Less Is More In Parking – Except When It Isn’t
While in life many of us try to do more with less, in the parking Industry that isn’t always possible.
For close to 100 years, building codes have required builders to create many more parking spots than were needed. However, these minimal requirements have become outdated and resulted in parking lots with many more spots than needed. While a lot might fill to capacity on December 24th for the onslaught of last minute shoppers, or in an office environment on the isolated occasion that every employee, visitor, and customer happen to be there concurrently, many lots had spots that were habitually empty.
In recent years, contractors and lot owners have begun to recognize that these historic parking building codes were not cost effective and ultimately not reflective of today’s parking needs.
Many in the parking industry, including several public parking movements, have been lobbying against outdated parking requirements for new builds, and embracing the idea that building less parking spots is not only cost effective, in a world where each spot can cost lot owners tens of thousands of dollars, but sensible in a world where more people are using alternate modes of transportation.
Regardless of if a owner has over-built or not, what happens if there is a large construction project on site that talks up 30-40% of parking spaces? Or if a new tenant requires spaces at the expense of visitor inventory?
When spaces that are expected to be there, no longer are, people’s normal day-time routines are disrupted. The new parking reality can cause stress among daily parkers or regular visitors that are accustomed to getting where they need to get on time and now face an unexpected obstacle.
What can a manager do to make sure the lot doesn’t lose people’s trust who have come to depend on it? Real time occupancy can help. Providing your parkers with real time occupancy data they can trust and depend on makes sure they always have the right information they need to make the most informed decisions before they even reach their destinations.
Parking guidance and counting platforms that are web enabled are an ideal way to inform drivers of space availability early on in their journeys so they can make alternative plans if necessary. This advance data ensures that people get where they’re going on time and eliminates the stress of unexpected disruption to their schedules.
Additionally, the presence of digital signage can help direct cars to areas in the lot where there is available capacity, so that people don’t waste time searching for spaces that are no longer there.
Real time occupancy is a great way for owners and operators to manage an unexpected loss of inventory, without compromising your parkers’ trust.