Apps, web resources for Chicago drivers

Sometimes it’s great having a car in the Windy City. But a lot of times…it’s not.

Here are some apps that will make driving in Chicago even easier.

Car Pal

Free for iPhone

If you park your car — and leave it for a while — Car Pal will help you save money by avoiding street parking tickets. Depending on where you’re parked, the app will tell you how many days you have left until the street gets cleaned. In the winter months, the app will remind you of winter parking restrictions. You can also save and share your car location, and even use the app

The app gets it’s information from the City of Chicago’s Open Data Portal.

Animated Map of Potholes 

Created by Chicago native Elliott Ramos, this animated map illustrates pothole reports from November through the first week of April. An orange dot marks each pothole, and then the orange fades to pink as time passes. Check out the Tribune’s write up on the app here.

City’s Pothole tracker

The City of Chicago rolled out a pothole tracker in January at CityofChicago.org/potholetracker. The computer-based app shows the location of each pothole that has been filled in the last 7 days based on the corresponding 311 service request. Note: The app works best on a desktop computer. It proved sluggish on my smartphone and tablet.

SpotHero 

Free for iPhone and Android

Use this app to reserve and pre-pay for your parking spot. You can compare rates and locations in the area you’re trying to park at. Very useful — especially when you’re heading to the ball park this summer!

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