The Problem & Solution Approaches
It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that "there's just not enough parking" in a neighborhood. In reality though, parking shortages are often limited to specific parts of a neighborhood at specific times, (www.parkingreform.org) Outside of these high traffic times, parking lots often sit open and unused.
Parking spaces can be amazingly expensive to fabricate and maintain. In aboveground structures, spaces can cost as much as $40,000 apiece. Belowground, the required excavating and shoring may run a developer $140,000 per space. Additionally, the parking industry isn’t regulated in regard to how they charge or operate. When and how they run, and how they charge for spaces is largely up to lot management, and can vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood and lot to lot.
Ford is asking developers to reimagine parking lots using software to make them:
- More modern: Parking has been described as a 100-year old industry that acts that way.
- Less demanding: The search for parking impacts: trip length, fuel economy, and congestion.
- More efficient: Cities face significant costs related to parking lot maintenance and these can impact overall economic competitiveness of a city.
- More usable: In a study of one specific area of Los Angeles (2003) it was found that 40% of off-street parking was in surface lots. Additionally, the study revealed that while weekday parking has high occupancy, there is considerable parking available in the evenings, weekends, and especially Sunday.