: would the podcasters have been as critical of the issue if they knew the situation was attributable to a relatively new generation of city officials close in age & generational attributes to their own? Discuss amongst yourselves.

#13 D@ily Spin on 03.31.19 at 10:47 am

When I go downtown I’d never use this Ap. Those who do are not paying attention to their driving. The city will ticket you for texting and driving yet they provide something you use with a smart phone while driving. Sounds to me like you can beat a texting ticket because the city had you using their Ap. Another waste of city resources and budget? Build another play palace if you’re that bored.

#14 Nick on 04.01.19 at 10:29 am

Sioux Falls does not have 5G yet. Only cities with it live so far are Chicago and Minneapolis.

#15 Consevative here on 04.01.19 at 9:48 pm

Warren – I see you have yet to take your ADHD meds again today, focus man. You can never stick to local shit or stay on task. What does your click bait have to do with the story or my comment on the meter software issue. If you could look past your liberal nose you would see many times we all can probably agree

#16 Warren Phear on 04.02.19 at 11:02 am

you working for CNN and doing another anonymous sources story (sarc)

Your words…not mine. You bring in CNN, I’ll bring in fox. Focus man…focus.