DATEX and overcrowded Truck Parking Areas

Long story short:

  • Rest areas for trucks are usually heavily overcrowded - 200% is not an exceptional level
  • The delegated regulation 885/2013 is not about enforcing drivers to park within marked places, but to support them in finding the best place to have a rest (what they are really obliged to do)
  • Asses overcrowding patterns in your area before deciding types of sensors.
  • Better count trucks on entry and exit than using occupancy detectors bound to marked places.

Now in full:

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 885/2013 requires implementation of certain solutions supporting intelligent truck parking.

In DATEX User Forum 2014 in Prague, I was honored to moderate session related to intelligent truck parking and would like to point to few facts and observations, which might help building better truck parking solutions.

Lessons from German field test

Jürgen Neugebauer from Bavarian Road Administration shared his experience with us in nice presentation called Experience in DATEX II ITP profile implementation – ITP project A9 Munich-Nuremberg (PDF presentation, video 22 mins).

Using 200%+ of designed capacity

The designed capacity means number of places marked in the rest area for truck parking.

Following figures (seen on slide 9) give you the picture from December 2012:

Rest area marked places trucks counted
T+R Nürnberg Feucht 136 174
PWC Göggelsbuch 52 82
PWC Offenbau 32 51
T+R Greding 71 97
PWC Gelbelsee 59 52
T+R Köschinger Forst 54 141
PWC Baarer Weiher 24 36
PWC Rohrbach 55 66
T+R Holledau 18 58
PWC Paunzhauser Feld 11 21
T+R Fürholzen 26 103
Sum 538 881

As we see, overcrowding is not an exception, it is a reality.

In fact, not overcrowded rest area is an exception (see line PWD Gelbelsee).

Note, that the situation is likely to be very similar in many countries. Anyway, everybody shall first check real situation in his/her area. There might be areas or even countries (greetings to Cyprus), where is the situation much better.

From now on I will assume, your situation is very similar to the one reported by Jürgen in his presentation.

The purpose is to enforce or to support?

The very first (and very good) question in following discussion was "what is the purpose of monitoring occupancy of rest areas"

A natural answer could sound: "To enforce drivers parking only on marked places." but this would be wrong answer for couple of reasons:

1) Police is already tasked to enforce drivers having a rest soon enough for safety of all drivers.

2) When there is no other option to park, it would be very unfair (and probably rather dangerous).

3) The answer to this question is in the delegated resolution itself which not only refers to a priority action stated in Directive 2010/40/EU "provision of information services for safe and secure parking places for trucks and commercial vehicles", but elaborates further on how to efficiently support drivers and their managers on making good decision where to park.

There is no note about enforcement and to me it sounds very logical.

What parking sensors to use?

Parking sensors checking occupancy of marked parking place works with an assumption, which is not fulfilled. For this reason it is advisable to follow the same approach, they used in the field test: count trucks on entry and exit. There could be other alternatives but the message is think twice before using parking space occupancy sensor.

DATEX Parking Publication accounts for overcrowding

DATEX Extension for parking is being developed for couple of years and now is part of DATEX II model version 2.3.

Reading through it, we can see, that ParkingSiteOvercrowdingStatusEnum has following values (incl. definitions):

  • noOvercrowding: The parking site is not overcrowded.
  • overcrowding: The parking site is overcrowded (as specified in ParkingThresholds).
  • overcrowdingLevel1: The parking site is overcrowded at level 1 (as specified in ParkingThresholds).
  • overcrowdingLevel2: The parking site is overcrowded at level 2 (as specified in ParkingThresholds).

I read it as a very clear sign of the care, authors gave to real use of it - Well done!!!.

If you want to learn more about the Parking publication - check published DATEX User Forum presentations and videos by Jörg Freudenstein from Albrecht Consult.

PS: If you miss conclusions, read the "long story short" at the very top.

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