If you live drive in New York, whether for work or play or because you absolutely can’t find any way to avoid it, then you know just how difficult it is to find a place to park. And once you do find a parking space you have to fumble with the change to feed the meter.

But New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a plan to change all that using the latest technology readily available to just about everyone: smartphones. The city this week rolled out a new program, a new smart[hone app, which will allow people to pay for their parking meter via a smartphone, the Internet or a standard telephone (if all else fails.) The program will also alert drivers via their cell phone when their meter is about to expire and let them fill it back up again before time runs out.

The idea both to increase the efficiency of the parking situation in New York and make it easier for people to avoid parking tickets which they didn’t intentionally earn.

To begin with the program is being rolled out on 18 blocks in the Arthur Avenue Business Improvement District. If it works there drivers should expect to see the new smart-meters popping up all around the city, eventually replacing the traditional meters everyone who parks in the city love to hate. If the program doesn’t work, well, surely New York parking officials have a back-up plan.