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Solving Parking Challenges with RFID

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Advancements in technology are rapidly changing the way we park by providing new, innovative solutions for common problems. In dense, urban areas where mixed-use developments are on the rise, one of those common challenges is separating key user groups. For instance, when developments offer both residential and retail space, how do we provide convenient parking for shoppers without compromising convenient access to designated spaces for residents?

Developer Equity Residential recently leveraged radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to tackle this issue for several residential and retail mixed-use developments in San Francisco. To provide the experience Equity Residential desired for their residents, it was important that parking for tenants be effectively separated from retail guests.

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Watry Design, Inc. an integrated architecture, structural engineering and planning firm that specializes in parking, teamed with TagMaster North America, a leading provider of vehicle identification solutions, to design and implement a solution that would allow residents access to gated parking areas simply by placing a TagMaster RFID tag on the windshield of each resident vehicle and installing Long range and hands-free RFID readers at vehicle entry and exit points. This RFID system eliminates the need for proximity cards or other entry devices that can easily be lost or cause congestion as users search for their device upon arrival.

One of the developments successfully using TagMaster RFID technology is the Parc on Powell Apartments in Emeryville, which includes ground floor retail in addition to apartment homes. Both residents and retail visitors enter the parking facility via gate arm, but while retail users must stop to obtain a ticket, the TagMaster RFID tag opens the gate for residents from 20 feet away. Residents then proceed to their designated area secured by a roll down gate controlled by the same RFID tag. This prevents retail users from accessing residential parking, and provides tenants with a hassle-free experience.  Security is highly maintained for afterhours access, all while providing a high level of convenience for tenants.

RFID technology can also benefit urban developments facing space constraints. At the Azure Apartments in Mission Bay, utilizing TagMaster North America's RFID systems for garage entry eliminated the need for parking access equipment outside of a roll down gate where curbside space was extremely limited. Not only does this solution avoid pedestrian conflicts that would have arisen due to vehicles blocking sidewalks, but it also prevents vandalism and unwarranted wear and tear on equipment installed outside the structure. At both of these high rise developments, installation of a TagMaster RFID system improved security, increased home values and provided residents with easy and efficient access to their designated parking areas.

Parking technology is evolving quickly. Innovative PARCS solutions such as long range and hands-free RFID can help solve everyday challenges while also significantly improving the operational efficiencies of a facility and in turn improving customer service.

About the Author

Matt Davis has been creating parking solutions for over 20 years. He has worked on over 125 parking projects and is a certified Parksmart Advisor. In addition to delivering projects to satisfied clients, Matt’s projects, such as the Tustin Metrolink Station Parking Structure and UC San Diego Osler Parking Structure and Visitor's Center, have received recognition from the International Parking Institute and other associations. An active participant in the International Parking & Mobility Institute and the Pacific Intermountain Parking & Transportation Association, Matt has penned and spoken on a number of industry topics, such as Healthcare Parking as the First Line of Customer Service, Green Parking, Transit Parking Best Practices, the Future of Parking, Protecting Your Parking Investment and Right Sizing Parking.

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