Illinois State University (ISU) discovers the Parking Logix OpenSpace system to help better streamline student parking in University garages.
ISU is the oldest public university in Illinois. Originally founded in 1857 as a training school for teachers, the school still boasts one of the ten largest outputs of teachers in the country. With over 20,000 students and 7 residence halls, the ISU campus is busy around the clock. The University was in search of a parking solution to help streamline the parking process. The parking department thought garage space was being underutilized while students were complaining of insufficient parking. The goal was to find a solution that could keep track of available spots and help students find them.
Illinois State University has 7 residences and a quad with closely spaced academic buildings. There are 3 campus garages, all in close proximity to academic and residence buildings, as well as more than 30 surface lots on the perimeter of the campus. The university was faced with the challenge of students and faculty members complaining that they could not find available spaces to park in the surface lots.
Despite student complaints of insufficient parking, the ISU Office of Parking and Transportation reported that permit sales for garage spaces were below capacity and the garage was in fact underutilized. The University needed a solution that could help students and faculty recognize that garage parking was in fact available. The wasted time and frustration of circling the surface lots could be alleviated by buying permits to the garages, where parking availability data would be displayed.
ISU needed a solution for its parking garages that could:
- Bring awareness to students of how many spaces were available in each parking garage
- Monitor and display up-to-the-minute occupancy data
- Be installed quickly and simply without requiring structural changes
- Offer cost-effective parking management
- Offer back-end data on occupancy statistics to aid in addressing student complaints
- Supply usage trends over time to assess when and if additional parking is necessary
The Parking Logix OpenSpace system, equipped with OpenSpace Cloud, provided ISU with the parking solution they needed to maximize usage of their student garages without the complicated installation and structural changes that other parking systems demanded. ISU has already installed the OpenSpace platform in all 3 of its garages, using the driver feedback sign to let students know how many spots are available before they enter.
- The OpenSpace system offers parking counts using sensors only at ingress and egress points, eliminating the need to install sensors in every parking spot
- The simple plug-n-play solution offers the hands-off functionality the University was aiming for
- Data is conveyed to a variable message sign at each garage’s entrance so that students know how many spots are available
- University parking staff can access occupancy data remotely using the OpenSpace cloud and can use data to respond to student phone calls or social media posts about insufficient parking
- Occupancy trends and reports offer insight into whether parking is sufficient for student needs
The OpenSpace system has been received enthusiastically by students and parking staff at ISU. Students are glad to know exactly how many spots are available at the University garages at any given time. With parking data and statistics at their fingertips, the parking department is better equipped to handle student complaints as well as to assess parking needs. As Joseph Corcoran of the ISU Office of Parking and Transportation put it, “installing the system was a breeze and everyone’s happy with it.
The OpenSpace parking counting platform has:
- Provided ISU students with accurate space availability counts prominently displayed on variable message signs so that they know how many spots are available before they enter each garage
- Allowed for accurate, up-to-the-minute parking counts at a cost-effective price without the need to wire each parking space
- Offered parking data and trends available to ISU parking staff remotely via the OpenSpace cloud, offering valuable insight into parking usage statistics