driving car on the road, travel backgroundBy Matt Penney, CAPP

For the first time in a year and a half, I was on the road again. I ventured outside of the Baylor University bubble in search of parking knowledge. For me, visiting other people and locations is a highlight of our parking industry. Zoom is O.K., but in my opinion, good people and walk-throughs are always better in person.

So I jumped on Texas Highway 6 for a short hour and a half drive to Bryan College Station. Peter Lange and his always friendly Aggie cohorts welcomed me back to Texas A&M University. Wow, their new offices are stunning! And innovative! I got the tour and saw several friendly faces I haven’t seen in awhile–even did that awkward half handshake/half fist bump COVID combo that is currently a part of our new normal.

There were discussions about COVID, parking demand, revenue, and what the future might bring. It may be the group sidebar conversations that are missing from video conferences. These “rabbits” from the professional jargon help you understand the personalities in the room. From the personal to the humorous, these tidbits make up the personalities we connect with.

It was a good visit. The onsite observations provided the exact information I was looking for. The 6-foot distance still seems a little forced and I miss smiles unblocked by masks. In all, I probably wasn’t on campus for more than a couple of hours.

I hope you get the opportunity to connect in person sooner than expected!

It was good to be on the road again.

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