Making the switch from older, more traditional parking enforcement systems (think coin meters and a lot of chalk) to a new parking system – such as a more modern pay by plate solution – can revolutionize parking in your municipality. The newer systems are easier to use for parkers and administrators alike, and those towns and cities that have updated their parking enforcement have nothing but wonderful things to say about the change.
When changing to a new parking system, there’s a lot to take into account, including whether to use delineated or non-delineated spaces.While there are big benefits, there are a few facts that ought to be considered that will accompany a switch to any new parking system, whether it’s pay by space or pay by plate. There are upsides and downsides to not putting down lines and defining parking stalls, and given these issues, some cities and towns will need to take a good long look at the situation before deciding to go one way or the other.
A little bit of due diligence goes a long way here. In the spirit of helping you sort through the details, we’ve assembled some of the positives and negatives that non-delineated parking management systems bring. Weigh the pros and cons below in relation to your municipality, and you’ll be one step closer to deciding if now’s the time to move to a non-delineated approach to your parking system or not.
The pros and cons of a non-delineated parking system
- More spots available: Parking customers take up only as much space as they need, which should result in more available spaces
- More efficient enforcement: Less labor-intensive checking that’s very tech-friendly, far fewer errors without needing to sync up stall numbers
- Cleaner look, less infrastructure needed: No painted spots or related maintenance
- Multi-use payment: Ability to more easily set up a system where the parking rights may be used in several spaces within a designated zone
- More customer-friendly: More convenient, ‘pro-parker’ and possibly smartphone-based
- More efficient use of workforce: If LPR is being used, more zones can be covered. Officers may be assigned different duties which may require adjusting to new roles.
- Fewer spaces could be available: If drivers park poorly and don’t efficiently utilize space, fewer overall spaces may be available
- More violations: Without delineated spots, many drivers may park too close to crosswalks, fire hydrants, and driveways
- Confusion can lead to drive-offs: If drivers aren’t sure what to do, may find private lots
Non-delineated parking systems: A lot of ins, a lot of outs
As the above shows, there will be some hiccups that go hand-in-hand with a switch to non-delineated stalls in most parking management systems. But there are also many issues that don’t quite tie into the question of whether spots are delineated or not–be it late adopters who don’t know how to use the new technology or coming up with something to do with all those old, now-useless coin meters. However, when compared to the many benefits available, like easier fee payment and more consistent revenue, those challenges to new parking management systems don’t seem so insurmountable.
The larger point is this: the decision to move to non-delineated parking systems is not one that should be taken lightly. It’s a big change that can do a lot of good, but there are challenges, too.