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How Steel City morphed into an innovation powerhouse:  A follow-up on the Pittsburgh Parking Authority.

By Julianne Wilhelm

ONCE AN AMERICAN MANUFACTURING EPICENTER known for its smoke-billowed steel Parking Transofrmation article 19-02mills, the City of Pittsburgh, Pa., has become one of the top innovation cities in America, positioning itself as a city of tomorrow.

To date, the region’s per capita research and develop­ment (R&D) spending is nearly two and a half times the national average. After the turn of the millennium, Pitts­burgh began investing in all the typical ingredients of the modern American urban success story: a diverse and ed­ucated workforce, universities and research institutes, and restored neighborhoods. Leading in Pittsburgh’s innovative force was the Pittsburgh Parking Authority (PPA), a key player in the city’s striving economy.

Taking lead from David Onorato, CAPP, executive director of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, the city was the first in the country to make the change to a pay-by-plate system in 2012. Within the next five years, the PPA would be named IPMI’s Parking Organization of the Year, becoming one of the first to be recognized as an Accredited Parking Orga­nization and listed among the top 10 inno­vative parking cities in the U.S.  The Authority’s influential shift caught the attention of top cities around the world, all vying to know the secret of their path to success.

A Bold Move Forward
Up until 2012, Steel City was just that, a metropolis vast with steel, coin-operated single-space meters. The slow-paced meters had been a part of the city’s landscape for nearly 75 years and were becoming difficult to support.  Onorato led the modernization for the authority with a vision to improve the parking experience for all Pittsburgh patrons—on-street and off-street in busy lots. The first objective was to extend the option of paying by debit or credit cards to those who were limited to the use of coins to pay for parking.
“With the support of my IT Department, the deci­sion was made that pay-by-plate was the way to go,” says Onorato. “We decided we were about to make a drastic change from the coin meters.” The authority made the bold move to transition the meters with a vision of increasing revenue, capitalizing on new tech­nologies, and improving efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency.

In 2012, Pittsburgh became the first U.S. city to implement an on-street pay-by-plate system on a large scale. The authority made the decision to manage its network of metered spaces with Flowbird’s Cale Web Terminal (CWT) multi-space kiosks.
The authority began installation of 500 pay-by-plate terminals, the largest CWT installation in the U.S. at the time. The terminals were all connected to a back-office system that monitored the status of the terminals and tracked revenue generated.

Leading the Transition
With the first large-scale implementation of its kind, the authority sought a seamless customer transition from single-space mechanical meters, as well as several pay-and-display meters, to a full-scale, pay-by-plate operation. Knowing many vehicle owners didn’t have their license plate number memorized, the authority worked with city businesses to distribute key fobs. Each fob had space for patrons to record their license plate information for reference during parking transactions.
Once the new system was installed, meter greet­ers—staff and local students who came out to educate patrons about the modernized process—began appear­ing around town.
“The customers needed to know the why,” says On­orato. “When you pay for a parking spot using pay-by-plate, you can park anywhere else within that area with the time you have left over. No new transactions.”
The new system also eliminated wasted parking space that had been unknowingly idle for years. The old parking spaces drawn out for pay-and-display were measured for car lengths that were outdated, fitting 15 cars to a block. With the newly implemented pay-by-plate zone system, patrons easily fit 18 cars to a block. This contributed to a major increase in revenue, allow­ing the authority to self-fund structural repairs.

Effects beyond the City
By 2014, the authority collected $47,000 a day from the pay-by-plate system, up from $22,000 from the old coin machines. The market’s response was favorable.
Other cities across the U.S. began to take notice. After the 2012 pay-by-plate transition, many requests for proposals (RFPs) for multi-space parking meters asked for pay-by-plate as at least as an option, if not the primary mode of operation.
Advancing toward Organization of the Year
In 2015, the Authority saw another opportunity to ex­pand its progress by adding a mobile payment applica­tion to the system. Users were quick to adapt to it.
Pittsburgh’s acceptance of the new payment fea­ture easily outpaced market response elsewhere. Just five months after its introduction, the city’s use of the app rose to fourth among all the app’s roster of met­ropolitan clients. By 2016, transactions reached the half-million mark to account for more than $1.2 million of meter-sourced revenue. Previous downtime of the old meters of 20 to 30 percent was reduced to less than 1 percent with the new meters and the introduction of the phone app.
Evidencing the success of its efforts, the authority was named the 2015 Parking Organization of the year by the International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI). It was recognized for not only their ability to be financially self-sufficient but for funding other city services and activities. Revenues from the new parking system continued to increase, and in that same year, the authority signed a co-op agreement with the city, giving them more than $28 million each year.

