Parking Services enters second semester using spot counting services

Emily Glatt

Parking Services is receiving positive feedback for the new spot counting system in commuter lots.

A project that began over a year ago in the Verder parking lot has expanded to more popular commuter lots such as C-Science, across from the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The new project features a spot counting system that lets drivers know how many parking spots are available in the lot.

“Most of the comments that we got were pretty positive about the signs,” Larry Emling, the manager of Parking Services said.

According to Emling, the signs are a great way to at least give the commuter an option to either check the lot or to keep moving on.

The way the system works is that it has a sensor in the speed bump to the entrance of the parking lot. The sensor tracks the cars that come in and takes off one from the sign. It does the same for the cars leaving, but adds one. It is a simple, cheap and effective way to count the parking spots.  The system is then reset every morning before students begin coming to class.

Since expanding last semester there have been no serious problems or difficulties that the system has faced, Emling said. The system has seen a 98 percent success rate based off of the company and Parking Services observations.

The main concerns that had come with the signs were losing power because they are solar-powered. With the winter months not seeing as much sun, parking was concerned this would affect the sign. However, they have seen no problem and have gotten just the right amount of sun needed to power the signs.

Another concern was for the speed bumps and the plow trucks. Parking Services was nervous that the plow trucks going by may not see the speed bumps and accidentally rip them up as a result. This has not been an issue so far for the plow trucks or parking services.

An unforeseen advantage to the system was safety for the pedestrians. With the speed bump, it forces drivers to slow down and look for pedestrians, Emling said. With it being a heavily traveled area for those walking to the Rec, it has created positive and safe results for other students.

Looking to the future, Emling and Parking Services hopes to see growth with the spot counting signs by looking at other eligible parking lots.

Emily Glatt is the parking and transportation reporter. Contact her at [email protected].