The problem of parking spaces and ways to reduce it


By Dr. Solmaz Rezaei
Head of research and consulting department

The optimal operation of urban transport systems depends on the availability of the necessary infrastructure, proper fitting of the various system components and coordination of these components, and the parking issue as one of the most important elements of urban transport, plays a vital role. Parking space is one of the three main elements of urban transport, and its proper control is one of the requirements of urban traffic management.
Nowadays one of the most important problems of metropolitan areas is the lack of parking space for vehicles, which underlies a major part of other problems, such as air pollution, noise pollution, and also waste of time and cost for citizens. The lack of balance between population and parking in cities, inappropriate location and unrealistic distribution of parking lots in the city, has created on-street parking, dual stops and cars wandering to find a parking lot and, as a result, disrupts in traffic.
Today, the lack of available parking spaces is an international problem. The most important reason for this is the imbalance between the rate of automotive industry development and increased demand for cars and the urban infrastructure expansion and public transportation. There are currently more than a billion vehicles worldwide, which are rapidly increasing. For example, in Beijing, over the past decade, the number of vehicles used has doubled to about 5 million cars, while the automotive parking space in the city alone is about 750,000. In another example in India, which is expected to become the world’s third-largest automotive market by 2020, more than 1200 vehicles enter the transportation system every day, and the lack of parking space has been a major concern for the management of its metropolitan areas.
According to available national statistics in 2016, more than one million cars were produced by automotive companies, which represents a 38% increase compared to the previous year, while the country’s transport infrastructure lacks the capacity for such a volume. According to the opinion of experts in the field of urban and traffic planning, only the Tehran metropolis needs about one million parking lots. Currently, more than 40% of the roads in large cities are spent on the marginal park of cars, which, due to the high cost of constructing and developing urban roads, has caused a lot of damage to the city. In Tehran, on average, every car travels 6% of the day, and is stationary for 94% of the remainder and requires parking.
In addition to the need to establish a common structure for public parking, residential buildings also play a significant role in reducing the scale of this problem. In the last detailed plan of Tehran, parking regulations are set equal to the number of residential units in each building, which will require the construction licensing to provide the necessary parking lots. Also, in recent years, news on the development of rules for the construction of automated parking systems for the use of properties in worn-out textures, which due to the limited area are not able to provide the minimum standard parking, but has not yet been effectively implemented in this regard.
Nowadays in the leading cities, in terms of sustainable development, modern technologies are used to provide optimal urban spaces for parking, which has far greater productivity than usual methods. Here are some examples:
Automated parking: It looks like ordinary parking lots, with the difference that it the mechanical transport of vehicles to the parking lot is mechanized and the maximum space is used in this area. In Japan, by 2012, about one and a half million car park space was available to the public.
Prefabricated parking garages: In small and even asymmetric areas, provides parking space for a certain number of vehicles in a carousel structure.
Intelligent Parking Information Technology: In this system, which can be considered as one of the most effective traffic management strategies, instantaneous information is gathered on the number of available spaces for parking in the streets and spaces available in public parking lots using technologies such as the Internet of things, and the best available options based on distance from the car is reported to the driver through various communication technologies. Such a system will have positive outcomes such as reducing vehicle fuel consumption, reducing time waste, reducing driving stress, making road traffic more fluid, and many more.