Parking management in the smart mobility age
Brisbane City Council is planning to improve the city’s parking management strategies. It is looking at accomplishing this by:
- utilisation analysis and prediction of kerbside parking
- data sharing between private and public off-street parking services
- linking parking utilisation and congestion in high traffic areas
Brisbane’s kerbside parking: utilisation analysis and prediction
In 2016, Brisbane City Council (BCC) completed a pilot project using existing parking transaction data and trial parking sensor data, feeding into machine learning software to estimate parking occupancy within the city. The trial consisted of metered parking zones in five inner suburban streets.
The pilot was a successful “proof of concept”, with the system showing promise. Independent data and analysis on behavioural factors could be used to calibrate and inform the findings from this pilot, and assist BCC with any further work in this area.
Although patterns of kerbside utilisation are widely known, there is a need to develop a more refined understanding of the users, their needs, and their behaviours. This is especially needed now, given that land use and population density have continued to change in some parts of inner Brisbane and new business delivery models are emerging.
The coming introduction of disruptive technologies such as smart objects, machine learning, autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, will add additional requirements to rapidly respond to customer needs. BCC must begin preparations and planning by sourcing more in-depth analysis of user needs and behaviours that is independent and objective.
Research into parking behaviour, customer needs and resulting recommendations regarding traffic management and public transport, have been conducted in other urban environments overseas. However, specific research is required for Brisbane, as it represents a unique urban context in terms of residential area, Australian driving behaviour / reliance on private vehicles, and the scale of resources required to manage parking.
Data sharing between private and public off-street parking services
Parking in the Brisbane CBD is dominated by the major off-street car parking operators. The development of online journey planning tools, as recommended by the Brisbane Parking Taskforce (December 2014), is one of the initial stages in developing a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform for Brisbane. Emerging technology will shortly begin to change driver (and/or vehicle) behaviour in our urban centres.
There will be an increased demand for quality information through smart technology, as well as a growing customer expectation that organisations will bundle this information through shared data. Better customer information will play a greater role in determining an organisation’s ability to deliver parking. However, the public or private business model for aggregating and delivering parking information is largely unknown in Australia.
Both private and public organisations, providing shared services, will need to communicate early, accurately and effectively with customers to allow customers to choose the most effective form of transport (including potential ride-share) and plan their journey route based on constraints such as parking availability and / or pricing.
Linking parking utilisation and congestion in high traffic areas
One of the benefits in the development of parking reforms is the decrease of congestion in city streets due to the reduction of circulation caused by motorists searching for parking. However, there is minimal evidence in Australia to support this hypothesis, and any data used has been sourced from international studies. This project aims to improve the body of knowledge so that business cases can be better substantiated.
Inner Brisbane has approximately 8,000 paid on-street parking spaces that are in high demand. BCC would benefit from independent research into the degree of congestion caused by circulation looking for parking. It is proposed that empirical observations in key locations within inner Brisbane be undertaken to determine the percentage of vehicles that are circulating looking for parking.
This will lead to further in-depth gathering of constraints, benefits, costs and business model requirements. The research will focus on making recommendations to the local road authorities to assist them to refine policy around kerbside parking allocation and management.
Ongoing, this page will be a living record of this project. As it continues, matures, hits milestones, etc., we’ll add information, links, images, interviews and more. Watch this space!