Parking guidance system
The aim of this measure is to design and implement a real-time parking guidance system that will inform drivers about the occupancy rates of the most relevant parking lots in the city of Monza.
Implementing sustainable mobility
As Monza expands it is increasingly important that all parking areas are clearly identified with the real time availability of parking sites. Since 2009, Monza became the capital of the Province of Monza and Brianza, and as a consequence traffic to the existing institutions (Hospital, University) and local government offices (Province, Police) has increased. In order to deal with the new traffic situation, the city recognised the importance of making parking areas, together with real time availability of parking sites, clearly identifiable. In addition, every September Monza hosts Formula 1 Grand Prix, and more than one hundred thousand people arrive into the city - parking information will be imperative during these periods.
After conducting a study aimed at identifying the most important and used parkings in the city and the traffic flows directed to the city centre (where most of parkings are located), an agreement with parking owners has been found about the location of a new signalisation helping the parking searchers and also about reciprocal obligations concerning the implementation of the measure.
The tender, managed by Trasporti Pubblici Monzesi TPM, was published in January 2011 and awarded to Solari of Udine. The contract was signed in October 2011.
After a careful inspection and decision on idoneous locations of panels, related with technical aspects of the installation ,streetworks have been completed and all 55 scheduled panels have been installed. The system has been activated on March 26th 2012. All Monza parkings but one (which is still not connected due to the high costs of car counting system updating) have interfaced to the central system.
The evaluation strategy was focused on investments faced by Comune of Monza to implement the measure, and checking the awareness of theI implementation between car drivers. The main issue has been measuring the occupancy rate of the parkings in the city.
- Key result 1 - The implementation of the system has required an important investment by Comune of Monza, which will nevertheless improve the situation of traffic in the city, reducing parasitic traffic of cars looking for a free parking place.
- Key result 2 – The implementation of infoparking system represents an important technological evolution in parking management. Before the implementation of this measure, Comune of Monza was not aware of the occupancy rate of parkings if not for data provided by parking owners, which, as shown in this document, are far from reliable. With the infoparking system, data are now much more reliable and can be used to better understand distribution of cars in the different parkings of the city.
- Key result 3 – The implementation of the system is well known and accepted by citizens, who would also welcome further improvements, like webservices or smartphone applications to check parking availability.
During the implementation of the measure, some barriers appeared as the difficulty in involving all parking owners (one of them has not interfaced his system yet), or an appeal against the tender assignment (which has delayed the starting of implementation). Some problems in achieving energy connection for all panels have had to be solved due to the long and slow bureaucracy of the supplier.
On the other hand, almost all parking owners have been strongly committed in cooperating for the good result of implementation, so the installation of the system can be considered an important achievement both as far as technological improvements are concerned (data about occupancy rate of parkings is now much more reliable) and for the new service offered to citizens and to visitors coming from outside Monza.
Such a measure can be replicable in each city in order to achieve reliable data concerning the occupancy rate of parkings,. These data can prove very useful for decision makers to take decisions concerning traffic and also to direct traffic flows to parkings which are not particularly crowded in order to avoid traffic congestion.
The experience of Monza, however, has though that involvement of parking owners is an important step to gain approval for a complete implementation of the system, since a balance has to be found when planning the number of panels to be installed in order not to occur in competition between operators.
Another important aspect to be considered when planning the installation of this kind of system is the definition of location of panels, for a better management of traffic flows, on the one hand, and for defining technical aspects especially as far as power supply is concerned,,