The Dutch city of Winterswijk has previously suffered from parking congestion and reduced accessibility during peak hours. It is a small city, but is flooded with German visitors during the weekend. The parking situation involves many small surface lots that fill up quickly, which results in an increase in ‘search traffic’ that leads to congestion; a nuisance for the surrounding residential neighborhoods. The city council asked the Keypoint consultancy to conduct a study to investigate the parking situation. The company’s solution was Nedap SENSIT; a system that uses wireless in-ground sensors to provide a real-time overview of parking occupancy based on vehicle presence within each individual parking space.
Now that the in-ground sensors and routing signs have been installed, visitors are first directed to the large parking area on the outskirts of the city center, with space for around 500 vehicles. Once full, drivers are directed to three smaller surface lots via variable message signs (VMS). In the future, the parking information will also be provided via in-car systems and smartphones. The system is expected to be fully operational in the next few weeks, initially for 180 parking spaces at two locations.
Koen Hobbelink of system supplier Nedap AVI, explained, “The construction of extra parking facilities for just the peak times would not be cost-effective, so better utilization of the current facilities was the best option. In collaboration with road sign manufacturer Agmi, we are installing routing signs in the city that show the number of available parking spaces in the surface lots and ‘blue zone’ street parking spots. Sensit can not only eliminate search traffic, but also provide excellent insight into capacity utilization. The Winterswijk local council will have real-time information about the capacity utilization at each parking area, as well as historical data. The same is true for parking duration, which means that quantitative analyses can be conducted, for the benefit of both the residents and visitors. Measurement means that well-founded decisions can be made on the matters of parking and accessibility, while avoiding the necessity for huge investments.”
29 June 2012
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