By Matt Penney

A few years ago, influenced by far too many home renovation TV programs, my wife and I purchased a house that just needed a few “little” updates. It couldn’t be that hard. We watched almost miraculous transformations unfold before our eyes in regular 30-minute time blocks. I had a hammer, a saw, and a can-do attitude. What else was needed?

It didn’t take long to realize that my impression of the ease of do-it-yourself home projects had been skewed. That guy on the TV show – he was an expert carpenter. He didn’t just have a hammer and a saw, he had an entire trailer of specialized tools. During those commercial breaks, a whole team of behind-the-scenes tradesmen worked for hours to complete the home project.

We don’t realize it but the general public experiences a similar phenomenon in the parking industry. They park for an event, downtown to eat, or catch a shuttle to their destination and the process is, on the vast majority of days, a smooth and predictable one. Much like a TV show.

The reality that you and I understand is that parking experts created that positive experience. We use a variety of technologies and a team behind the scenes. The customer only sees the highlights of the entire operation.

So the next time you are engaged by a citizen, student, council member, boss, or neighbor who launches into how they would “do it themselves” in parking, smile and try to listen actively. The more off-target their concepts are, the better your operation (show) is probably performing.

Matt Penney is director of parking and transportation services at Baylor University.