Does San Francisco parking app help or distract drivers?

City officials worry that drivers will pay too much attention to smart-phone application

A new smart-phone app is helping drivers in San Francisco find available parking spots, but some city officials are raising safety concerns, reports the New York Times' Matt Richtel.

The project, known as SFpark, which receives funding from the Transportation Department and the Federal Highway Administration, makes use of sensors embedded in streets, at metered parking spots and in parking garages around the city.

But there is the potential for the app to lead to even more distracted driving by frustrated motorists seeking elusive parking spaces, and local transportation officials are urging drivers to pull over before checking the app or to check it before leaving home.

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