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Park Watch app pairs New York City drivers to help ease parking frustrations

Park Watch app pairs NYC drivers to help ease parking frustrations
Park Watch app pairs NYC drivers to help ease parking frustrations 02:37

NEW YORK -- If you are tired of circling the block to find parking in New York City, there's now an app for that.

"Park Watch" is still being tested, but as CBS2's Naveen Dhaliwal reports, drivers who have tried it are giving it the green light.

It's a hassle most New York City drivers can relate to -- finding parking, especially on alternate side parking days.

"Just now, I found this spot. It took me 45 minutes," driver Jay Myers said.

"My job doesn't allow me to just leave and sit in my car for an hour and a half," Washington Heights resident Jose Paulino said.

But Paulino doesn't have to do that.

When he arrives to his workplace on the Upper East Side, his parking buddy, Gabby Musto, is getting ready to leave for work to Westchester.

"I leave when he's coming in, and then he leaves when I'm coming back," she said. "Just coming home and knowing that I have a spot waiting for me, I don't have to circle the blocks, frustration is low."

They were paired through Park Watch, an app in the testing phase created by Courtney Stern that is soon to be launched. She got the word out using flyers.

Drivers find a spot and share it all week.

"I basically asked for members' schedules in our current parking communities, and I would match them together based on what their parking needs were," Stern said.

The Park Watch app is only available to those living on the Upper West and East sides right now.

Dominick Genes calls it a "godsend."

"I work in Brooklyn and do a reverse commute," he said.

When Genes comes back home to the Upper West Side, his parking buddy, Ali Fadil, who lives in the suburbs, is waiting for him.

"If somebody like myself comes here during the weekdays, I would have to sit 90 minutes for alternate side parking," he said.

Let's not forget how much money they are saving in garage fees.

"It was up to $1,000 a month they wanted, to park my vehicle. A thousand dollars, that's, wow," Genes said.

The city's Department of Transportation won't comment on the number of parking spots eliminated over the last two years but say, "We always work to balance the needs of our all road users while supporting safe sustainable, and efficient transportation options."

"I know block that have maybe 10, 15 Citi Bikes. Now they extend it to 30," Paulino said. "They have extended bus lanes."

Stern is trying to get more users before the app launches and expands to other neighborhoods.

It's a convenience you will have to pay for; Stern says the app will be available for a "small fee" but hasn't specified a price.

If the person you're paired with doesn't hold up their end of the deal, you'll be back to searching for a spot.

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