Town and Gown Relationships


By Matt Davis, MCJ, CAPP

Does your local parking system operate and function on its own or does your system have a sprawling university campus that adjoins its local municipal boundaries? If you are one of the many communities that has this wonderful dynamic, then you know how important it is to have a positive, working relationship with the university’s parking and transportation department.

Speaking personally, our local town and gown relationship is one that we take extreme pride in! Our professional relationship is one that is built on mutual respect and dedication toward improving the overall parking experience. Our municipal system is here to help whenever the University runs into a problem no matter if it is an idea in theory such as electric vehicle charging policies or if we have a meter or kiosk part that they need for a problematic PARCS piece of equipment. Our local University also returns that favor in the same form and helps when we have unique events that might exceed our local municipal workforce.

We have seen our professional relationship help mend other City and University relationships such as Athletics, Building and Planning, and even the Police departments. It is crazy to believe that a positive relationship between the parking and transportation departments can help spur other working relationships within each local organization. I was and am still grateful for the bond and connection that our two departments share!!!  The administration of each department contributes to local parking and transportation boards as well as helping to create new and inventive parking policies. We look to each other to help reinforce our systems so that the user has a flawless experience no matter if they park on campus or if they decide to park downtown for a nice dinner at night.

If you find yourself reading this article, ask yourself if you have ever met a more positive set of people than those related to parking and transportation. I know we all have our bad days where things are tough, but the parking and transportation industry has the most outstanding group of men and women that are always willing to help and reinforce their working relationships no matter if they work in the public or private sector.

Matt Davis, MCJ, CAPP, is Assistant Director of Parking & Transportation – Services for the University of Mississippi. He can be reached at