Availability of On-street Parking Space in the City of Windsor

Published: 2021-09-13 07:15:09
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Category: Lifestyle, Europe

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The purpose of this project is to develop an application that can provide availability for on-street parking space in the city of Windsor. Finding a suitable parking spot in a city like Windsor is the time-consuming and challenging task, also it pollutes the air by burning redundant fuel. In this fast-paced life, people do not want to waste their time looking for a parking space. To address this problem, we believe that there should be a parking reservation system that will indicate the available parking spot on the street and let the user park the vehicle on the spot. The objective is to propose a smartphone application. The process of finding a parking space can be made fast and easy. Every app user will be a few clicks away from guaranteed and paid parking. The model presented reflects the use of RFID sensors, which will communicate the availability of the parking spot to the user. It is believed that the app would always suggest the best suitable parking space for the user.
Windsor is a developing city of Canada in terms of education, work and population as well. The residents in the Windsor city have increased with a considerable amount over the past couple of years. To commute in this city, people need to buy cars to manage their travelling time. In a survey done by the Windsor government, the number of cars and trucks were around 72,135 in 2002. And that figure has raised to 117,165 as per 2016 census [1]. As a result, the percentage of consumption of vehicles has grown to 62.42% in these 14 years [2]. For the above mentioned number of vehicles, we have only 4,355 parking meters present in city of Windsor that include 1,456 on-street parking locations, 29 off street parking lots cover 1,449 parking spaces, and 3 municipal garages providing 1,450 parking space [3]. This number does not go right with the ratio of figure of vehicles and population of city of Windsor.The team describes a proposal to increase the accessibility of already allocated on-street parking spots in the city of Windsor. A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensor will be embedded in every on-street parking meter. Working principle of the sensor is to sense the free parking place and notifies the user about the parking space through the parking application. The sensor will only allow the user if a parking spot is available otherwise with the aid of parking application, user can find the closest vacant parking location. This will help to eliminate parking problems in the Windsor. Application’s benefits include:

User can reserve his/her parking through application.
Users can know their parking meter ending time.
The application will be made for both android and apple user.
Online payment option will be facilitated for the parking meters.

The cost of the total project is approximately 400,000 Canadian Dollars for two years. The implementation plan is divided into four zonal areas, that include the North zone, East zone, West zone and South zone of Windsor city.
After the successful implementation of this application, it surely will reduce parking problems in Windsor city and save time and money of every app user, which will in turn lead to a better lifestyle and a financial growth improvement of Windsor city.
Windsor is the Ontario’s southmost city and is situated across the shores of the Detroit River. This city is giving a vital contribution to Canada’s automobile industry [10]. Nowadays, the population is also increasing in Windsor as compared to the last decade. More International students are coming to study at university than past two decades. One of the basic needs of students and the public is a vehicle. Because of less transportation facility and lesser public, people of this city buy a car to commute in and around the city. It is found that till 2016 Windsor has the second most paid parking spaces of any municipality with 2,044 per 100,000 population [2]. In 2012, Windsor police issued a Road Safety report, which mentioned that only in Windsor 3,635 accident has been occurred. From the total accidents, 34.1% accident has been occurred because of driver’s inattention [9].
In the following reports, we will explore problems that we are facing due to less parking spaces and what are the reasons behind that. A short description of demerits due to parking spaces, and what are the consequences of it. Finally, propose a recommendation for an alternative approach which can be employed by the city of Windsor. After implementing RFID sensors in parking meters and by creating a parking application, we can reduce parking problems in the city of Windsor.
Total land area of Windsor city is 146.32 square kilometers with a population density of 1,441.3 persons per square kilometers [11]. Still, there are only 102 fully accessible buses
[8] and according to the report, the population has increased in 2011 from 319,246 to 329,144 [10]. This number is increasing up to 2018. In 2018, population of Windsor city is 315,000 [10]. It is very difficult for people to travel in these conditions and whether by choice or by forcefully they buy vehicles and we all know that the number of vehicles is increasing rapidly in Windsor city. It is the recommendation of this team that the municipality of Windsor can find an alternative way to reduce the problem of parking space that not only saves the time of local people but also reduces the number of the unexpected collision. In future, it will help in financial growth between surrounding communities.
SF park application
SF park is San Francisco’s approach for handling the accessibility of the on-street parking. From 2011, the system uses advanced technologies in parking meters which vary their charges as per the site, time, and day to sustain the motto of retaining about 15% of spaces empty on any given block [4]. The system looks forward to lower the amount of gas and time dissipated while looking for free spaces. The usage of parking is strictly tracked by the sensors embedded in asphalt, and the price details can be looked on SFpark.org [4]. Prices can vary from 25¢ to a maximum $7 per hour during normal hour, with an $18 per hour cap for special events such as street fairs [4]. By the end of the year 2012, the standard parking charges had been lowered by 14¢ from $2.73 to $2.59 for an hour [4]. SFMTA’s earnings from the parking lines decreased from 45% to 20% of the entire parking income, and 6% of the recent meters levied 25¢ an hour [4]. A March 2014 research found that SF park met its 60–80% occupancy goal and that cruising for parking is down by 50% [4].
ParkPlus System
Same as SF park, ParkPlus system is Calgary’s parking system which was started in 2007 [5]. From August 1, 2017, suburban parking zones have been converted to the digital RPP (Residential Parking Permit) system [5]. This system facilitates the user to give the payment for the parking with suitably placed ParkPlus kiosks, with an already registered ParkPlus mobile phone account, or by bringing up the virtual pay machine into practice [5]. There are various characteristics covered in the ParkPlus application like: one can easily find the parking lot location along with the rates of parking, more information on carpooling program, nearby parking, information on long-stay parking, transit parking, veteran’s parking, special event space and many more [5]. The Edmonton city came up with the idea of a parking system named EPark that is solely operated by ParkPlus [5]. Only in 2017, CPA (Calgary Parking Authority) earned 1.5million dollars from parking enforcement [7]. Since 2013, revenue of CPA (Calgary Parking Authority) is over 75million dollars [6].
Solution Requirements
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Sensor) is not too expensive [12]. The application is quite easy to make with the help of an expert in programming. Hence, intelligent design solutions must be evaluated on the following criteria:

