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The Vital Role of Parking Infrastructure in Car-Centric Cities

Park Assist Solutions 16.04.2024

Cheshire, CT – April 16, 2024 – In the busy streets of our modern cities, the sight of red taillights making their way through traffic has become a familiar one. The United States is undoubtedly car oriented, car dependent, and truly car obsessed, reflecting a deeply ingrained cultural attachment to our vehicles. Forecasts by Forbes suggest that the upward trend in car ownership, which rose 3.5% between 2018 and 2022, is set to continue despite the ever-rising costs of ownership, including: maintenance, fuel, insurance, taxes and fees, and parking.

With more vehicles on the roadways than ever before, the need for adequate parking space has never been more critical. Yet, as our cities strive to balance development with sustainability, a paradigm shift is occurring.

A Shift Toward Urban Sustainability

In years past, commercial and residential developments were required to include a minimum number of parking spaces per person or residence when planning and developing new construction. This mandate served as the foundation for parking infrastructure in America, ensuring there were spaces to accommodate the growing number of vehicles on the road. Today, however, county and city governments from Raleigh, NC, to Austin, TX, to Lexington, KY, to San Jose, CA, are removing and these requirements for new businesses, aiming to preserve green space within their communities and encourage travelers to consider alternative methods of getting around like ridesharing or public transportation. While these initiatives are highly commendable, they bring new complexities and challenges that business owners and developers must navigate.

New parking structures are, understandably, not constructed frequently due to the substantial cost of materials, labor, and real estate. As a result, existing parking spaces are invaluable assets that must be managed efficiently in order to balance the need for adequate parking space with the vision for sustainable urban development.

An Opportunity to Rethink Parking As We Know It

Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA and leading authority on the impact of parking and transportation, penned his book The High Cost of Free Parking in 2005 and its message is just as important now as it was then – maybe more so. In his book, Shoup emphasizes the importance of rethinking traditional approaches to parking management and spells out the negative societal and economic impacts that mismanaged parking resources can have.

Efficient management of parking infrastructure is not only prudent from a financial standpoint but also essential for urban sustainability. In the rapidly evolving urban landscape that we see today, cities are grappling with congestion, pollution, and limited space. By embracing practices and technology that improve parking efficiency, businesses and municipalities can both optimize their valuable parking assets and do their part in creating and maintaining greener, more sustainable communities.

The Right Tools for Improved Parking Management

Products from TKH Security, the Park Assist Solution, play a pivotal role in this effort, offering cutting-edge solutions that maximize parking efficiency while supporting environmental stewardship. Through its innovative automated parking guidance system (APGS) technology, the Park Assist Solution streamlines parking operations, reducing the time it takes for vehicles to find parking spots by up to 63%. This not only enhances the overall parking experience for customers but also reduces fuel usage and emissions, contributing to a cleaner and greener environment.

Additionally, the APGS extends the lifespan of existing parking structures, minimizing the need for costly renovations or new construction. By optimizing space utilization, these tools and technology help businesses extract the maximum value from their parking assets, thereby delaying or even eliminating the necessity to build additional facilities.

The features and benefits of the Park Assist solution combine to streamline operations and maximize revenue. Employees are no longer needed to count cars or direct drivers to available spaces, giving them more time to spend on more impactful work. And with 10% more space utilized, adding an APGS can improve parking efficiency leading to more revenue from the facility.

“In today’s rapidly evolving urban landscape, efficient parking management isn’t just about convenience—it’s about sustainability. With the Park Assist Solution, companies can optimize their parking assets while embracing a future where efficient transportation is key,” said Pete Messman, North America General Manager.

The Future of Parking Infrastructure

Advances in the country’s transportation infrastructure are not often quick but are inevitable. Consider the evolution of seatbelt usage (arguably one of the largest developments in vehicle legislation), which was not widely adopted for nearly three decades following its mandate. Similarly, improvements in parking efficiency may take time but sowing seeds of efficiency today will create a solid foundation from which you reap benefits for years to come.

As cities assess the efficacy and necessity of parking regulations and embrace alternative methods of transportation, businesses must adapt to ensure the most efficient utilization of their parking assets. By investing in innovative parking management solutions such as the automated parking guidance system (APGS), companies can position themselves for long-term success while contributing to the sustainability of their communities.