Using GIS to better understand and analyze parking dynamics

​Riverside has a central business district that includes a train
station for the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. The
railway services communities from Aurora to Chicago and is convienent
for the residents of Riverside and adjacent cities and villages such as
Lyons and North Riverside.

Like many communities in the Chicago Metropolitan area, having a
relatively dense population near this type of public transportation
creates an interesting demand and use of parking facilities.
Individuals travel to the village center to work, take the train
elsewhere,and or to take advantage of the local amenities. Realizing the
dynamics of parking needs desired by those visitors and residents
living in the town center is necessary to promote the village and these
services being provided.

The Village of Riverside has used its Geographic Information System
(GIS) resources to gain a unique perspective of the parking status in
relation to licenses and parking permits on record. Mapping active
licenses in the community allowed village staff to see where vehicles
are owned and where concentrations demand more parking. The parking
permit map allowed for visualization of the concentration of vehicles as
well as the the type of permits being used. Furthermore, it suggests
lengths of time or periods of the day those parking spaces are being
utilized. Additionally, an analysis of the disparty between these two
sets of information could possibly identify some violations taking place
such as residents that have a license but are not obtaining a permit.

The next step in the parking evaluation will include a parking model
where parking lots, spaces, and restrictions will be added to the GIS.
This will assist in managing the parking facilities and regulations as
well as providing insight that may highlight potential for additional
parking areas and ways to make the current areas more efficient.