Accessible parking at Oregon State University has gone high-tech. Last December, OSU and Streetline, Inc. embedded sensors into 75 accessible spaces. A free smartphone app called Parker allows motorists with disabilities to view available spaces in real-time.
Jennifer Gossett, OSU Disability Access Services coordinator, says spaces for the two-year pilot project were selected near high-traffic buildings and in hard to find parking lots. Unfortunately, at a cost of $10-$30 a month per space, the technology doesn’t come cheap for the university. Gossett wants to pursue funding to expand the project but she says it depends on making the case that people are using it and it’s helpful.
In addition to displaying parking, the technology helps OSU adjust accessible parking. “If we see a lot that is always full, we’ll know we need to direct more parking toward that area of campus,” Gossett says.
Streetline technology is also used at the University of Maryland at College Park, Auburn University, Clemson University, and Mississippi State. For more information, visit http://oregonstate.edu/parking or http://www.streetline.com.