In 1958, Stephen M. Sutherland published an article in a university journal about the problems related to shopping center parking. At that time, shopping centers were a relatively new concept and the long-term challenges were unknown.
Almost sixty years after Sutherland’s article, some of the factors he took into consideration to analyze problems in shopping center parking are still relevant. The total quantity of parking is something that many shopping centers have to re-evaluate every few years. The growth in population and cars circulating as well as the different shopping habits of people, have brought the parking experience to the forefront of the overall shopping experience. The recent trend towards compact city cars that need less space to park is yet another way shopping centers have to optimize and adapt parking.
The technological developments in the last sixty years have given way to new solutions for shopping center parking. Parking payment has evolved from a person charging and manning the exit barriers to more convenient automated payment machines and automated barriers. Stores can offer parking discounts to shoppers as an incentive for buying. License plate recognition systems ease the entrance and exit of cars without the use of parking tickets. Parking sensors help direct traffic to avoid congestion and reduce pollution.
While some of the problems shopping center parking operators now face are very similar to those of the early 20th century, technological advances provide shoppers with other incentives and benefits that make parking easier.
Which challenges will parking operators and shoppers face during the next 60 years?
Only time will tell.
For more information about shopping center parking visit www.parkingevent.com