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Posted on: March 10, 2020

Downtown Woodland Smart Parking Pilot Program

WHAT IS SMART PARKING?  Smart parking refers to a technology, typically web- or app-based, that helps drivers identify available parking spaces in a particular location, such as in Downtown Woodland.  A small sensor is installed in each parking space that can identify whether the space is currently occupied or available. Through a wireless connection, that information is then shared in real time with drivers who are able to find parking more efficiently and as close to their destination as possible. 

WHAT IS THE PILOT PROGRAM?  The City of Woodland is implementing a Smart Parking Pilot Program using JAPA smart parking sensor technology and application in select parking spaces in downtown.  The Pilot Program will involve the public parking spaces on Main Street between Third and College Street; First Street between Main Street and Court Street; and within the public parking lot #5 across from City Hall (see map below).  Parking sensors will be installed in approximately 150 parking spaces within the identified areas in late March.  The pilot will allow the City to test the accuracy of the parking sensors and the JAPA App’s ability to inform drivers of the “real-time” availability of parking in these areas as well as when their time is about to lapse. The Pilot will run from Mid-March to August. 

HOW WILL THIS BENEFIT WOODLAND?  The greatest benefit to Woodland and specifically, Downtown businesses, is the ability for customers to easily find available parking in close proximity to their desired destination through the JAPA smart phone app.  The mobile app will provide information regarding parking time limits so customers can find spaces that best fit their shopping and dining needs.  The app can notify customers when their parking time limit is almost up, allowing them to “stress less” about parking and enjoy their downtown experience worry free.  If a customer needs to relocate their vehicle, customers will have the ability to easily search for a new parking space through the app if they desire more time downtown.  Business owners and employees will also benefit from the time saved searching for parking.  

Data collected during the pilot will help identify areas where longer term parking (lower demand areas) for business owners is feasible.   Lower demand areas will be analyzed as possible candidates for longer term customer and/or employee permit parking.  Data collected in areas of high demand will allow those areas to be better managed in support of Downtown businesses.  

A primary goal of the pilot is to find out if business owners find the technology increases the ease of parking for customers in the Downtown.  Information regarding the JAPA Parking App and technology will be posted next to existing parking time limit signage where the sensors are installed.  Additionally, postcards with information about the pilot and how to use the App will be provide to business owners to hand out to interested customers.   During the pilot, parking enforcement will continue to chalk tires and use this enforcement method to help validate the sensor accuracy.  Additionally, the City will use the data collected to better analyze parking utilization and demand in the Downtown to help inform future planning efforts.  

WHAT IS JAPA?  Established in 2016 by a group of UC Davis students, JAPA (“Just a Parking App”) is a Woodland based smart parking technology company.  Their mission is to help people “park smart and stress less.”  JAPA uses pioneering technology to create efficient smart parking solutions that make the parking experience for customers easier, while allowing cities, as well as universities, business campuses, hospital and airports, become more efficient in parking management and planning. 

JAPA’s parking occupancy sensors are adhered to the asphalt with no required utility connections or roadway cuts and have a built in battery life of up to 10 years. The censors monitor both parking availability and duration of time that a car is parked in a particular space.  Information regarding parking space availability is provided in real time to the JAPA Parking App for drivers. Parking duration data is provided in real time only to the City for analysis, management and parking enforcement purposes.  

WHAT IF I HAVE CONCERNS DURING THE PILOT?  The City wants your feedback, good and bad. If you have any concerns or observations you would like to share during the pilot, please contact:

Erika Bumgardner, Business Development Liaison, Erika.Bumgardner@cityofwoodland.org, (530) 661-5886

At the end of the pilot period, City staff will visit Downtown businesses to learn of any concerns or positive experiences not previously shared during the trial.  The feedback provided will help inform the City’s decision to expand use of the technology and allow the City to work with JAPA to refine any areas of concern.

Map of Pilot Area

Smart Parking map

JAPA Parking Occupancy Sensor

JAPA parking sensor


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