5 Failures of Campus Parking

March 4, 2021
By Mark Frumar

We’ve been talking to countless Universities; there’s no doubt, parking is still one of the most frustrating and confusing problems afflicting U.S. colleges and universities. In 2015, the Los Angeles Times cited that parking on U.S. college campuses has been an ongoing issue as far back as the 1950s.

Here are our 5 biggest failures of campus parking and transportation – 2021 edition:

The 5 failures of campus and university parking, Spot

1. Driver confusion/frustration in the parking process

Post COVID-19, it is predicted campuses will see an increased number of single-occupant vehicles returning to campus. With new rules, lot closures, and updates to parking permits, parking confusion is expected to be at an all-time high. Outdated pdf and static digital parking maps and signage only add to driver confusion, and many universities cannot communicate important real-time road closure information and transport updates to drivers.

2. Inefficient use of existing parking spaces

People are creatures of habit, and students and faculty get into a rhythm of where and when they can park. Up to 39% of people tend to park in the same place every time. Typically these are familiar areas, and not necessarily the best place for them to park based on their destination and permit type. Time and time again, campuses are seeing overcapacity in their most popular lots and garages.

New visitors not understanding all their options to park then add to the existing clogged hotspots. In a post-COVID world, personal car use is expected to rise, putting even more congestion pressures on campuses and generating more pollution. How would your campus parking experience improve if drivers knew about underutilized parking areas?

3. Technology ecosystem is not unified

There is a crowd of vendors who serve specific transport purposes for campuses; mobile payment, virtual permits, LPR, compliance, occupancy monitoring, entry and egress hardware - the list is endless. With no centralized management system for parking managers and organizers, this creates time-consuming processes for multiple departments to break down and understand the relevant information (creating a rigid and lengthy reporting process). A considerable amount of resources and time is often spent resolving communication breakdown issues, and delays in spotting problems and issues as they arise.

Campus Parc, powered by Spot Parking, from the Ohio State University
Learn how the Ohio State University's parking has been transformed!

4. Lack of insight into the drivers using your parking assets

Leading with a data-first approach is important to understanding key driver insights, the vital information necessary to make informed planning decisions. Without recording, analyzing, and predicting key driver data, future decisions on-campus infrastructure and mobility plans are not as effective or well supported. With billions of dollars in planning decisions being made each year, establishing accurate and detailed predictive analytics is vital to ensuring the University’s planning and development successes.

5. Uncertainty in the first step towards the future mobility vision

Universities are well aware of the issues that plague parking and mobility on campus. What is often unclear is how to take the first step toward a solution. With the affected campus environment in mind, Universities need a cost-effective, truly digital parking solution to provide a better, seamless driver experience for drivers as they start returning to campus in the coming months post COVID-19.

Do these parking problems sound familiar? Have we missed something you are encountering? Contribute to the conversation and take part in our anonymous 1-minute survey here.

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