Sensors detect the tracks on their own and send signals to a local power outlet. So, it is compulsory that RFID sensor attaches to the object [12].
The gap in the power source and sensor is not above hundred meters [12].
The tags ought not to be in the line of sight of the reader, and so, therefore, it can be build in the track object [12].
Updates in the application are mandatory as technology is updating on daily basis.

Criteria for Success
The accomplishment of the project will be measured based on the criteria:

The connection in the sensor and object must be very clean.
The application built must be error free.
At the backend, the engineers and developers must constantly work for implementing the application in a better way.

RFID sensors
The RFID kit produces a 5V output so we decided upon using relays to activate the timer via the RFID kit which would short the contacts on the timer buttons [13]. The RFID board only has two outputs so that means that we can only control two buttons and therefore, the button press placed on the meter for all purposes needs to be the combination of just those 2 buttons [13]. The relays needed to be controlled by a 5 volt pulse and the relays we chose were from Radio Shack because of abundance and price [13]. Please refer the figure1-2 below for more RFID details.
Application for monitoring and managing parking spaces
To avoid unnecessary accidents and save time and fuel ensure that application and system work regularly. The system is responsible for monitoring available space through RFID sensor. It will give notification to users that which position is available and indicate for how much time they can park their vehicles. An important part of the application is it shows rent of that available spot. The system consists of sensors, relays, power sources, and processing units.
System Strengths

Time-saving: Most of the time people do not find a parking spot at the time of parking. As a result, they have to move around while finding a parking space, which is very time consuming and very non-effective process. From this application, it will help people to see which spot is available soon, so as per that, they can manage their traveling. Save Fuel: Many of us face the problem that we park our vehicles far away from our desired destination. Many times, while looking for the parking space people burn their fuel. In a nutshell, it is very costly and it also affects the environment. This application will hopefully save fuel and money from people. It is non-hazardous for the environment, so it is effective. Fewer accidents and fewer fines: As we mentioned the earlier ratio of accidents is increasing in the city of Windsor. The main reason behind that is just because of less or unavailable parking space people park their vehicles anywhere on the street where they find space. In result, they get the penalty or they might be the victim of an accident. Hopefully, this will reduce after parking application. Limitations of Systems Maintenance of sensor is very necessary for the effective working of the system. Updates in the application are very much required as technologies are updating every day. IMPLEMENTATION The following is an expected timeline to implement project: Project Approval (four months) Agreed to move forward with the development phase.

2. Project Development (six months)

Finalize projects in details, including inspection of meters, capital budget planning.
In parallel, communication with the municipality of Windsor city should take place.

a. The government of Windsor Consultation (four months)

Provide information about complete project and details relevant to make changes in parking meters and potential disruption.
Establish expectation from stakeholders.

3. The total budget of the project released (one month)
4. Phase Construction (eight months)

Installation of RFID sensors in parking meters.
In parallel, working on parking application.

5. Project Completion and Reflection (two months)

Evaluate project, including whether the project is completed in time, what did not go as planned, whether the project is completed in the budget or not, evaluate suggestion from consultation phase.

It is observed that vehicles are increasing day by day. In this scenario, this type of mobile parking application is very much necessary to avoid unnecessary problems and enhancing development of the city. Main benefits of this application is that it saves time, which is very important to everyone in today’s busy life. It will reduce the stress level of people.
In addition to this proposal, it is recommended that the government of Windsor should focus on other methods for the on-street parking spaces to further reduce the problem of unavailability of parking spaces in the city of Windsor.
Relay- A relay is an electromagnetic switch operated by a relatively small electric current that can turn on or off a much larger electric current. The heart of a relay is an electromagnet (a coil of wire that becomes a temporary magnet when electricity flows through it).

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