How many hours (or days) of your life have you spent trying to find parking spots? If you're in New Delhi or Bangalore, probably too many. But Chicago denizens deal with less parking pain than most, according to IBM's first ever Parking Index, a ranking of the emotional and economic toll of parking in 20 international cities.
The index, which comes just a few weeks after IBM's Commuter Pain Index, surveyed respondents from around the world on five key issues: the amount of time spent looking for a parking spot, the inability to find a parking place, disagreements over parking spots, whether parking tickets were received for illegal parking, and the number of parking tickets received.
IBM found that drivers in New Delhi and Bangalore do the most shouting over parking spots, while drivers in Montreal and Singapore are a bit more mild-mannered. A whopping 13% of drivers in Nairobi have spent over an hour looking for a parking spot in the past year, while 28% of drivers in Chicago have been able to find spots in under five minutes. The global average of time spent looking for a parking spot is 20 minutes--not exactly encouraging news for city drivers.
The simple solution is for drivers to use more public transportation. But that's not always possible, which is why IBM also announced this week that it's teaming up with Streetline, a startup that puts low-power wireless sensors in parking spots and parking meters to give city officials detailed use information.
As part of the union, the pair will offer a Smarter Parking Starter Kit, a solution that combines Streetline's sensors with IBM's analytics capabilities. The kit will allow cities to offer real-time parking information to drivers, reduce congestion (by pricing parking based on demand), and analyze the effectiveness of parking resources, including parking duration, hourly occupancy, occupancy by block, and trends by area.
No amount of advanced analytics can eliminate parking pain altogether, but knowing more about the problem is the first step in dealing with it.
[Images: Flickr user Ed Callow, IBM]