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Arlington County, Va., has announced a partnership with parking technology maker eleven-x for a pilot project to bring sensor technology to some 4,500 public parking spaces. The pilot lays the foundation for other enhancements.

A smart parking project in Virginia will use real-time data and technology to monitor spaces, and even lay the groundwork for a dynamic pricing structure.

Arlington County will begin the Performance Parking Pilot that will involve some 4,500 public parking spaces along two busy urban corridors: Rosslyn-Ballston and the Richmond Highway/Pentagon City/Crystal City neighborhood corridors.

The county will partner with eleven-x, a Canada-based smart parking technology provider, which will deploy its eXactpark system of software and wireless sensors mounted inside parking spaces. The company can also provide parking parameters for different spaces and digital curbside management, such as designating a space as short-term parking spot during part of the day, and perhaps transitioning to a loading zone at another time.

“We provide that as a complete, turnkey, seamless solution,” Dan Mathers, CEO of eleven-x, told Government Technology in October while discussing the company’s work with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

A key part of the eleven-x technology is the sensor the company developed.

“The recurring theme is that you need accurate stall-sense counting,” said Mathers. “You actually need to know for each stall, is there a car there or not?

“And until now, you have not been able to install stall-based occupancy at the individual stall level. In other words, a sensor at every single stall, that delivered very excellent accuracy, excellent battery life, excellent cost points,” he added.

The city or campus has a range of options around how they want to communicate the digital parking system. In some cases, it can be as simple as deploying digital real-time signage displaying information about available spaces.

Officials can deploy a web product giving drivers an overview of available parking in the area. A navigation app also provides much the same information.

The system deployed in Virginia will include dynamic pricing, allowing the parking authority to adjust parking rates according to demand, time of day and other variables.

“Pricing will be altered based on occupancy data collected during the pilot which may vary by day, time and/or location,” said Katie O’Brien, communications and public engagement manager for the Department of Environmental Services in Arlington County. “However, the prices themselves are not intended to be dynamic; the pricing will likely be adjusted quarterly.”

The project is funded by a $5.4 million grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Innovation and Technology Transportation Fund “to install and test technology that would allow staff to make changes to the price of parking across the metered parking network to encourage more efficient use of the system,” said O’Brien, in an email.

“This pilot project will allow the county to test the efficacy of this technology and determine if it is the right way to achieve our Master Transportation Plan’s stated goals,” she added. Those goals include, “utilize parking meter pricing strategies that vary by hour and location to better match parking availability and demand.”

The information collected from the pilot “may help with future decision-making on curbside parking. Prior to this pilot, the county did not use this technology or any similar technology to measure parking usage,” said O’Brien.

Some 30 percent of traffic in downtown districts is a result of motorists circling, looking for an empty parking space, said Mathers, and up to 40 percent of drivers do not pay for parking when they should. Even so, cities often collect only a fraction of fines issued.

“In order to really solve that problem, you need to know what’s happening at a very micro level with your parking assets,” he noted. “And the reason you need to do that, first of all, from a business intelligence standpoint to understand turnover, where the pinch points are, the traffic flows during the day, all of those related to parking occupancy.”


Autor(en)/Author(s): Skip Descant

Quelle/Source: Government Technology, 17.02.2023

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