Tech Solutions Expand Parking Access at University of Oklahoma

INDECT USA, the industry’s leading provider of parking guidance systems, announces a breakthrough in the quest to provide garage owners with a plug-and-play parking guidance solution with their new ‘out of the box’ training set.
June 27, 2019
Indect PGS at Des Moines Airport believed to be the first electronically guided parking guidance system in the state of Iowa.
August 14, 2019

As appearing in June 2019 issue of Parking Magazine During an incredible period of growth and expansion at the University of Oklahoma (OU), many new buildings had been constructed at the expense of existing parking. Rather than rush to add more spaces, Kris Glenn, OU’s director of parking services, decided to maximize what they had. “There’s no doubt that our parking had become scarce. However, we also knew there were plenty of underutilized parking areas on campus. We just needed to help our faculty, staff, and students find it,” Glenn says. That was the beginning of OU’s Smarter Parking Initiative. Parking Magazine

As appearing in June 2019 issue of Parking Magazine

During an incredible period of growth and expansion at the University of Oklahoma (OU), many new buildings had been constructed at the expense of existing parking.

Rather than rush to add more spaces, Kris Glenn, OU’s director of parking services, decided to maximize what they had. “There’s no doubt that our parking had become scarce. However, we also knew there were plenty of underutilized parking areas on campus. We just needed to help our faculty, staff, and students find it,” Glenn says. That was the beginning of OU’s Smarter Parking Initiative.

Turn To Technology

Glenn worked with local reseller Parking Guidance Systems to design a smart parking solution using Indect sensor technology. A parking app was developed to identify all OU parking lots on a single platform. The map shows the status of all parking lots: red for full, yellow for partially full, and green for open. The app — OU Innovate — has been downloaded over 20,000 times, and parking space utilization has improved significantly.

The next step was converting OU’s metered parking to smart parking stations.These included two-hour-limit spaces where users can pay by credit card, coins, or the Whoosh!pay-by-phone app. “Eighty-five percent of people pay by card or phone, which really helps our revenue stream and minimizes the risk of people overstaying. We also added a number of EV charging stations,” Glenn says.

Reduce Campus Congestion

A new smart-bike program, Crimson Cruisers, is free to faculty, staff, and students and accessed with a simple app that unlocks and locks the bikes. The ease of access to this alternative transportation has allowed traffic to flow freely through campus.

Increase Efficiency With Wayfinding

In spring 2018, a new 1,221-space parking garage opened. “We knew from past experience about the ebb and flow of garage traffic,” Glenn says. A combination of Indect’s single-space LED sensors, multifunction camera sensors, and electronic wayfinding signage was installed to give OU complete control over traffic flow and space designation.

The system not only allows for faster parking; it also provides added security and analytics.The simple “red occupied, green open” system has been a huge success with students and faculty members. The signage shows real-time space availability on every level and guides drivers to specific parking zones. The parking data is also helpful to faculty as they schedule classes to maximize parking availability. The system has been so successful that it is now installed in three OU garages with plans to install it in another three in the next few years.

Strategic Planning

When faced with the challenge of improving parking, OU used a variety of approaches to ensure success. “We’ve designed an app, added smart parking services, built a smart garage, and integrated it all together,” says Glenn. “We’ve taken an innovative and successful approach to solving our parking challenges.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA