Discuss This Article

Application of GIS to A Parking Study in Newton

Application of GIS to A Parking Study in Newton

By Ricardo Kligman, M. Ryan McDevitt and Todd Withee

Project Advisors: Theodore Crusberg and Michelle Ephraim

Sponsoring Agency: City of Newton Department of Public Works Engineering Division

On-Site Liaison: Roy Lamotte

Web Site

Executive Summary

Parking has become one of the most important factors that city planners have to account for in their work. Lack of accessible parking can hurt local business and decrease the quality of life for residents. Due to the importance of parking, city managers must study and analyze parking. The goal of this project was to both utilize GIS technology to provide Newton city officials and residents with innovative parking solutions and to generate a strategy for the city to expand the basis of our efforts into a parking management system capable of providing permanent solutions to parking problems. The spatial scope of this study consisted of the commercial core and surrounding residential neighborhoods of the village of Newton Centre.

In order to demonstrate the utility of GIS in parking management, we performed a parking study and analyzed the unique benefits that GIS offers. Our project team created GIS map layers, and used the technology to manage and analyze the data we collected during a parking study. We compared the results of our study with those of a professional consulting agency to analyze the differences in the approach and the results. Finally, we outlined a strategy for the application of a GIS-based parking management system for the city of Newton.

Upon completion of this parking study, we were able to conclude that GIS can be used as a powerful analytical tool. Using a GIS makes it possible to store data about individual parking spaces in a logical and precise way. Through simple searches, it is possible to view the many different types of parking that exist in a city the size of Newton. The ability to sort the different characteristics of a parking space by location and to view these characteristics on a map make GIS an invaluable tool. Another benefit of GIS is the ability to easily update the map layers. Every time a new space is added, or characteristics of an old space are changed, it is far easier to update the information digitally than in a traditional system.

Based on this conclusion, we recommend that Newton engineers perform a citywide parking study utilizing GIS. In order to properly utilize GIS, city engineers would need to be trained in the use of the GIS, as well as GIS-compatible database and spreadsheet software. Additionally, they would need to create a coding scheme that uniquely identifies each parking space, and then periodically enter data about all of the parking spaces into a database. This report demonstrates the benefits of a GIS-based parking management system, and describes a procedure that Newton could use to switch to such a system.

Maintained by: webmaster@wpi.edu
Last modified: Jul 26, 2002, 17:20 EDT
[WPI] [Alumni] [Home]