New app for finding accessible parking in Hawai’i

May 19, 2015
DPark app map of Hawai'i

Hawai’i’s DPark app is one of several apps developed to facilitate accessible parking. Image from DPark.

A new smartphone app is helping drivers find accessible parking in the state of Hawai’i, according to Maui Now. DPark, an app supported by the Hawai’i State Disability and Communication Access Board, displays 500 photos of accessible spots that are available at airports, government office parking, certain malls, medical facilities, local venues, and state parks. App users are welcome to submit their own photos to help others identify accessible parking spots.

Accessible parking app intended to help both tourists and locals

“We’re very excited about it, and this isn’t about enforcement,” Charlotte Townsend, program and policy development unit coordinator at the Disability and Communication Access Board, told the Pacific Business News. “This is to really make people more aware and to also help tourists and others know where they can find these parking spaces, so we hope it’s embraced by the community.”

The app has its roots in a website; its developers first sought to build a website to help people find spots, and can still be accessed as a website at The goal is the same: to help people identify accessible spaces that will suit their vehicle. “Many of the parking spaces vary in design compliance, and sometimes it’s very usable to some people whereas it would not be usable for others,” Townsend explains. “It may indicate that it’s a space that someone in a car could access easily, whereas maybe it couldn’t accommodate a van, which would be necessary for some other people.”

Other accessible parking apps

DPark doesn’t allow users to report accessible parking spot violations, but there are other apps for that: the Parking Mobility app, for example, helps people find accessible spots but also allows app users to report violations. (“Our mission is to solve a problem,” the company’s project director Mack Marsh told the New York Times when the app first started out. “The whole purpose is to tie technology to public education.”) The Canada-based SpotSquad lets observers point out traffic violations of all sorts by sending photos of the violations to the proper officials.

Another app that aims to assist those who use wheelchairs is WheelMate, which lets its current 7,000 users find both accessible parking and accessible bathrooms across 30,000 locations and 45 countries. WheelMap, an app and website, goes a step further, with wheelchair-accessible bars, movie theatres, supermarkets, restaurants and other spots clearly marked on maps. Wheelmap, which is available in areas around the world, specifies exactly whether “The place and all its rooms are wheelchair-accessible,” “The place itself is accessible, but not all of its rooms,” or “The place is not accessible for wheelchair users.”

Are you looking for accessible parking in Hawai’i? Learn more and download DPark for iPhone or Android online here.

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Category: Parking Tech, Regulations

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