Monday, October 08, 2007

Intelligent Parking Meters & Parking Problems

Here are two latest stories coming out regarding the issue of car-parking. One involves the introduction of intelligent parking meters in a UK town; the other is about the effect of building parking for many US cars.

The Guardian writes in 'Car park meters can call for help':

A town is introducing "intelligent" car-park ticket machines which can automatically text for help if anyone attempts to break into or damage them. The 150 pay-and-display ticket machines equipped with Sim cards will also automatically request a service if they malfunction and, if full, will call for their money boxes to be emptied.

The £3,000 solar-powered wireless machines will come into operation in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on Monday. Their cries for help will be sent via text and picked up at a 24-hour control centre in Bristol and a new parking information centre in Eastbourne.

Worldchanging's post titled 'How To Fix Our Parking Problems' discusses how

Roadbuilding unleashes a chain of detrimental effects on the natural world. Cars produce greenhouse-gas emissions; roads produce sprawl; sprawl necessitates more cars; more cars need more roads; the cycle continues.

What's been less fully explored is the effect of building parking for all those cars. Or, more accurately, building surplus parking. According to a surprising new study out of Purdue University, parking spaces "in a midsize Midwestern county" (Tippecanoe) actually outnumbered cars three to one. Because the study did not count every floor in multi-level parking garages, the actual number was probably higher, with those excess spots including oversized suburban lots in front of strip malls, driveways and residential carports; and parking garages to serve large office parks.


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