By Casey Jones, CAPP

A simple but fundamental truism of our industry is that people don’t park to park; they park to do something else. Our industry didn’t always get this. In our early days, the focus was on getting cars parked between painted lines. Today our focus is on providing programs, services, and facilities with the user and the destination in mind. When we align our offerings with the reason people are driving and parking, we positively affect the city, university, hospital, airport, or retail shopping center and their visitors, guests, employees, and students. Parking is a means to a greater goal and our industry advanced when we embraced this way of thinking.

IPI’s name change to the International Parking & Mobility Institute signals another critical change in thinking. Mobility describes the ease by which people can access their destinations of choice and includes the beginning, way points, and end of each trip, the transportation network used between destinations, and various modes of travel conveyance whether by car, shared transportation, public, or active transportation. Mobility is therefore an outcome and if I have it I can easily, conveniently, and economically access destinations of choice or necessity. If mobility is limited, I am impeded in my ability to do the things I want or need to do.

It’s an exciting time to be a parking and mobility professional and our expanding role means that our efforts are more important than ever. Embrace this change and join the movement focused on more positive outcomes for the communities we serve.

Casey Jones, CAPP, is vice president with TimHaahs.