London isn’t always known by residents for being a parking haven. But there is consolatory news for all those who have cursed as another car swept in and stole the spot you finally found after 30 minutes space-hunting: it is officially easier to find a parking spot in London than in Beijing, Singapore, Milan, Paris or New Delhi.
London is the seventh best city for parking-spot-finding of all cities measured in IBM’s parking survey, released this week.
The survey also found that in 20 international cities, nearly six out of 10 drivers have abandoned their search for a space at least once. Perhaps not that surprisingly, more than a quarter of those surveyed have gotten into an argument with a fellow motorist over a parking space.
In addition to the typical traffic congestion caused by daily commutes and gridlock from construction and accidents, reports have estimated that over 30 percent of traffic in a city is caused by drivers searching for a parking spot.
London scored 86 on the survey, compared to New Delhi at 140, Beijing at 124, Moscow and Paris at 122.
The IBM parking index took into account issues including longest amount of time looking for a parking place, inability to find a parking place, disagreement over parking spots, received a parking ticket for illegal parking and number of parking tickets received.
Speaking about London’s position in the index, John Rushton, IBM’s global leader for Intelligent Transportation Systems said: “While London’s done really well in the parking index, the frustration to find that elusive parking spot is increasing.
“What the capital needs is real-time parking displays that allow Londoners to find parking more easily instead of going round and round in circles. With transportation information available, parking spot demand should be met to avoid traffic jams and reduce congestion.”
London also scored a 23 on the commuter pain index, compared to Mexico City and Beijng that scored 108 and 95 respectively, which made them the worst city vis-e-vis commute.
To offer a solution to the parking menace around the world, IBM and Streetline announced the launch of The Smarter Parking Starter Kit which detects the presence of a car through a network of ultra-low power wireless sensors located in individual parking spaces.
Speaking about the kit, Rushton said, “Just by accessing the app on their phones, drivers can find the nearest parking spot. The app assesses data gathered from parking sensors and points you in the direction of the empty parking space.”
This information is then made available in real time both to the city, as well as to consumers via Parker™ a free smartphone app via the iTunes Store or Android marketplace.