Laguna Beach launching app to ease parking headaches

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- It's no secret Laguna Beach is a tourist destination, especially in the summer months.

The Orange County city estimates it attracts an average of six million visitors a year.

The constant question in the small beach town - where does everyone park?

"I mean, if you're new around here, and you don't know the area, you can be driving around here two to three hours, just trying to find a spot," said Michael Cuda, a San Dimas resident.

After hearing complaints, the Laguna Beach City Council recently voted to invest $1.3 million over the next five years to launch a new parking app. Officials hope it will alleviate some of the parking stress.

"They can put in a location and it will show them available parking in that particular area, so they're no longer needing to circle around, adding to congestion," said Paula Faust from Laguna Beach Public Works.

The city is working with a New Zealand company, Frogparking, which provides a similar service at the Irvine Spectrum. Using a sensor in every stall, users will be able to see where spots are available. It updates the parking status every eight seconds.

The app will also allow users to feed the parking meter.

City leaders said the app will complement the trolley system because there's often more spots available away from downtown.

Not everyone is a fan of the new app. Some said the city should instead invest in a new parking structure.

The new technology is expected to launch by summer.
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