A Farewell to Arms (Gate Arms, That Is)

By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

My parking journey began as a long-term parking lot attendant at the new (at the time) Charlotte Douglas International Airport nearly 40 years ago. I spent the first 20 years in operations/management and the second 20 years as a consultant. I have found parking, as an industry and a career choice, to be challenging, exciting, and full of generous, caring and supportive professionals.

The work we do to improve access and mobility options to support and enhance our communities is important and meaningful. Though often underappreciated, our efforts contribute to more vibrant, active and well managed urban areas, campuses, and destinations.

Over my career, I have worked on over 500 parking studies/masterplans, logged over 2 million air miles, worked in hundreds of cities, in multiple countries, and on several continents. Parking has provided me with so many opportunities to experience many new places, work with great colleagues and community leaders and, hopefully, I have contributed a little something along the way. I love how parking and mobility are connected to and influence so many other areas (such as community development, urban planning and management, transportation/logistics, retail support, etc.). These connections and intersections make parking a diverse, challenging and exciting specialty area with lots of potential to make positive contributions to the communities we serve.

At the end of 2021, I will be retiring. As I reflect back on what I feel has been a deeply rewarding and satisfying career, it is the wonderful people that I will miss most. Along my journey I have been extremely fortunate to have developed great friendships with many of my clients and professional colleagues, many of whom Sharon and I plan to visit in retirement. For those  I will not see again, thank you for the opportunities, friendship, and support you have provided these many years.

It has been an honor and a privilege to be associated with such a great industry and such a wonderful group of passionate professionals.

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president, senior practice builder with Kimley-Horn, a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors, and a frequent contributor to IPMI committees and publications. We hope we make his “to-visit” list.