A guest post by Glenn Caldwell, our local council specialist consultant
A recent article published on Parking World's site reports on the latest changes being made to Los Angeles older style parking
Amir Sedadi of the Los Angeles Office of Parking
Management, Planning & Regulations expressed interest in the future of
on-street parking technology, yet realises that something needed to be done
immediately to update the older single space parking meters.
“We found ourselves in an interesting position a few
years ago” Amir said. “We knew we needed to update our method of on-street
revenue collection. We had done studies with pay-by-space, pay-and-display and
single-space meters. The main criteria had to be that they would accept credit
cards and would work reliably.”
Parking fees in Los Angeles are on the increase –
beyond the capacity for the older single head meters to handle. Although Los
Angeles was considering a public-private-partnership option (PPP) to expedite
the upgrade process, they decided to enter a 3 year lease-to-own program that
allowed their single head parking meters to be upgraded with the latest credit
card technology. The parking meter posts were retained in the process.
is up by an average of 50% where the new meters were installed, and that’s
without changing any rates or hours,” said Dan Mitchell, Senior Transportation
Engineer. “Meters are up and running more than 99% of the time.........
enforceable citations at the new meters were up 15%,” Mitchell said
The City is currently in a test program with Streetline Inc. to install individual space-monitoring devices on-street. Focused
primarily on the Hollywood area, the 1,000-space pilot program will transmit
information back to the LA management centre to be used to direct enforcement.
“By sending enforcement staff to areas where multiple violations were reported,
the department was able to increase effectiveness by 250%,” Sedadi said. “A
special iPhone app identifies potential violations and tracks enforcement of
those spaces in real-time.”
In the near future LA will introduce ExpressPark as a
means of integrating on-street vehicle sensors, off-street occupancy systems
and parking guidance. By adopting a Don Shoup theory of demand based pricing,
ExpressPark will be able to set prices to ensure parking availability of
between 10% to 30%. By adjusting pricing in certain areas, and providing
real-time parking availability information, drivers will be able to make quick
decisions as to where they can park and at what cost.
In our opinion, cashless payments are gaining
significant popularity for smaller ad hoc purchases (such as on-street parking
fees) and Parking Authorities ignoring this trend will likely incur significant
loss in revenue. Compounded by rising parking costs, motorists are finding it
harder to scrape together coins to feed the meters leading to forced
non-compliance. There are several other benefits of introducing credit card
technology – reduced cash handling costs, better meter performance, and reduced
exposure to fraud.
Parking sensors are also gaining in popularity – most
likely due to their adaptability to a wider range of parking management models.
Parking sensors can be used as a stand alone solution to gauge vehicle
compliance and turnover without the assistance of meters. However even in a
Pay-and-display environment, sensors can assist with the management of vehicle
turnover – eliminating the risk of motorists overstaying the allowable time
restrictions by purchasing additional ticket parking. Introducing parking sensors
ultimately provides the parking authority with real time information and
negates the need for regular and costly parking surveys. Accuracy and
reliability of such a system is important as it can dramatically reduce the
number of motorists contesting parking infringements (another significant
social and financial burden for Councils).