LotSpot student group in The Garage at UCCS


Spring 2015 - Transportation

Project Overview

UCCS CO2 output is increased due to current parking inefficiency. Student and faculty testimonials attest to the time consumption inherent to parking at UCCS. Reducing this waste of drive time will significantly improve campus sustainability, reduce CO2 output on the UCCS campus and allow for an efficient usage of parking spaces.

Drive time will be reduced through the installation of LotSpot, a series of cameras, rangefinders and small computers that will track occupancy in Columbine garage. This occupancy information will be provided to students in real-time to allow them to choose parking lots that have the most spaces available. Cameras are a vital prerequisite to highly efficient campus parking. This proposal will address the installation of camera components into the Columbine garage. These cameras will provide refined tracking of lot ingress/egress, handicapped and compact spaces, and monitoring of spaces requiring payment and time limited usage. This refined data will offer more relevant information to students, furthering the value of data conveyed and increasing campus parking efficiency.

This issue is important to UCCS. The UCCS Climate Action Plan is a document written in 2010 to recommend actions the university can take to reduce emissions. The document alerts the school to three scopes of pollutant causing activities and makes recommendations to reduce these activities. According to a 2009 study cited by the Climate Action Plan, two of these scopes account for 63.5% of UCCS emissions, they result from campus usage of electricity and natural gas. The final 36.5% of emitted Greenhouse Gases measure nearly 13,000 mt eCO2 annually. This final scope (Scope 3) is entirely unaddressed by the Climate Action Plan and largely accounts for student and faculty commuting. This completed project may reduce emissions in Scope 3 by as much as 23,000 driving minutes every school week, simply by providing accessible, real-time parking data.

The development of this project will also include extra features that contribute to commuting efficiency outside of parking. These elements we will be introduced after application usership reaches a certain threshold. The following features are mentioned to expose the capacity of future service expansion to promote emission reductions. A carpooling tool will match nearby students to facilitate ridesharing for cheaper, more economic transportation. Bus tracking on the app will give students real time information on bus schedules, availability and wait time. These tools would contribute positively to the efficiency of UCCS commuting. The introduction of cameras to the current parking management system will provide increased clarity and value of data to the UCCS community. These cameras are an integral part of current and future developments to this project that will drastically improve UCCS sustainability.