Using GIS to Plan Bigger and Better Special Events

Elk Grove Village, IL hosts a summer concert series every year that are free, family friendly concerts that occur every Tuesday evening during the month of July.  This event has been steadily growing in attendance every year, leading to an increase in the amount of time and cost put towards planning the event by village staff. With higher attendance numbers, parking has become a major concern.  For the summer 2015 series the village is considering changing venues to allow for more parking within close proximity of the concert area.  In order to determine how much parking is going to be available near the new venue, the Police department utilized the village’s Geographic Information System (GIS). 

At the new venue there are several criteria that need to be taken into account to determine the amount of available parking: parking is only allowed on one side of the street, driveways are not to be blocked, parking is not allowed within 20 feet of a crosswalk, and 22 feet of space is required for each car.  The village’s GIS team was able to take these parameters and visualize them in GIS, providing the police department with an estimation of the number of cars that could be parked in each designated parking quadrant.  The police then used this information to support their request for the new venue location.  This workflow proved so successful that the Police department plan to use it moving forward for every event that requires on-street parking.  Utilizing GIS, the Elk Grove Police Department was able to help the village plan more effectively, which in turn adds value for the residents who attend by making it easier to access the event space.