Milwaukee, WI, USA's Summerfest Advanced Parking Guidance System

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - signage/information, policy - congestion, policy - parking, mode - bus, mode - car


Traffic congestion, Systems engineering, System engineering, Shuttle buses, Real time information, Parking places, Parking guidance systems, Parking facilities, Parking areas, Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Gridlock (Traffic), Festivals, Design, Conceptual design, Case studies, Car parks


Summerfest is a 10-day series of concerts and events held every year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The natural and manmade barriers of the festival grounds restrict the amount of available parking and traffic congestion during Summerfest is considerable. This article describes the conceptual design of a planned Summerfest Advanced Parking Guidance System (APGS) that is intended to provide motorists with real-time traveler information about available parking in the downtown area. This information should help motorists make informed decisions about their travel route, reducing the amount of circulating traffic caused by motorists searching for parking. The system will also promote the use of a shuttle bus connecting downtown with the festival grounds. The APGS conceptual design process used a systems engineering approach. This involved developing a concept of operations document that described the roles and responsibilities of partner agencies, system functional requirements, and a high-level overall system design. Building upon the conceptual design, plans were made to construct, integrate and test the system in 2006.