At Seattle Children’s Hospital, OpenSpace parking guidance systems upgrade the parking experience for parents, visitors, employees, and parking staff.
Nationally recognized by US News and World Report as one of the top ten children’s hospitals in America, Seattle Children’s is a busy medical facility that treats thousands of children at its cutting-edge facility in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.
The state-of-the-art medical facility at Seattle Children’s has an array of entrances with a variety of parking lots and garages, most of which tend to be pretty full and all of which are operational 24/7 and subject to frequent turnover. Until recently, the hospital conducted daily manual vehicle counts, which gave them some data to work with but not sufficient information and without real-time access. They also maintain parking data based on employee parking badge swipes but that data can be hard to sift through and is not highly accurate.
Seattle Children’s wanted a parking counting system that would offer real-time availability data to patient families, visitors, and employees to guide them into available parking lots. They wanted the option to simply display if spaces were available or not without showing exact numbers of available spots so as not to discourage drivers by high usage rates.
The goal was to find a parking platform that would improve the parking experience at the hospital, reduce congestion in and around its parking lots, and offer usage insights to guide them in how many day passes they could give employees for lots that are more conveniently located to the medical buildings.
After conducting research on several parking lot technologies, Seattle Children’s chose OpenSpace by Parking Logix. The system offered the same accuracy as other systems at a much lower price point. Hospital staff also liked that it offered the flexibility of mobile sensor components that could be relocated as necessary without the need for in-ground installation in each space. The option to customize signage gave them the ability to display open/full without showing actual numbers of open spots.
Starting with a pilot program in two of its lots, the hospital monitored the accuracy carefully and worked with Parking Logix to build and assemble the system exactly how the hospital envisioned. To date, the facility has purchased 7 OpenSpace systems. Five are being used in the hospital’s currently operational parking lots and garages. The 6th will be used in a lot that is under construction and the 7th is for a lot that is currently in the planning stages.
A brightly lit LED sign lets drivers know whether spots are available or not as they approach each of the garages or lots. A sign below that lets drivers know the next closest lot in case of insufficient availability.
Data from the parking counting systems is integrated with the hospital’s database in addition to being available on the Cloud for staff to review, analyze, and report on.
The OpenSpace systems at Seattle Children’s offer real-time, highly accurate data on parking availability, offering parking staff valuable insight into usage throughout the day and night hours. More importantly, it helps guide parkers into lots with available spots, offering them reassurance when parking is available and saving them time searching when it isn’t.
The data from OpenSpace also allows the hospital to better ascertain how many day passes to give employees at lots close to the facilities, so that they don’t have to park at further, less convenient lots as they did previously.