The Village of Oak Brook, IL often holds events that exceed the limits of conventional parking lots, forcing them to find parking in alternate locations. Recently the Oak Brook Park District was holding an event where the expected crowd was projected to exceed the amount of available parking within their lots, which would result in staff needing to direct people to park on soccer fields located north of their main buildings. Park District staff worked with the Police department to determine how to direct traffic and what the maximum capacity of the soccer fields would be. In an effort to provide an accurate determination of not only how much available parking there was, but also what a good lot configuration would be, the Police department requested help from the Geographic Information System (GIS) department to analyze and map available parking within the open soccer fields.
Using aerial imagery, property lines, and elevation data, the GIS staff first determined the boundaries available for parking, to insure they stayed on Park District property and to make sure the parking was not on too steep of an incline. Next, a standard size parking space was created and duplicated across the available parking area, leaving room for consistent driving lanes and entrance/exit locations. Finally, a total count of parking spaces was calculated from the data, with the bi-product being a map displaying the location of the parking lot and its spaces, entrance and exits, and the lot’s location relative to the Park District property lines.
By using GIS, the police department received not only an accurate parking space count, but also a map that can be used for coordinating and promoting the parking process. Using GIS also allowed this process to be completed in the matter of a couple of hours and in a far more accurate format that walking off parking space dimensions and distances in the field.