Solving Parking Chaos on College Campuses

January 27, 2021

Increasing vehicle traffic presents significant challenges for higher learning institutions worldwide. The congestion created wastes time, increases emissions, and negatively impacts pedestrian safety. Furthermore, with more cars comes a higher demand for parking. Administrators are feeling immense pressure to provide more campus parking amid rising land rates and building costs.

Fortunately, establishing more spaces is not the only solution for the parking problem. If you are a college administrator, you can deal with the impact of high traffic and strained parking on your campus with the right steps. Try implementing strategies that reduce the number of commuters driving to school, minimize the number of vehicles on campus, and increase the efficiency of your existing parking spaces.

Reducing the number of people driving to school

One of the most effective strategies for addressing the college parking problem is encouraging college-goers to leave their cars at home. While driving comes with a lot of conveniences, the time wasted, stress induced, and pollutants emitted by traffic congestion can be enough to convince a good number of people to use alternative transportation at least occasionally. 

Colleges are increasingly campaigning for carpooling, public transport, and cycling to motivate people to reduce their driving. To make your campaign more impactful, you can encourage carpooling by creating a digital ridesharing board where campus members can quickly find a ride. 

You can also reward carpoolers with the best parking spots and incentivize public transport users with subsidized transit passes. To encourage cycling, place bike racks in high-visibility campus areas, and offer safety features like weatherproofing and security cameras. People will be more inclined to use their bikes if security is guaranteed. 

Reducing the number of vehicles on campus

Encouraging people to drive less often indirectly minimizes the vehicle population on campus. However, if your college-goers are not responding well enough to your campaign to alleviate your parking problem, you can adopt a more direct approach. 

For instance, using an intelligently staggered class schedule can help you prevent having everyone on campus at once. Using a parking data analysis tool, you can determine the time of day with the highest number of occupied parking spaces and move some classes to less common hours. If your campus is in a large metropolitan area, you can reduce your parking pressure by scheduling more classes during the low-traffic hours of late morning and early afternoon. That way, your students will be more compelled to drive off their parking spots quicker after classes so they can beat the traffic on their way home. 

Increasing parking efficiency

Most college parking lots can accommodate more cars than they currently hold, but inefficient allocation and poorly enforced parking regulations make 100% utilization next to impossible. Fortunately, parking technology has advanced tremendously in recent years. Today, schools can make much better use of their parking lots without costly expansion projects. 

Comprehensive, end-to-end parking management solutions combine a network of sensors, displays, live gateways, and intuitive web and mobile-based platforms to help you manage your parking lots most efficiently. With these systems, you can monitor car movement in and out of parking spaces and give drivers clear directions to free spots as they enter the campus. You can also line spaces with beepers that only go off when a driver has attained the right parking angle. Therefore, commuters will spend less time searching for empty parking spaces and leave their cars parked in the most space-efficient manner.

Say Goodbye to The Parking Problem on Campus

Dealing with parking problems can be far from straightforward, but as you have learned, even small steps like creating awareness on alternative transportation can go a long way. So, if your car park is becoming congested, don't rush to get more parking lots. First, explore methods that can reduce the number of vehicles on campus or make parking more efficient. Otherwise, it will not be long before even your new parking space gets chaotic. 

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