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Monitoring regulated reserved parking zones in Vic-en-Bigorre to promote the shopping zone.

Country: France
Project of: Monitoring of paid parking spaces
Main products: U-Spot
The challenge

To improve the monitoring and management of parking in Vic-en-Bigorre and to promote the central shopping zone by increasing vehicle rotation.

This small French town with an area of 32 km² and a population of almost 5,500 inhabitants was suffering from a lack of parking spaces in the city center. The few spots that did exist near the shopping zone, coupled with the large number of cars which occupied these spots for long periods of time, were causing problems for the retailers in the zone, as well as upsetting citizens.
Even though there were already regulated parking zones, monitoring them was difficult and ineffective. The main challenge was to reverse this situation: to prevent the occupancy of spots for long periods of time and to implement a system to ensure compliance with the rules.

The solution

The project implemented in Vic-en-Bigorre entailed installing 114 sensors, in addition to a comprehensive parking management system.

The proposal implemented in Vic-en-Bigorre consisted of limiting parking time in the spots located in the city center to two hours. If this period was exceeded, the vehicle’s owner was fined (with a fine set at €17).
To successfully implement the free shared parking system, the use of parking spots had to be regulated. To do so, U-Spot parking sensors were installed in 114 parking spaces, which came with a comprehensive parking management system and a mobile app to alert officers of infractions in real time and guide them to these vehicles.

Benefits of implementing this solution
  • Better parking rotation and occupancy
  • Higher officer productivity. Thanks to the alerts, vehicle-by-vehicle monitoring is not needed and officers can go directly to violations.
  • Reduction in the traffic caused by searching for a parking spot.
  • Stimulus of local retailers
  • Improves environmental quality.
In the past, the officers had to check the status of each spot one by one, whereas today they receive an alert on the violations, making their work much more productive. "On my telephone, I have the parking spot number which is posted (violation alert) (…) so I go directly to the spot where the car in violation is located," says Jean-François Latryte , a municipal police officer in Vic-en-Bigorre. "I’m very satisfied because customers can park very easily," whereas in the past they couldn’t according to Régine Grangé, a retailer in the zone. "Before, the spots were always occupied, but now it’s much easier." The mayor, Clément Menet, said that the goal of the project implemented was to prevent vehicles from staying parked in the same spot all day long. ‘It was a real problem: you couldn’t park in the center of Vic’, he admits. ‘When a mayor wants to promote the city center, they’re mainly talking about retailers, so the stores in the center aren’t at a disadvantage compared to shopping centers. Now you can come shopping in Vic and you can park’, Menet claimed in an interview for France 3 Midi-Pyrénées. See video.
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