Moving to the Curb

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PARKING MRNRGEMENT Moving to the Curb Management helps cities make informed decisions By Michael Bradner M aking good policy decisions requires data. Cit ies, r example, need a clear picture of their curbs be re implementing any changes to park ing allocation, prices, or bylaws. But today gain ing this understanding can be difficult because demand r the curb is changing. Where once a city simply had to allocate spots to private ve hicle parking, today's curb must have parking spots as well as designated areas r ride hail services, loading zones, recharging stations, flex zones, and bike-sharing stations. With such high demand r the curb, managing this valuable asset is critical. The ct that many cities lack the essential data necessary to make in rmed policy decisions means they are miss ing an opportunity to improve the lives of their citizens. Fortu nately, by working with an advanced parking management sys tem that collects and correlates data om multiple sources, cities can now generate actionable in rmation in almost real time that can be used to implement more effective parking and mobility policies. Curb management, as opposed to parking management, uses data to help cities make in rmed decisions about how to improve space efficiency and compliance. This more expansive approach, which includes parking and various rms of transportation, of fers greater flexibility and can be used in a variety of ways. It rec ognizes that the curb is in high demand and that those demands change over time. For example, the demand r a loading zone 56 can peak first thing in the morning and then disappear on the weekend. A city can't afford to waste that space. GETTING PARKING PRICES JUST RIGHT One way that cities can help their citizens is by improving traffic flow. Full parking occupancy downtown leads to drivers circling multiple blocks looking r spaces. This can have a detrimental impact on business in a city's center as it causes drivers to have a negative experience driving downtown. It can also significantly increase the risk of pedestrian and vehicular accidents as drivers make unsafe decisions to grab any spot that becomes available. The optimal parking occupancy in a city is 15% ee space at any given time. When a city has less than 15% ee space, it indicates that parking prices are too low. And, if prices are too low, people choose to drive downtown rather than take public transportation, which increases congestion and reduces pedes trian sa ty. Increasing the cost of parking can help alleviate this problem as it encourages people to change their behavior. With the right pricing, a city can make it cost effective r people to park down town r an hour but too expensive r longer when compared to the cost of taking public transportation. As a result, some people will decide to leave their cars at home if they intend to stay down town r a long time, reducing both traffic and occupancy rates and increasing road safety. In the past, it was difficult r cities to effectively implement JULY/AUGUST 2021 I SECURITY TODAY

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