Snippet: In this post we highlight the top 5 parking management trends from around the world.
Parking – an unstructured menace
Parking is a menace. We all know that, as we have experienced it first hand, frequently. As our population grows, more of us move towards urban areas. Primarily because there is better access for jobs and standard of living.
With this constant influx of people into our cities, managing parking is only going to get difficult. Because the participants in urban mobility are scattered, and are not regulated under one umbrella, it is very difficult for city municipalities to move with changing trends of urban mobility. Hence most cities find it extremely difficult to administer innovative solutions.
Uber and Lyft have changed the way we commute. This concept of shared resources have managed to afflict a shift in thinking. The younger generation is no longer interested in owning cars – what with high buying and maintenance costs. Add to it, highly jammed roads and motorways, irregular parking has rendered car ownership completely redundant.
This is not to say that car makers will shut shop. But, there is a greater need for all players who are part of urban mobility to work together and deliver a cohesive car and traffic management solutions.
We have written about the growth in vehicle ownership – with statistics – and its huge impact on parking management in this post. Do read here it to see a fresh perspective on the industry.
Despite the dwindling interest in car ownership, there still are millions of cars – and they need ample, quick, safe parking spaces. And this need is driving tremendous innovations in the parking lot management industry. The idea to find any – or a set of – solutions is to make parking more accessible, affordable, convenient, and efficient.
#1 Urban infrastructure as a whole
Most of our malls, cinemas, universities, and city centers are woeful at providing seamless parking solutions. Add to this, the rapid pace at which our urban living conditions are changing. These factors have made it incredibly tough to plan and build the right infrastructure. Especially an infrastructure which should stay relevant for at least a decade. Building more parking spaces may not be the right answer.
Superblocks: How Barcelona is taking city streets back from cars
However, there are cities and urban municipalities who have taken to the concept of smart city planning. This is a unique way of looking at urban planning from the bottom up. Where all amenities, utilities are considered in the designing phase itself.
Cities such as Singapore, Barcelona, and London are just a few cities who have made great progress in this direction. More cities are in the pipeline of implementing such smart strategies. The remarkable aspect of implementing these smart city projects in a phased manner is that it gives new cities a chance to learn from previous projects and make the necessary modifications. What people in the business world call – being AGILE.
Robots Parking Cars: The Garage of the Future | WIRED
#2 Map guided parking solutions
Imagine you open your app on the phone – even before reach the parking lot. The parking lot app – from your local parking management space – tells you how many empty spaces are available (made possible by IoT sensors which highlights empty slots on the app immediately). You plan your route accordingly. You are now close to the parking lot, and the mobile app with a live map guides you to the nearest slot – without you having to touch your phone again.
You come back after a while, drive your car home, and the app calculates the fee and notifies you once the money is paid. Seamless, easy, secure, and most of all hassle free. This is the power of map guided smart parking solutions.
As more people use such apps, it starts collecting more data and helps administrators plan parking lots in a better way.
#3 No more paying cash
The same parking lot app which guided you to the parking lot will have its own e-wallet linked to your bank account. After each parking, it sends you a payment notification. You approve it by tapping YES, and it’s done.
There is another way. You can pre-fill your parking lot wallet and allow the app to deduct the parking charges automatically without your intervention. And the app can send you a weekly spending report for you to monitor.
#4 Everything is now on the mobile phone
The previous two examples bare evidence for the tremendous impact of smartphone on the parking lot industry. Map guided navigation and easy payments are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In the future we will see hybrid apps which combine the following features in one – single app:
- Google Maps like feature with live traffic updates
- Urban public transportation services like trams, metros, Uber and Lyft
- And parking slot booking and guidance
This is the future.
#5 Managing curbside
Untidy planning and management of curbsides not only affects parking spaces, but it also hinders free flow of traffic. Cars and trucks parked incorrectly means vehicles plying on that particular street will end up driving slowly.
The solution to this is a fresh redesign of curbsides. In 2016, the city of Seattle implemented and enforced new policies that redefine the curb lane as a “flex zone,” instead of a parking lane. Depending on the street type, the lane is divided into priority zones with in-lane stops, dedicated loading spaces, and protected bike lanes.
An Airbnb clone for Parking Lot management
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