CORVALLIS, Ore. - Visitors, students and staff at Oregon State University looking for accessible parking spaces on campus can now use their mobile devices to check for space availability.
During winter break, OSU staff and a team from Streetline, Inc., installed that company's sensor-based system in campus parking spaces that have been designated accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Through a free smartphone application called Parker, the new system gives motorists real-time information and availability for accessible parking spaces in select areas throughout campus, as well as parking lot location and policies for all lots.
This initiative will help students, faculty, and staff with disabilities to more easily and safely find available accessible parking spaces in real-time. The university can also monitor designated accessible spots to ensure there is accessible parking available when needed.
OSU continues to adopt innovations that make campus more accessible, and was recently ranked fifth for web accessibility among 135 institutions.
"At Oregon State we value diversity, and this project demonstrates our commitment to providing access for individuals of all ages and abilities," said Jennifer Gossett, OSU disability access services coordinator. "This technology will also benefit all commuters to campus who will now have access to an interactive map and parking information through their smartphone devices and the web."
The technology includes a "smart parking" platform, which detects the presence of a car through a network of ultra-low power wireless sensors located in each parking space. Information from the sensors is then delivered to a suite of web and mobile applications, including Parker by Streetline, a free smartphone application.
The sensors are being deployed at 75 accessible spaces in the heart of campus to serve more than 30 different buildings, including the Memorial Union, Kelley Engineering Center, Weniger Hall, Kidder Hall, and Gilkey Hall. OSU will also publish current parking policy and rates on a weekly basis during the football season, using a publishing platform from Streetline called ParkEdge.
Although these sensors have been installed at other universities, this is the first time the technology has been used exclusively for university ADA parking spaces.
"We are excited to help Oregon State University address their parking needs with our smart parking solutions," said Zia Yusuf, CEO of Streetline. "The ability to support those with disabilities through ADA space guidance and providing availability information is one of the prime examples of the real world benefits smart parking offers a community."
For more information and to download the free Parker application, visit www.theparkerapp.com.
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Jennifer Gossett, 541-737-4454