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167229-1 Report Abstract

Developing an Intelligent Parking System for the University of Texas at Austin

Michelle Crowder and C. Michael Walton, University of Texas at Austin, May 2003, 71 pp. (167229-1)

Because there is an increasing interest from motorists to have access to real-time information while en-route to a particular destination, advances in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) have focused on the dissemination of real time information. As central business districts, airports, transit stations, and shopping centers continue to become more crowded during peak times, demand for real-time parking information is increasing. University environments are no exception to this rule. With decreasing parking supply and increasing enrollments and faculty and staff numbers, universities are beginning to realize the importance of properly allocating available parking. Intelligent Parking Systems (IPS) can provide the positive guidance necessary to help university patrons find available parking quickly and safely; more specifically, patrons of the University of Texas at Austin, UT.

An Intelligent Parking System (IPS) could help the University of Texas reallocate parking and reduce congestion and illegal parks. Also, the university’s master plan is biased towards a system that provides university “wayfinding,” which can complement IPS. Variable Message Signs (VMS) have been considered by the university to provide “wayfinding” and parking information; however, VMS are expensive and will further clutter university street corners currently overridden with signage.

The best university IPS application should provide real-time parking information, reduce congestion, and reallocate parking for all university patrons creating more efficient use of university parking supply. Because IPS should be consistent with increased efficiency, patrons should not have to pay increased parking fees for the university’s implementation of IPS. The University of Texas should consider IPS implementation in conjunction with parking policy changes for successful deployment.

In order to meet the efficiency demands, the Intelligent Parking System needs to be utilized; if not utilized, IPS will have little or no affect on the university’s parking problems. The real challenge for the University of Texas is to begin to develop a parking system that meets the demands of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors that utilize university garage and surface parking. Current parking policy may hinder IPS effectiveness, however, if progressive changes are made to university parking policy, IPS could have positive effects on the supply and efficiency of parking at UT.

Keywords: Parking, Intelligent Transportation Systems, ITS, Intelligent Parking Systems, IPS, Advanced Parking Management Systems, Wayfinding

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 353 KBytes)