Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 128379, 10 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Parking Reliability Guidance of Urban Parking Variable Message Sign System

1Department of Civil Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
3School of Transportation, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

Received 23 July 2011; Revised 11 October 2011; Accepted 21 October 2011

Academic Editor: Andrzej Swierniak

Copyright © 2012 Zhenyu Mei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Operators of parking guidance and information systems (PGIS) often encounter difficulty in determining when and how to provide reliable car park availability information to drivers. Reliability has become a key factor to ensure the benefits of urban PGIS. The present paper is the first to define the guiding parking reliability of urban parking variable message signs (VMSs). By analyzing the parking choice under guiding and optional parking lots, a guiding parking reliability model was constructed. A mathematical program was formulated to determine the guiding parking reliability of VMS. The procedures were applied to a numerical example, and the factors that affect guiding reliability were analyzed. The quantitative changes of the parking berths and the display conditions of VMS were found to be the most important factors influencing guiding reliability. The parking guiding VMS achieved the best benefit when the parking supply was close to or was less than the demand. The combination of a guiding parking reliability model and parking choice behavior offers potential for PGIS operators to reduce traffic congestion in central city areas.