Parking Goes Backward?
We’ve all backed into parking spaces before. More often than not, it simply makes sense. Many parking instructors and experts—including the American Automobile Association and AAA—agree that backing into a parking spot is better for both safety and efficiency. This is primarily due to the fact that when backed in, a driver is able to see more clearly when leaving the space. For this reason, many drivers have developed a healthy habit of backing into spaces, a process made ever easier by the growing presence of in-vehicle backup cameras.
Why, then is backing into spaces being banned in an increasing number of communities? In Pennsylvania, for example, Allentown Parking Authority is enforcing a new rule that requires drivers to pull into parking spaces, rather than back in or pull through. Violators face a $35 ticket, and public response has been overwhelmingly negative.
What reason could possibly justify such a bold and unpopular measure? Money, of course. Parking tickets, specifically. Like many communities, Allentown relies on license plate recognition equipment on their parking enforcement vehicles. They use cameras to capture license plate data and track violations. In Pennsylvania, however, license plates are only required on the backs of cars. In instances like this, parking enforcement cameras can’t see the rear license plates, and thusly can’t determine who’s ticket-worthy. Less tickets means less money. And that simply will not fly.
There’s no question that the new parking mandate makes it easier to ticket cars by driving around the garage scanning plates. But the additional revenue hardly outweighs the safety benefits that backing-in clearly provides, not to mention the cost of inconveniencing drivers.
While Allentown Parking Authority’s back-in ban “solution” is unique, parking is a growing problem for communities around the world. Ever-increasing demand for parking has increased the amount of traffic congestion, illegal parking and pollution.
Several cities are now prohibiting drivers from parking head-in when parking.
Many parking instructors and experts—including the American Automobile Association and AAA—agree that backing into a parking spot is better for both safety and efficiency.
In truth, many of the cities implementing such measures don’t have a parking issue- they have a tech issue. Their parking cameras can’t see around vehicles, poles or pedestrians. That’s not going to change. However, solutions like Fybr’s parking platform can make problems like Allentown’s and many more obsolete. Here’s how:
Opportunistically happening upon violations is less-than-efficient. At Fybr, our intuitive and flexible approach uses sensors that detect the presence of a vehicle in each and every space—24/7/365. Optical systems and cameras can provide false readings and create unintended privacy concerns. Fybr parking sensors replace the need for cameras, while delivering real-time information on every space to parking enforcement officers via the Fybr Enforce app. If there’s a parking violation, they are notified in real time, regardless of their location—making ticketing an exact science. With a sensor in each space supplying real-time occupancy information, communities gain the power to reduce emissions and traffic, efficiently direct drivers to open spaces, and most importantly, optimize parking revenues.
For drivers, Fybr offers more in this equation than the simple ability to park as we have since the dawn of parking. Drivers also get real-time parking availability info spaces via Fybr’s Parking Genius app. Plus the app guides drivers right to the best spots, let them see prices and allow them to pay quickly and easily, saving them time and gas, while reducing emissions.
With the growing need for parking giving rise to a variety of new problems, it’s time for a new solution. Fybr’s Parking Solution is just that- a win-win for everyone. Parking enforcement officers can work more efficiently (without compromising anyone’s rights), cities can make more money, motorists can find spots conveniently, and whenever the mood strikes, drivers can back into parking spaces!
Fybr is forward-thinking parking, indeed.
A recent study found that, in the United States, drivers on average lost 99 hours in 2019 due to congestion—two hours more than in 2017, and the highest annual amount measured to date. Urban growth trends further complicate the picture—currently over 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and by 2050, that number will exceed 68%.
COVID-19 has had a pronounced effect on U.S. cities of all sizes, leading to increased expenditures and reduced revenues virtually across the board. The projected hit to U.S. economic growth from the ensuing recession will exacerbate the situation, presenting even more challenges for cities as they struggle to maintain structural balance.
It’s no surprise that thousands of U.S. cities are anticipating significant budget cuts this year. The widespread financial chaos isn’t sparing any sector, and communities large and small are hurting. Sharp declines in tax revenues due to closing businesses are already causing cities to slash expenditures and, barring new developments, we can soon expect reductions in local public safety agencies, police department staff, public works, and more. It makes sense then, that investigating ways to rapidly inject revenue into cities has taken on a new urgency.