Parking: from a problem to a resource
Looking for parking is an activity that, as drivers, we usually consider a waste of time because it divides us from our occupations like how to spend hours of leisure, come home after a day of work or otherwise arrive on time at work.
With the increase in cars and traffic, a “parking race” is triggered more and more often, causing negative consequences for us and the environment, in terms of stress and pollution.
We have identified six aspects on which we can work to create economic and social benefits through parking, turning it into a resource.
An organized parking plan saves time.
According to a recent English study, drivers waste around 2,549 hours of life looking for parking.
➡️ The average person who owns a car spends around 106 days of his life looking for a place to leave it. It is more than three months. Those days are moments taken away from work, family or leisure.
How to gain money.
According to a famous study by Donald Shoup, professor of urban planning at the University of California UCLA, we drive about half a mile more to search for a parking space. The costs for the citizen are considerable and can be of different types:
⭕️ cost for using fuel, which increases according with distances and time needed to find a parking space;
⭕️ cost in terms of opportunities for the citizens, who would have used the time differently;
⭕️ cost in terms of opportunities for the municipality, which loses the gain from the parking of the citizens that are engaged in searching for a parking space.
✔️ A dive into Sharing Economy, an example of how to gain money.
In Rome, a place in a private garage in Viale Aventino costs 50 cents an hour, € 8 for the whole day, € 50 for a week or € 170 for a month. In Milan, for the equivalent in Porta Ticinese, € 7 per day or € 50 per week is required. For those studying in Bologna, in the University area (Via San Giacomo) it is possible to leave the bike or motorbike in a safe place with € 5 for the whole day or € 15 per week.
With some applications you can manage your garage as a sort of Airbnb. If you have a box that remains unused for most of the day, you can rent it to those who need it, imposing an hourly or weekly cost.
➡️ This is a real warning: if the Administrations do not adopt innovative instruments and policies, people will think about it.
Unorganized parking causes traffic jams.
At least 30% of the traffic in downtown areas consists of cars looking for parking. It is a huge amount, considering that the search for a place is only the last part of a journey. The infrastructures of the city centre are often a bottleneck due to the difficulty to find parking, triggering a chain effect that spreads to other areas of the city.
➡️ The policy that according to the Economist has done more damage in many cities of the world is that of “minimum parking“: for each new building must be guaranteed the construction of a minimum number of parking spaces so that people who live or work in that place can use them.
In the United States this is a highly-followed policy and over the years has led to considerable distortions, encouraging a disproportionate use of cars compared to other means of transport.
An unorganized parking steals our living space.
The lack of accurate data on parking and the lack of innovative mobility policies have spread a paradoxical problem: it is estimated that about a third of urban parking bays is empty at any time.
Clearly to get out of the idea of “minimum parking” and provide more information to citizens are the first steps to change these habits which now belong to another era.
✔️ Smart Parking solutions are the key to embark on a journey of efficiency and benefits for all.
An unorganized parking area pollutes the environment.
According to ISTAT analysis in 2016, the most felt problems by families, in relation to the area where they live, were air pollution (38.0%), traffic (37.9%) and parking difficulties (37.2%).
To this must be added that the search for a parking space is currently the cause of a third of urban traffic and an important share of exhaust emissions.
✔️ To live in cleaner cities, traffic policies should start by addressing the critical issues related to parking.
➡️ Nowadays technology and expertise allow us to reduce the environmental impact on our cities, combining strategies of movement of vehicles and people thanks to the aggregation of data deriving from the various hardware and software devices installed.
Unorganized parking is a huge cause of stress for drivers.
One Italian family out of three considers looking for a parking space a problem. According to a 2010 ISTAT analysis, 40% of households get stressed because of parking and traffic: an irreverent combination for those forced to fight with the neighbourhood to be able to place their car in a rectangle of five meters by two.
⭕️ On the Italian podium of the most “stressed parking” are:
1. Liguria (52,9%)
2. Lazio (51,9%)
3. Campania (48,4%)
Without too many distinctions, the “parking war” is a dramatic scene of everyday life. Finding a free place is complicated, often the payment methods are difficult and obsolete and it is obviously annoying to receive fines.
Smart parking systems like the one we offer are ideal for overcoming these complexities.
➡️ We believe in technological innovation and we think that only through an innovative path we will be able to build solid foundations for the future of our cities.
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Smart Parking Systems®