5 Common Parking Problems and Innovative Solutions for Smarter Management

How to Overcome Common Parking Issues: Smart Solutions
5 Common Parking Problems and Innovative Solutions for Smarter Management

5 Common Parking Problems and Innovative Solutions for Smarter ManagementExpanding parking space might seem like the quick fix for curbside management. But the truth is that more parking spots mean more parking problems, as they only create chaos in traffic flow and disrupt city life. 

  • The limited real estate along the curbsides makes it impossible to accommodate more vehicles without impacting traffic flow. 
  • Residents continue to ask for more residential parking spaces. 
  • Outdated parking payment methods deepen the inefficiencies, causing delays and inconvenience for users and parking management companies. 
  • Theft and vandalism in parking areas create concerns about the security and safety of parked vehicles.
  • Inefficient parking management increases CO2 emission levels. 

The key is to get smart about parking management and enforcement, and that's where customized software, AI-powered LPR, and clever workflows come into play. Here's what you need to know. 

5 Problems with Parking and Their Solutions

Challenges are almost unavoidable whether cities entrust parking management and enforcement to external entities or maintain these operations internally. The surge in the number of vehicles has outpaced the corresponding investments in infrastructure. At the same time, much of the technology currently at our disposal has only emerged in the last couple of decades. 

The good news is that viable solutions exist, and some are surprisingly straightforward to integrate with existing infrastructure.

Parking Problem: Inefficiency in Curb Space Management

More than just the high demand for limited space leads to traffic bottlenecks. Improper usage, including unauthorized parking and non-compliance with regulations, complicates the effective utilization of curbside areas. 

Sometimes, insufficient signage and communication, along with varied uses of curbside space among residents, businesses, and visitors, add extra complexity to an already pressing issue. 

Balancing the needs of businesses requiring loading zones, ensuring emergency vehicle access, and addressing the rapid growth of urban areas amplify these challenges and make most traditional parking management and enforcement solutions obsolete.

Solution: AI License Plate Recognition (LPR) Technology

AI License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology makes real-time monitoring and enforcement possible even in the most crowded urban areas. AI-powered cameras can immediately identify unauthorized or improperly parked vehicles, facilitating prompt enforcement of parking regulations — even in exceptional circumstances, like bike lanes or hydrants. 

When integrated with parking enforcement software, AI technology will also automate ticketing processes, allowing enforcement personnel to focus on more complex issues and ensuring a streamlined curbside management system. Once deployed, this system is customizable and scalable, offering the flexibility to expand coverage across various city areas. Tailored solutions can easily align with diverse zoning requirements, enhancing overall efficiency and delivering citizen-centered public services for a more responsive and adaptable curbside management approach.

Parking Problem: Crowded Residential Parking

Driving in circles, looking for an empty spot, creates safety concerns and impacts residents' overall quality of life. Additionally, insufficient parking often ends with unauthorized parking or creative but problematic solutions that amplify the challenges of managing overcrowded residential parking areas. 

Residents want convenient and accessible parking, but expanding the available parking space can become a massive expense (over $28,000/spot) and might generate even more traffic congestion.

Solution: Digital Permits 

Digital permits solve the residential street parking problem, addressing peak parking hours and visitor needs and streamlining parking space allocation fairly. When integrated with parking management software, these permits facilitate real-time tracking, enabling effective enforcement against unauthorized parking. 

The digital transition reduces paperwork and administrative tasks for both residents and authorities, allowing online permit applications and management and contributing to a smoother residential parking system. Additionally, the issuance of temporary digital permits for guests is simplified, avoiding the complexities of physical documents. 

Last but not least, digital communication of updates and regulations enhances resident awareness, fostering a more cooperative and understanding community.

Parking Problem: Outdated Parking Payment Methods

Enforcing a singular payment method fails to recognize citizens' diverse preferences and financial capabilities. Plus, the outdated practice of queuing in an office to make parking payments consumes valuable time but also contributes to unnecessary congestion in these spaces. On the other hand, exclusive reliance on credit cards as the primary payment method excludes a significant portion of the population.  

