Improving the management of parking spaces in loading and unloading areas is a necessary measure in any city’s mobility plan. In recent years we have seen a boom in e-commerce, so part of urban policies should focus on helping transport companies to deliver the last mile in an orderly manner and on achieving an ideal coexistence between all users: from pedestrians to vehicles.
Because in addition to the proliferation of on-line commerce, all town centres have traditional businesses that need to use these parking spaces reserved on public roads to function properly. From receiving and dispatching goods to parking for order deliveries, drivers of goods and transport company vehicles are those allowed to use loading and unloading parking spaces.
All other users of vehicles of any kind, including Personal Mobility Vehicles (PMVs), may neither park nor stop in these spaces. But every day we see misuse of parking spaces reserved on public roads. And that causes all kinds of traffic problems in cities: from traffic jams to high concentration of vehicles looking for parking (traffic jostling) because the misuse of loading and unloading spaces or double-parked cars causes a knock-on effect.
For these reasons, at Urbiotica we want to offer technological solutions to put an end to the misuse of loading and unloading spaces in cities. The benefits of these tools are for all citizens, with repercussions on the economy, mobility and on tourism.
Technology for improving the management of parking spaces in loading and unloading areas
The technology used to serve the interests of cities and their inhabitants is reflected in solutions for unloading spaces such as the U-Spot sensors, which are flush-mounted, magnetic, autonomous single-space parking sensors. Detection is also possible with cameras processing images through U-Spot VISIO Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning software.
How do they operate and improve the management of spaces reserved for goods unloading and unloading?
Detection of a vehicle occupying a reserved parking space
These sensors and cameras, which operate over NB-IoT or LoRaWAN communication networks, detect the presence of vehicles in reserved and regulated parking spaces such as loading and unloading zones. So, when a vehicle parks in the space, it is checked whether or not it is authorised to do so. If it is not, an alert is issued for the driver to remove the vehicle to allow the space to be used by authorised delivery drivers and carriers of goods transport companies or similar.
In this sense, they simply detect that there is a car occupying the space, but in what concrete way can they effectively control parking spaces in loading and unloading areas?
Mobile app to confirm authorised drivers
The 360º solution includes a mobile app to confirm and verify that authorised drivers and users of these technologies are those parking in the spaces. The identification is therefore error-free, reliable and perfectly distinguishes between authorised and unauthorised users.
In this way, the technology combines different devices (detection sensors or cameras, advanced communication networks and mobile apps) at the service of orderly and sustainable urban mobility to ensure that only authorised vehicles park.
The app also tells drivers how much time they have available, i.e., it tells them how much time is left before the parking space has to be used by another driver. In an orderly, simple and efficient way, working time is optimised and transporter productivity is increased.
Real-time guidance of hauliers to free loading and unloading spaces
Another technology that serves to improve the management of parking spaces in loading and unloading zones in cities is the ParkTime app. How does it work? It is a mobile app that guides drivers to free spaces in real time.
Thanks to this application, hauliers do not have to drive around looking for an available loading and unloading space to park. If this guidance is added to detection and confirmation by authorised drivers through the app, the digital solutions listed in this article lead to huge cost savings and a reduction in the environmental impact of vehicle traffic.
Why? Because it reduces the time vehicles spend on city streets looking for parking, in this case in the freight transport sector. This speeds up the time it takes to find a parking space, get the job done and free up the loading and unloading space. At the same time, it reduces stress, eases traffic congestion, reduces noise pollution from traffic jams and improves all city dwellers’ life and health.
Efficient control to ensure the good use of spaces
Finally, an essential function is the control of loading and unloading spaces. By detecting space misuse by both unauthorised users and those overstaying their time, real-time alerts of these violations can be sent to the wardens.
This monitoring optimises the usual control routes, resulting in more efficient management and reduced costs. But the benefits go beyond operational savings. By feeling the existence of comprehensive surveillance, users tend to make better use of parking spaces, which in turn improves overall mobility.
This efficient control system not only optimises resources and reduces costs, but also promotes parking enforcement. The result is the creation of a more orderly and accessible parking environment, leading to greater satisfaction of both users and citizens in general.
The reality of parking spaces in loading and unloading areas
Here are some solutions for loading and unloading areas to improve their control and efficiency in urban centres. Why are they necessary and should be implemented in cities, with successful examples in Castellón de la Plana and Teruel? The first reason is to prevent misuse of loading and unloading parking spaces, because of the traffic problems this causes, and the work of hauliers mentioned above.
It is this reality that has led cities to implement technological solutions in this area, with the aim of curbing traffic chaos and congestion that is detrimental to all citizens and vehicle drivers. Providing a solution benefits everyone, promotes the general well-being of all inhabitants and results in better urban mobility and a higher quality of life.
Sustainable mobility in Spain according to IMSCE 2021
The importance of improving sustainable mobility is evidenced by results such as those of the second Index of Sustainable Mobility Cities in Spain (IMSCE) 2021, prepared by Idencity together with the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC). This report, based on analysis of 138 indicators in 82 cities, details that the average score of Spanish cities is 50.8%.
These indicators, divided into five categories – mobility and transport, environment, economy, society and government – reflect a variety of factors, from accessibility and use of public transport to air quality and the level of greenhouse gas emissions, among others. It aims to provide a comprehensive and balanced overview of the current situation of sustainable mobility in these cities.
In terms of the indicators of supply and demand for mobility services, Spanish cities score an average of 44.2% and 41.6%, respectively. The offer indicator refers to the availability and quality of sustainable transport options, such as public transport, cycling infrastructure and pedestrian areas. On the demand side, this indicator measures how much these sustainable options are actually used by citizens.
On the other hand, the indicator of the physical structure of the area, which evaluates elements such as population density, proximity of services and connectivity of the transport network, receives an average score of 42.9%.
These data reflect the importance of continuing to work to improve the supply and use of sustainable mobility services, as well as mobility-oriented urban planning in Spanish cities. The aim should be to achieve higher scores on these sustainable mobility indicators in order to build cleaner, more efficient and friendlier cities. Therefore, at Urbiotica we are convinced of the need to invest in digital solutions to improve the management and control of parking spaces in loading and unloading zones, and the rest of the reserved and regulated parking spaces in cities. Traffic density, pollution and parking problems for various reasons mean that there is no alternative but to look for solutions to avoid the collapse of city centres. And when it comes to the loading and unloading of goods, this technology already exists and is highly efficient.
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