For many, many years, the chalking of tyres has been the only method with which to monitor parking overstay activity. But this exhausting process of marking and then revisiting the car to check the tyre(s) a second time is physically demanding, extremely time-consuming, and can be easily 'gamed' by drivers wishing to avoid an infringement.
Penrith City Council were keen to trial a technology that could digitise this process, and asked Duncan Solutions to provide a more effective parking management solution.
A Vehicle Detection Sensor trial to prove effectiveness
"In 2015, management agreed to trial a new vehicle detection system in our Edwards Place parking area," explains Noel Fuller, Ranger and Animal Services Coordinator at Penrith City Council. "Over two days, the Duncan team installed a sensor into each of the 82 spaces within the car park. Once live, the sensors began to monitor every vehicle that entered and exited the zone."
Duncan Solutions has worked with Penrith before, engaging in X3 system trials in 2011 and providing ongoing support for infringements in the parking sphere.
"Our enforcement teams were equipped with Android smartphones, and were able to see the overstay status of each vehicle within the AutoISSUE infringement issuance application. Officers could remotely monitor when a car parked, and how long it then remained in place."
This allowed Council to test the accuracy and latency of the sensors in the field, and ensure that the data was correct, and being displayed on the officer's smartphone device within seconds of a vehicle arriving/departing.
Data capture and analysis
Though Council chose not to enforce against the sensor data during the initial three month trial period, each and every potential infringement opportunity for non-compliant vehicles was recorded by the system from the first day of the trial, and could be reviewed by Council administrators and management in PEMS (Duncan's 'Parking Enterprise Management System') at any time.
Penrith Council collated an unprecedented volume of rich parking data over the course of three months, as Noel explains.
"We tracked all parking events in the trial zone during business hours, and could analyse vehicle turnover figures, average occupancy rates, and potential overstay events." And for the first time ever, Council could determine an exact non-compliance rate, and it was high.
This level of insight was startling for Council's compliance team. But it was revolutionary for their traffic engineers, who were suddenly able to access detailed parking occupancy data at the touch of a button. Prior to the vehicle sensors, this sort of information could only be obtained by hiring a third party consultancy firm, who would typically contract students to record vehicle movements on clipboards and present a report after several months of preparation.
A decision was soon made to make the vehicle sensors a permanent fixture in the Edwards Place car park, and Council gave the go ahead to begin writing infringements based on the sensor data captured.
Simple Expansion of Intelligent Parking technology
The trial of vehicle detection sensors and PEMS has helped the compliance team to change driver behavior in the Edwards Place car park. Non-compliant parking has fallen since the implementation of the sensors, and Council will soon issue a public tender for the installation of more sensors across the Penrith CBD.
"Everything worked really well, and we hope to keep going. Duncan's specialists can remotely access the sensors through PEMS, which means any issues can be solved quickly – we don't have to wait for someone to come on-site," Noel noted.
Duncan Solutions' PEMS provides the backbone upon which further 'integrated parking' technology can be delivered. Should Council wish to add meters, pay by phone, digital signage, or fixed and mobile LPR cameras to help manage their parking, PEMS' open platform architecture makes it easy.
If you are interested in improving compliance management in your jurisdiction, contact Duncan Solutions today.