Here’s how intelligent parking systems are solving Warsaw’s traffic problems

The sensors at work. Image: Zarząd Dróg Miejskich.

Municipal governments are increasingly seeking better security, improved air quality and reduced pollution by looking into “smart city” solutions. Intelligent parking systems are an innovation that offers benefits in all three of these areas.

Warsaw has recently begun to test a parking information system designed by global IT business solutions provider Comarch. Here, the firm tells us how it works.

The project, commissioned by Zarząd Dróg Miejskich (the municipal road authority), is designed to monitor the number of parking spaces in two unassisted car parks in the capital, at Plac Konstytucji and in front of the Central Railway Station, by ul. Emili Plater. The system offered by Comarch is currently in its testing phase, which will continue to the end of the year.

The menu of Comarch's smart parking app.

In fact, two intelligent parking system technologies are being tested as part of the project. The first, installed at Plac Konstytucji car park, uses wireless sensors fitted directly to the parking spaces. Availability of spaces at the car park by the Central Railway Station, meanwhile, will be monitored by video cameras.

The Comarch Smart Parking app is currently available on Android. Drivers are directly informed about free parking spaces through their smartphone, or via a web page with an interactive map.

Available spaces.

In many cities, “looking for parking spaces is very time-consuming, especially in the city centre and business districts,” says Wiktor Woźniak, consulting director of Comarch Smart City. “The Parking Information System developed by Comarch is set to solve the problem.

“The comfort of being able to find a parking space faster is important to all drivers,” Woźniak adds, “but it also matters to residents. The shorter the time taken to find a parking space, the lower the emission of fumes. The traffic flow is also better, as the risk of congestion and collisions is lowered.”

A car park in close up.

The system will also  collect data, which will be used in reports on the use of parking spaces, according to such categories as average parking time or the scale of car rotation. By the end of the year, when the testing phase is finished, Zarząd Dróg Miejskich will know which car park monitoring system works best for a modern city.

This post was sponsored by Comarch, a firm which has more than 20 years of experience in helping global companies to achieve higher profitability, and understands the importance of changes taking place in contemporary cities. Its state-of-the art technologies, geolocation with micro-navigation, multi-channel access to the Internet and the growing needs of users, have made it both possible and necessary for the firm to design a comprehensive solution that combines an individual approach to clients, strategic planning and advanced analytical capabilities.

You can find out more here.


 

 
 
 
 

Does it matter that TfL are renaming White Hart Lane station Tottenham Hotspur?

New White Hart Lane. Image: Getty.

Pretend for a moment that you’re travelling in the London of 1932. You’re taking the Piccadilly Line northbound and alight at Gillespie Road station. The name should be obvious: it’s inscribed in bespoke brown tiling on the platform.

But that 31 October, following an intense campaign by the eponymous football club, the London County Council changed the station’s name to Arsenal (Highbury Hill). The area’s growing association with the name “Arsenal” ended in a lengthy negotiation that changed maps, signs and train tickets alike. Football had acquired so much power that it changed the name of not just a Tube station but an entire suburb, even before the era of Wenger or the Emirates.

Now the spectre of name changes is on the horizon once again. As Tottenham Hotspur FC inches closer to completing its new stadium, the club is clamouring for a renamed Overground station. Despite the fact the new stadium is located on almost exactly the same site as the old just off White Hart Lane, and fans have long been calling the scaffolding-laden mess “New White Hart Lane”, the club’s executive director is adamant that the station’s existing name cannot stand. White Hart Lane station, on the Overground line leaving Liverpool Street, is set to be renamed “Tottenham Hotspur”, at a cost to the club of £14.7m.

Little has been made of the fact that this peculiar PR kerfuffle is tied to Spurs’ failure to convince Nike to sponsor the venue. Some sources have even claimed that the sponsorship is yet to be finalised because it is somehow contingent on the renaming of the Overground station; beyond the ridiculous Johnson-era vanity project that was the Emirates Air Line, it seems improbable that TfL will allow any more corporate-flavoured information pollution. There will be no “Nike Stadium” station on the way to Enfield, much as there is no “Emirates” on the way to Cockfosters, especially if public consultation gets a look in.

The scene of the crime. Image: TfL.

But there’s a problem with the new name, all the same. “White Hart Lane” already means “football stadium”, in the same way Loftus Road or Stamford Bridge do. Changing it to “Tottenham Hotspur” risks opening the floodgates to an “O2 North Greenwich” or a “Virgin Euston” at some point in future, names as banal as there are dystopian. The Greater London Authority has promised to spend the £14.7m fee on community programmes in the local area – but that’s not much money to set the precedent that a private company can mess about with the Tube map.


What’s more, as CityMetric has often observed, there are plenty of station names across London that could do with a tidy up. Picking one that’s perfect already and asking for £14.7m to change it is adding insult to injury. How much would it cost a community group if they asked to change the name of Goodge Street to Fitzrovia? Why does a vast corporate entity backed by international sponsors and thousands of season ticket holders get to set the standard?

Back in Arsenal’s day, changing names on the Tube must have been easy; changes could be accommodated gradually without bothering the every day traveller. But in our world of online information, maps and apps, name changes are rather more complicated.

The question is – if TfL can bring itself to balefully accept this particular proposition, why can’t it accept ours? Why sort out a single non-issue on the Tube Map when you can catch lots of real ones in one go? A day’s pandemonium might just be a price worth paying to fix the Bethnal Greens problem once and for all.