Efforts to track available parking in the downtown shopping district may get another test, aimed at addressing the lack of consistent spacing.
Last summer, the32789 reported on a 30-day pilot program to gauge the effectiveness of sensors in identifying available parking spaces along Park Avenue. The sensors, which were tested at no cost to the city, were similar those used to track spaces in parking garages, and placed on the brick pavement.
According to Kyle Dudgeon, assistant economic development director, the tests have several goals:
- Establishing benchmark data for parking duration, frequency, and peak times
- Assess the performance and scalability of the technology
- Identifying low-cost opportunities to improve the Park Avenue experience
- Designing future mobility opportunities that align with initiatives including smart city applications
“The city and vendor found varying levels of success, but also opportunities for improvement,” said Dudgeon.
The most challenging aspect of the program was unmarked street parking. The lack of consistent spacing means the sensors have no way of accounting for vehicle size and the space between parked vehicles.
“The vendor is currently evaluating their product with the intention of proposing a second pilot to city staff,” Dudgeon added. “While we don’t anticipate new configurations, the idea is to provide information easily and reliably. We’re very appreciative of the time and effort from our vendor and city staff, looking forward to next steps, and successfully enhancing the Winter Park experience.”
Aside from tracking available spaces, the possibility of a shuttle route from local parking lots to select destinations was discussed last year by City Commission. However, the idea hinged on the passing of the now-failed Orange County transportation tax.
“It hasn’t been talked about since the tax didn’t pass,” City Manager Randy Knight told the32789. “As of now, we don’t have a funding source for that.”
There is no word on when the new parking pilot program will begin, but it would utilize the same unobtrusive sensors placed along Park Avenue and come at no cost to the city.