Embracing “E” Words for Campus Mobility

College student wearing a mask and biking on campus.By Sarah Blouch, Carl DePinto, Zachary Pearce, and Keith Palma

Initiating changes to parking and mobility systems on college campuses can be difficult and frustrating for campus parking professionals. New solutions to old problems abound as technology and innovation flourish in the industry. But the fear of the unknown, competing needs for a scarce resource that require established priorities, and the inability to gain consensus (much less a direction) on those critical priorities are all frequent reasons why university leaders tend to resist making changes. They have enough challenges to deal with at any given time, so why create more?

Well, it turns out there is nothing like a good crisis to help the evolution of change move forward! While the pandemic forced everyone into crises management mode for the past 15 months, we have now shifted into planning for a “new normal” and at the same time, seizing opportunities to implement long-desired changes to make our systems more effective for the customer and efficient for operations. Flexible and scalable parking options to address hybrid work schedules, protocols around cleanliness and social distancing, and event parking changes to better manage traffic and enhance safety for the sellers are all now possible (and in many cases required) to manage the long-term aftereffects of COVID-19.

It is time to embrace the ”E” words: Evolutions in operations to Enhance Efficiency and Effectiveness.

Carl DePinto and Zach Pearce are with Duke University and Duke Health; and Sarah Blouch and Keith Palma are with CampusParc. They will present on this topic at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, Nov. 29 – Dec. 2, in Tampa, Fla.