Parking, time for idling?

On average, a car stands still for 23 hours a day. Parking is therefore an important issue. However, although the rule may be simple, the parking theme is no simple matter. It has to be considered very seriously. Many aspects are involved, from parking behaviour to the design of a parking place.

For DTV Consultants, the theme 'parking' covers everything related to vehicle parking on public roads, private sites and in buildings, such as parking policy, use and management of parking facilities and information and communication about parking.
These subjects are explored below. Whatever the aspect of ‘parking’ involved, DTV Consultants can support municipalities in the process. By conducting a survey into parking volumes, parking duration or the motives for parking. By writing and implementing a (policy) plan. Or by evaluating parking policy or the permit system.

Parking policy
A car may be parked for 23 hours a day, but this may be in different places: at home, at work, at the gym, at the cinema, at the supermarket. So one car requires a lot of space elsewhere. But that space is often not available, causing parking problems. What can the municipality do then? Expand the parking facilities? Construct parking places somewhere else? Introduce a permit system? And who will monitor it?
Parking raises many questions. In order to anticipate these questions, we develop a parking policy plan in collaboration with municipalities. This makes it easier for them to deal with the many dilemmas involved in parking. On the one hand, a municipality is a facilitator; the (historic) centre must remain accessible and one should be able to park there. On the other hand, the municipality wants to minimise disruption caused by parking. It can achieve this by banning cars in some areas or at certain times.

Parking policy must be embedded in a municipality’s total mobility policy. Furthermore, a good parking policy must take into account planning developments in the area. The establishment of a retail park or multi-screen cinema is a radical change, also for the new parking policy. The behaviour of residents also plays a role in parking policy. Sometimes it is possible to change this behaviour fast. If there are no parking places, the car driver recognises the necessity to change: park somewhere else or choose a different mode of transport. It may also create opposition. Dealing with such opposition makes parking policy and communication a specialist field. The process managers at DTV Consultants guide municipalities in this minefield.

Use and management of parking facilities
Imagine that a municipality chooses to introduce paid parking in combination with a permit system. This requires a monitoring system to check that cars have a permit or that drivers have paid to park. We have developed a method to check the efficiency of the monitoring system and to assess the willingness of motorists to pay for parking. The Monitor Betalingsbereidheid Straatparkeren (Monitoring Willingness to Pay for Street Parking) provides insight into the effectiveness of parking monitoring. The municipality thus acquires effective and efficient parking control as well as increasing the willingness to pay. We also evaluate and optimise the agreements between the municipality and the monitoring organisation.
In order to measure the quality of parking facilities, we have developed the Parking Meter. This is a continual measurement based on certain quality criteria. By using the Parking Meter, municipalities can check if the parking facility meets the quality requirements. Once a municipality has indicated what issues they feel are important – such as clean facilities, good operational parking equipment, a clearly visible parking meter – we check the scores of a parking facility and assess what can be changed, thus improving quality.

Information and communication about parking
Parking problems can be tricky and create a great deal of unrest in an area or municipality. Lack of understanding for measures or policy lines can impede the decision-making process. Information and communication about parking are therefore important. Each party must be involved: the municipality, the manager of the parking place, the retailers and the citizen. DTV Consultants provides support, for example by assessing the political feasibility, teaching those involved to deal with opposition and facilitating and organising information sessions. We understand the contents, but also the process. With the right communication, a decision will be widely supported. Ultimately, this should mean that in the 23 hours that the car is parked, it is not causing an obstruction.

More information?

For further information
please contact
Alex van Ingen
+31 (0)76 513 6600