For good reasons, on-street parking is essential in cities and towns worldwide. It makes businesses more reachable, generates substantial revenue for local governments, and is far more land-efficient than off-street parking.
For customers and commuters, street parking provides the convenience of parking closer to their destinations. Furthermore, it is generally safer to park in well-lit and busy areas than in deserted side streets or parking lots.
However, despite these benefits, on-street parking is a thorny issue for urban areas. Because of the skyrocketing number of vehicles and inefficient management of parking resources, many cities experience a much higher demand for on-street parking than they can accommodate.
This imbalance creates three primary problems:
1. Drivers searching for empty parking spaces increase traffic congestion, pollution, and safety hazards.
2. Limited street parking increases illegal or "pirate" parking, which results in lost revenue for local governments.
3. Over time, street parking results in higher maintenance costs for curbs, gutters, and other street infrastructure, which put pressure on already strained urban management budgets.
Fortunately, parking technology has come a long way in recent years, and city administrators now have effective options for managing on-street parking.
Read on for a closer look at how smart parking solutions can help you make on-street parking in your city more efficient, convenient, and lucrative.
How can smart on-street parking solutions benefit your city?
The days of luck-based parking and archaic, coin-operated parking meters are long gone. Today, smart on-street parking solutions give city administrators various options for automating the parking process.
Let's look at some of these capabilities and how they can benefit your city.
Real-time parking visibility
Conventionally, city authorities rely on surveys, rough estimates, and opinions from presumed experts to get an idea of parking demand at a given time. As a result, they often make decisions about parking availability, pricing, and improvement opportunities based on incomplete or out-of-date information.
Smart street parking systems leverage sensor and camera networks to provide real-time visibility into available parking spots in specific locations and across the city.
You can also see historical parking trends to understand when and where demand is highest and make accurate decisions about everything from pricing and enforcement to infrastructure improvements.
In many cities, residents must go to a physical location, such as a parking garage or a municipal office, to register their vehicles and purchase parking permits. Unfortunately, this system is often inconvenient and time-consuming, resulting in low, sporadic registration rates.
With a smart on-street parking solution, you can streamline the registration and permitting process by allowing motorists to do it all online. Drivers can even see which parking spaces are available at a specific time and reserve a spot in advance.
To prevent a different vehicle from taking a reserved spot, the system can issue a digital permit that is linked to the car's license plate number. Then, license plate recognition (LPR) cameras can help validate that only permitted vehicles are occupying the space.
Contactless payment options
The traditional way of paying for on-street parking via coin-operated meters came under scrutiny at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when high-contact surfaces like parking meters became potential sources of infection. As a result, many cities began looking for contactless parking payment options to minimize the risk to drivers and parking enforcement personnel.
Looking beyond the pandemic, the demand for contactless payment solutions is undoubtedly here to stay. Smart street parking systems offer a range of contactless payment options, from dedicated smartphone apps to in-vehicle transponders.
Therefore, they make parking more convenient for drivers while reducing the management costs and risks associated with traditional parking meters.
Parking rates that stay the same are no longer feasible in modern urban environments. Factors like time of day, demand, event schedules, and even the weather can significantly impact parking availability and congestion.
Top-tier smart parking solutions offer dynamic pricing capabilities that allow city administrators to adjust parking rates in real-time based on demand. By charging more for parking when demand is high and less when low, you can encourage drivers to park at off-peak times and reduce congestion in busy areas.
Dynamic pricing can also help you generate additional revenue for your city by charging a premium for parking in high-demand areas.
Big Data Analytics
Most cities have a wealth of data but lack the tools and expertise to utilize it fully. With a smart parking solution, you can collect comprehensive data on everything from parking occupancy and transaction history to traffic flows and weather patterns. This data can go a long way in helping you make informed decisions about parking policy, pricing, and enforcement.
Moreover, by integrating your parking solution with other city systems, you can get an even broader view of how on-street parking affects the overall operation of your city.
For instance, you can see how changes in parking rates and new enforcement policies impact traffic congestion and air pollution levels and collaborate with other city departments to reduce these negative impacts.
Upgrade your city's street parking process with Pavemint
If you are an urban planner, street parking administrator, or traffic engineer, you know all too well that mismanaged street parking severely undermines the health and vitality of your city. To turn things around, you must answer questions like when and where to allow on-street parking, how to control occupancy, how much to charge, and how to track down violators as conclusively as possible.
Smart street parking systems offer intriguing features that help cities refine street parking, from connected sensors and contactless payments to automated license plate recognition (ALPR) and big data analytics. With a proper low-cost solution, you can turn your city's street parking from a headache-inducing experience into a well-oiled machine.
As the leading parking management software provider, Pavemint is committed to helping cities deliver the best possible on-street parking experience. Our self-parking, enforcement, and data reporting tools will help you take control of your city's parking operation and improve how your residents, businesses, and visitors interact with street parking.
Schedule a meeting with a Pavemint expert today, and learn how we can help you improve street parking in your city.