You need to acknowledge and cater to the varied needs of the population, ensuring that different payment options are accessible to accommodate individual preferences.

Solution: A Citizen-Friendly Revenue Collection System 

Your parking management and enforcement system must integrate multiple payment methods, such as an online platform, dedicated mobile app, and strategically placed self-service parking kiosks.  

This upgrade increases voluntary compliance, as residents are more inclined to adhere to parking regulations when the payment process is straightforward and tailored to their preferences. 

The availability of multiple payment methods extends its benefits to residents and visitors, including out-of-state drivers, who may need to settle fines. With options like Ticket-by-Mail and Invoice-by-Mail, the system ensures that all drivers and vehicle owners can quickly complete their obligations, contributing to a more accessible and effective revenue collection system. 

Parking Problem: Theft and Vandalism in Parking Areas

Nearly 1,400 crimes occur daily in parking areas across the United States. Parking lot problems like vehicle break-ins, stolen possessions, and property damage create substantial economic burdens. The repercussions go beyond monetary damages, influencing public trust and discouraging drivers from using problematic parking spaces — which also impacts long-term revenue.

Solution: Leverage LPR to Improve Parking Lot Safety

LPR systems offer real-time monitoring capabilities for vehicles entering and exiting parking facilities, facilitating immediate identification and swift responses to suspicious or unauthorized activities. Depending on system complexity, you can automate alerts to notify authorities when a recognized license plate is linked to suspicious or criminal behavior.

In contrast to surveillance solely reliant on enforcement personnel, LPR technology efficiently covers extensive areas. This proves particularly advantageous in vast parking facilities where strategically placed LPR cameras at entry and exit points and throughout the facility enhance overall monitoring effectiveness.

The visible presence of LPR cameras and the knowledge that license plates are under constant monitoring serves as a deterrent to potential criminals. Moreover, LPR systems enable the rapid retrieval of pertinent information in case of a reported incident, supporting law enforcement in investigations and suspect identification. 

Parking Problem: High CO2 Emissions

Lack of parking space problems lead to traffic congestion and the practice of circling to find an available parking space. It costs drivers billions of gallons of gasoline annually. All this extra burned fuel releases significant greenhouse gas emissions, with broader implications for urban air quality and global climate change. 

Addressing parking congestion enhances urban mobility and is crucial in mitigating the environmental impact of parking management inefficiency.  

Solution: Enforce Protected Zones with LPR

In this case, too, LPR technology can become a valuable tool for enforcing protected zones and reducing parking congestion. LPR cameras strategically positioned at the entry points of low-emission zones can automatically capture the license plate information of entering vehicles. By cross-referencing this data with a database of authorized vehicles meeting emission standards, enforcement agencies can identify and penalize non-compliant vehicles. 

The same technology can monitor areas designated for electric vehicles or carpooling lanes, triggering enforcement workflows when violations occur. 

In time, LPR systems create a culture of environmental responsibility, encouraging sustainable practices and reducing the overall carbon footprint associated with transportation and parking.

Parking Enforcement Solutions from gtechna

The challenges of curbside management in urban environments demand a proactive response, and technology is here to help municipalities and parking managers keep pace with the dynamic nature of urban life. 

Gtechna smooths parking compliance and streamlines parking management and enforcement with a comprehensive suite of parking enforcement solutions, including software and online services, LPR technology, integrations for Ticket-by-Mail, and user-friendly kiosks. 

Smart investments in hardware and software for parking management and enforcement can help you create a foundation capable of addressing current parking issues and also equip you to prevent and mitigate the challenges that may arise in the future. 

Do you want to know more about gtechna's all-encompassing parking solutions and how we've successfully implemented and adapted them to diverse cities across North America? Contact us, and our experts will gladly offer insightful consultancy.

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