How Parking Management Solutions Can Help Your City Go Green
9 Aug 2016
Everybody wants to “go green” these days, and that includes the people you serve. For every Prius or Tesla that shows up on your streets, there surely are exponentially more denizens who are making other overtures toward living more environmentally-friendly lives. And it shouldn’t be surprising that these same individuals would like to see more eco-conscious, sustainable initiatives from their municipalities as well.
The good news is most communities have gotten onto this bandwagon. It’s incredibly difficult to actually find examples of local governments that haven’t taken steps toward being more eco-conscious and sustainability-minded. This includes solar power initiatives, community gardens, city-wide composting programs, mandated recycling, watering schedules, and modern parking management solutions.
New Parking Management Solutions Clean Up Your Town
Yes, the parking management solution your city chooses has an impact on how green your city or town actually is.
A less sophisticated system seems pretty environmentally-conscious on the surface. Dropping coins in a meter, plopping a permit on a dashboard, or simple time restrictions seem relatively innocuous on the surface. However, these less sophisticated systems leave a lot to be desired from an ecological perspective.
Enforcement in the just mentioned scenarios often relies on parking enforcement officers driving around in circles all day, idling for several minutes beside a vehicle, checking meters and dashboards or chalking tires. And then there’s more idling as a ticket is written up. Of course, this is all time consuming, so an officer is able to patrol only a relatively small area, which means that many officers are needed to cover all ground.
Technologically fresh, contemporary parking management solutions are quite an improvement in these regards. The technology utilized in these modern setups may vary, but each present an opportunity to be greener.
Current parking management software, particularly the technology associated with pay by plate, may be the ticket to greater sustainability for a city. License plate recognition technology, electric vehicles, mobile technology, and e-chalking can enable an officer to very quickly determine parking rights. No idling is needed because the vehicle doesn’t need to stop as it captures plates to be enforced.
It’s also all very efficient, which means one enforcement officer can cover more ground, so there are fewer vehicles on the road, if vehicles are even needed! These solutions are lightweight, so an officer can go on foot or utilize a personal transportation device.
If a citation does need to be issued, a nearby parking enforcement officer dedicated to issuing citations can be dispatched. Then the information can be filled in automatically and printed out—again, less idling. And the ticket that’s printed? These citations are smaller than their manual counterparts, which means less paper is used.
The best part? These are only a few examples of how contemporary parking solutions and parking technology can help your community’s sustainability efforts. Depending on how you structure your parking system, you could engineer a perfect world scenario that is highly efficient, uses little energy, and produces almost no waste.
Better Parking Management Makes Everyone’s Lives Easier
The concept is about more than conserving resources and generating clean energy. Thinking more broadly, “going green” is about making our lives better on a daily basis, both now and into the future. It’s really a quality of life issue.
This is most true for municipalities with active downtowns that handle lots of commuters and visitors. Here, current parking management software and a modern system can help make the parking and driving experience more enjoyable. These encourage better traffic flow and more consistent enforcement, which saves time, money, and resources for both drivers and authorities.
Depending on the options making up the solution, any number of enhancements can be seen. There are innovative solutions which offer drivers opportunities to take care of their parking needs ahead of time, for instance. Paying in advance lets drivers go straight to an assigned spot or lot with no need for cruising around, burning fuel. Time is saved by not needing to search for a spot, and money is saved by avoiding fines. But if a citation is issued, handling is much easier, with fail safes like human error correction embedded in our current technology.
All in all, these improvements make for a much more pleasant experience.
Greater Efficiency = Going Green
Efficiency is the name of the game here. New solutions allow visitors and commuters to spend more time enjoying life and less time worrying about parking, while being more environmentally-kind in the process.
These systems also guarantee better revenue and improve the experience for enforcement officials when doing their jobs. For cities and municipalities that make sustainability and “going green” local points of emphasis, a forward-thinking parking management solution can be an important component in achieving their broader overall goal.
One such parking management solution is pay by plate. Read our recent white paper to find out how the transition to it might work for your municipality: