Smart Parking

Project description & goals: Installation of a smart parking system to help guide drivers to available parking stalls. 

Current Status: Real time parking stall monitoring was installed in nine lots from 2015 to 2017. Local signage is provided by the lots and real time data is available on the traffic dashboard. 

Accuracy issues were identified in small lots with high stall turnover – where a 1% miscount of several thousand vehicles per day can compound to lot-count inaccuracies to a scale greater than 10% of the number of stalls.  Tail-gating and cyclist/motorcycle/trailer-use of the lots also tends to exacerbate inaccuracy issues with the gate-counter technology implemented.  

The IT department has been pioneering the use of alternative technology to resolve the issues.  These technologies include:

  • overhead cameras with digital counting algorithms to monitor individual stall occupancy, has been installed in the Town hall lot and has proven to be meet accuracy goals while providing a number of data analytics options. 
  • A Licence Plate Recognition system – similar to the one trialed at Ti’nu –  is currently being tested for the Train Station Parking lot.
  • Vehicle detection by cameras located at lot entrances and exits.

Administration plans to commission these technologies for the reminder of the Downton parking lots by July 1, 2021.  The Firehall lot and Bear St surface lot will see the installation of overhead camera-based, individual stall occupancy systems this winter. Design work, installation, programming and commissioning of the new systems is being carried out directly by the IT department in order to maintain quality and reduce costs.

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