“Our goal is to ensure every one of our visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of Jiugong Mountain. It was clear that the previous approach to parking was affecting that enjoyment, so we set out to find the right partners and technology to address the problem.”
Jiugong Mountain is a well-known beauty spot located in Tongshan County, Xianning City, on the border between the Hubei and Jiangxi provinces. Hubei Jiugongshan National Nature Reserve Administration (HJNNRA) is the government-owned body responsible for managing the surrounding nature reserve. Spanning an area of 196 square kilometers, the park is a popular visitor destination in summer and a ski resort in winter. At 1657 meters above sea level, Jiugong Mountain is one of the highest peaks in south-central China, is more than 96% covered by forest, and boasts multiple waterfalls and springs.
To reach the top of the mountain, visitors must navigate a 28-kilometer road that leads to more than ten separate parking lots. Previously, payment was collected at the entrances to the parking lots and visitors had to find a space independently. As a result, there were frequent traffic jams and frustrated visitors, and the parking lots were not utilized efficiently.
With all on-site management of parking lots handled manually, HJNNRA was limited in its ability to introduce improvements. Congestion on the road leading up the mountain marred visitor experiences, increased pollution due to queuing vehicles, and raised the risk of traffic accidents. Without monitoring and communicating the busiest parking lots, it could take visitors a long amount of time to find a free space, affecting their satisfaction and the nature reserve’s reputation negatively.
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