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Managing Parking In Low-emission Zones

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Impact of the European Climate Law on Low Emission Zones and Parking Management

The recently adopted European Climate Law sets some meaningful restrictions on carbon emissions and other environmental hazards within the European Union. In the wake of this new law, European cities are implementing more and more Low Emission Zones – areas with stricter regulations on vehicles and other sources of pollution. While these areas already existed in Europe prior to the new law (Sweden essentially introduced Low Emission Zones in the mid-90s under a different name) cities are now incentivized to implement more Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in order to help the EU hit its goals for climate neutrality. And there’s no reason to believe LEZ will remain solely a European phenomenon. In fact, they already exist throughout Asia as well, and the City of Santa Monica introduced North America’s first Low Emission Zone in early 2021.

Preparing for the Spread of Low Emission Zones: Implications for Parking Managers

It’s only a matter of time before the idea spreads, and parking managers need to be ready when it does.

So what exactly is a Low Emission Zone? As you may expect, it’s a designated area where total greenhouse gas emissions face a hard limit. This means that only a certain number of gas- and diesel-powered vehicles will be allowed into the area each day – and for some of the strictest zones that number could be as low as zero.

What this means for commuters is that public transit and park-and-ride situations suddenly become much more important. And for parking managers, it means both increased responsibility and increased opportunity. A strategically placed parking garage on the outskirts of a LEZ, or in a major commuter corridor that feeds into multiple LEZ, could see a lot of traffic. Even a free-to-use park-and-ride lot could make a pretty attractive option for advertisers, opening up a possible revenue stream if there’s a place for paid advertisements on the premises.

Preparing for Low Emission Zones: Parking Manager Considerations

Parking managers will also need to take some extra steps to ensure compliance with LEZ requirements. Fortunately, those are generally pretty easy. In the EU, it’s as simple as monitoring the number of vehicles heading in and out of your garage or lot. Which happens to be the exact thing that WhereiPark technology does for you. While it’s possible that local LEZ restrictions will want more detail, it’s a safe bet that these basic metrics will form the backbone of Low Emission Zone enforcement at any parking facility. Additionally, WhereiPark plants a tree for every new parker thanks to their recent partnership with One Tree Planted.

Parking trends are changing constantly, especially with the ongoing work-from-home experiment still fully underway. Low Emission Zones are just another potential change to be anticipated, and those who have plans in place for them when they arrive in the states en masse will be in the best positions to capitalize on them when the time comes. In other words – it’s time to start planning for LEZ parking options, so you’re ahead of the curve when they arrive.

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