More on Technology Enabled Parking Rates


More on Technology Enabled Parking Rates

The problems cities have had in setting their rates are exacerbated by the fact that although some electronic single space meters allow multiple rates, changing them and the desire for flexibility can be a problem.

New meters, both single space and P and D/P by Space units and Pay by cell programs enable planners to program rates by time of day, day of week, and location and then change those as the market demands. These have opened a new flexibility for cities that until just the past very few years were restricted to off street operations.

Cities can now experiment with rate setting and can see quickly just how the rate affects availability of space and reduces traffic congestion and cruising. These new devices, combined with in street monitoring provide data that tells cities just how their inventory is holding up and how enforcement can be better focused to ensure compliance with the parking regulations.

Cities need to keep in mind that on street rates must be higher than off street rates. This ensures that people have a choice. They can park in more convenient (but more expensive) on street locations or move quickly to a less expensive off street structure.

By the way, this also supports privately owned off street parking and entices developers to provide off street parking. With new higher on street rates, these off street locations are not competing with low on street parking rates and their owners can see the benefits of providing parking to visitors that aren't directly related to the building the structure supports.Higher on street rates may mean that private entities will take the pressure off cities to provide expensive multi level parking decks in downtown areas.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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