Monday, November 12, 2007
Portland Offers Smarter Parking Via Technology
In an earlier post, the BIA Blog explored how several cities across America are using new technology and new approaches to effect what amounts to a virtual revolution in parking. One of those cities--Portland, OR--is deploying cutting-edge technology to help alleviate its parking problems and the congestion associated with the search for parking spots.
SmartPark, Portland's parking contractor, is preparing to launch a pilot program that will track and relay real-time information about parking locations at three city-managed locations downtown. The new system will use sensors to track use of parking spaces and relay the information to electronic signs on the front of each parking garage, as well as to a temporary sign addressing drivers headed downtown on the Morrison Bridge.
Portland's system is based upon mature technology. Earlier this year, the Federal Highway Administration released a study showing how real-time parking systems benefit downtown businesses. In 2002, the German Ministry of Education and Research released a report demonstrating how real-time parking space information can drastically reduce traffic congestion. Several systems operating in different parts of the United States seem to offer greater customer satisfaction, as well as increased revenues through better utilization of parking facilities.