Although the long-standing rivalry between Calgary and Edmonton is a cherished tradition, an equally strong spirit of cooperation has prompted a new technology exchange that offers significant benefits for Alberta’s two largest cities.
The City of Edmonton is a national leader with respect to the design, implementation and use of light-emitting diode (LED) street lighting. Edmonton has already converted 13,000 of its approximately 100,000 street lights to LED technology and is replacing traditional high pressure sodium street lights at a rate of 4,600 per year. By doing so, Edmonton is reducing street light power consumption by 30 per cent, lowering its greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing light pollution.
For its part, the City of Calgary has developed one of the most innovative parking management systems in the world. The ParkPlus System™ uses solar-powered pay machines, pay-by-cell phone technology and license plate recognition software to verify payment for parking on city streets. First introduced in 2007, Calgary’s ParkPlus System™ is used to manage 6,573 on-street parking spaces and 8,270 off-street stalls (5,525 in parkades and 2,745 in surface lots) managed by the Calgary Parking Authority.
The ParkPlus System™ has recently introduced an iPhone app called MyParking as well as an SMS service called Text to Park as additional ways customers can pay for parking.
“Calgary and Edmonton face many of the same challenges when it comes to finding more efficient and effective ways to provide services to citizens,” said Stephen Mandel, Mayor of Edmonton. “Sharing innovative advancements makes sense for both cities, and I hope that this technology exchange signals an increasingly collaborative relationship between Calgary and Edmonton in the future.”
“This partnership is a win-win for both cities and our citizens,” said Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary. “We’re looking forward to using Edmonton’s successful and efficient LED street lighting and sharing our innovative ParkPlus technology to help manage public parking.”
In order to assess the impacts, benefits and costs of both technologies the City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton are exchanging information, technical services and equipment. Edmonton will launch its six-month EPark pilot program in mid-June with 15 parking machines (six in the City Hall Parkade, nine on streets near City Hall) on loan from Calgary. Later this summer, Calgary will install LED street lighting technology from Edmonton in a selected neighbourhood and along different types of roads to determine its effectiveness and potential savings.
For more information, please visit www.edmonton.ca/epark.