The right answer to a growing demand of on-street parking
Studies show that approximately 30% of all city traffic is search traffic, making it the main cause of congestion. Cities are urgently looking for innovative solutions to improve on-street parking usage. Shoppers running a quick errand, suppliers (un-)loading their goods, residents arriving home after a day of work; all of them looking for a parking spot as close as possible to their destination.
City of Kortrijk
The city of Kortrijk (Belgium) is a great example of a future proof approach on short-stay parking zones in the historic city center, backed by FLOW and Nedap’s tender winning technologies.
Integrated approach on city parking
Increasing on-street parking comfort proves a real challenge for most European cities. When an overall approach on both on- and off-street parking is lacking, efficient use of the existing parking capacity on street is at risk. Single initiatives introduced with the ambition to improve the use of on-street parking spaces often prove unsuccessful. Increased pricing for on-street parking has not proven to be a guarantee for more rotation for example. Considering the current European economic situation, the construction of a new parking facility is not always an option (provided there is any room left in the typically European city centres anyway). Budgets are decreasing and necessary commitment missing. Furthermore, new investments in expanding parking capacity might create even more traffic.
The solution for cities is to embrace a smarter approach on parking as a whole, in such a manner that it is beneficial for on-street parking as well. This approach consists of three main pillars:
- Firstly, increase utilization of existing parking spots and spread the traffic in time, space and mode over the day.
- Secondly, improve the profitability by lowering the operational costs for parking enforcement and by increasing the revenue per parking spot.
- Thirdly, improve the driver’s experience as a central point of attention. Motorists should be provided the information they need at the right moment and through their preferred channel. This way the relationship between motorists, local retailers and municipalities can be enhanced.
Growing demand for on-street parking in Kortrijk
For a long time there was hardly any data available on usage of on-street parking. This is rapidly changing. With the introduction of wireless in-ground sensor technology it is now possible to detect whether or not a single parking bay is occupied and for how long it has been occupied. By real-time monitoring the utilisation of individual bays, parking capacity can be effectively enforced and motorists can be guided efficiently.
Parko, being responsible for both the on- and off-street parking infrastructure in Kortrijk, faced an underutilization of its street parking spaces. Additionally, they experienced an increasing demand for multiple use of existing parking bays in close vicinity of local retailers shops. On one hand, suppliers wanted to load and unload their goods near their destination, on the other hand visitors needed close-by parking to run a quick errand.
Directing Shop & Go short-stay zones
Parko realized a new parking policy for the city of Kortrijk in which the installation of Shop & Go short-stay parking zones is a vital element.
Within these short stay zones motorists can park during half an hour, free of charge. It offers visitors running a quick errand the opportunity to park in close vicinity of their preferred shop. Loading and unloading is also allowed in these parking spaces. After thirty minutes, shoppers and suppliers must free the parking spot, making room for others.
To prevent abuse, these short stay zones are under surveillance by parking attendants. When a car occupies a parking space for more than thirty minutes, the system automatically informs the parking attendant on duty. The message includes the parking space identification of the vehicle in overstay, allowing targeted action by the parking attendant (instead of random checks).
Choosing the right technology
Stated by Parko , the preconditions for a solution that enables multiple use of on-street parking spaces were that the technology was able to offer: visitors experiencing a high level of comfort, improvement of administration and supervision efficiency, and minimum operating costs.In wireless parking sensor technology Parko found what they were looking for. After an in depth technology assessment, Nedap SENSIT was selected as the preferred technology based on the reliability and accuracy of the system. After the industry tender, FLOW was selected to roll out the short-stay parking zones in the entire city centre of Kortrijk with Nedap’s smart parking sensor system SENSIT.
FLOWcontrol™, FLOW’s online traffic control collates, processes and analyses data of up to 600 parking sensors in the city centre, ensuring fluid traffic circulation, based on data from Nedap’s wireless SENSIT sensors.
All Shop & Go parking zones in the city center are monitored by the FLOWcontrol™ management platform, resulting in following benefits:
- Increased rotation in the city center
- Reduced abuse of loading & unloading zones
- Always available free parking spots in the city centre
- Increased parking enforcement efficiency resulting in additional profit for the city, covering the investment and operational costs
- Increased turnover for retailers supporting Shop & Go parking spaces, even requesting more zones
- Availability of historical parking utilization data
- Ability to display the data on websites and smartphone applications
FLOW NV is Nedap’s business partner in Belgium. Through its platform, FLOW offers an end-to-end solution to cities with a special role for Nedap SENSIT to overcome the parking challenges and inform road users in a consistent and smart way. The FLOWcontrol™ management solution by Belgium based company FLOW is an intuitive online traffic control platform. FLOW facilitates traffic management by mapping current traffic situations and creating new optimized traffic flow scenarios, which can be used to improve overall traffic circulation.