Innovation for the Long-Term
Perhaps the greatest factor of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s success is its ability to always be two steps ahead, innovating for the long-term. With the knowl­edge that approximately one-fifth of the city’s metered spaces were in off-street lots, the condition and ap­pearance of those locations were closely monitored, with any necessary repair or improvement funds set aside annually.
During a 14-month period starting mid-2015, the authority began the largest capital repair project in the organization’s 73-year history. Among those restored would be four neighborhood facilities, a project that would add a 25-year lifespan to each structure. Each pub­lic repair would be a major investment, but by the end of 2017, nearly $24 million—all internally funded—would be invested to enhance these valuable parking assets.
“One of the major factors in our ability to self-fund our capital repair and to enter into a co-op agreement with the city was the major overhaul to our meter oper­ation system,” says Onorato. “The drastic meter revenue increase can be directly related to the installation of [the] pay-by-plate system with pay-by-phone technology, along with the introduction of credit cards, three years of minor rate increases, elimination of marked spaces, and the ability to maintain the meters through data.”

The largest repair was done on the popular Third Ave­nue Garage, a facility going on six full decades of continu­ous operation. The project faced the obstacle of long-term heavy repair with the requirement that parking opera­tions be continued throughout construction. Through careful planning by the authority, the project adopted a white noise method of hydro-drilling that wouldn’t hin­der nearby businesses and schools—a sharp contrast to jackhammer drilling. Evidencing the effectiveness of the authority’s proactive approach to capital repair, the Third Avenue project received top honor in the Large Facility Renovation category by IPMI in May 2017.

Maintaining the Standard
By mid-2017, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority had come a long way from where it was five years before. A city that had spent 60+ years using the same main­stream process, had been converted by the authority’s bold moves forward. Steel City was now the City on the Move and became one of the first municipal providers to obtain IPMI recognition as an Accredited Parking Organization (APO), the certification that recognizes best practices in responsible parking management, innovation, customer service, safety, and security.
Onorato views the pursuit of accreditation as having been highly beneficial, both as a management resource and as an aid in sharpening employee awareness to con­tinuously improve all aspects of customer service.

Holding true to APO standards, the authority con­tinues to work with others to enhance economic and quality-of-life values. In the years since initial pay-by-plate installation, Onorato continues to upgrade the city’s mobility structure. Currently, the city has in­creased its multi-space kiosks to 1,040 units, respond­ing to the need for convenience in more locations.

“The purchase of advanced revenue control equip­ment and complementary software support improved operating performance across the board,” says Onorato, “The adoption of [the] pay-by -plate system enhanced virtually all aspects of that function, from customer convenience and revenue generation, to enforcement effectiveness and resolution of ticket violations.”

Today, the City of Pittsburgh is witnessing a de­crease in citations with an increase in revenue, reflect­ing that compliance with pay-by-plate is higher than ever. The authority is happy to report it has surpassed $20 million in revenue, compared to $7 million in 2012. Given the sequential investments in technology, the authority is now among the most technologically advanced operators in its field.

Read the article here.

JULIANNE WILHELM is Marketing manager with Flowbird. She can be reached at julianne.wilhelm@flowbird.group.

THE BUSINESS OF PARKING: A Legal Framework for AV Implementation

By Michael Ash, Esq., CRE

THE PROSPECT OF FULLY AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES (AVs) creates an opportunity to reshape all aspects of modern life. As AVs move from the workshop to the real world, on-road testing and early deployments will be critical to improving performance to accurately detect and anticipate complications. However, to realize the full potential of the emerging technology, mobility professionals must align with legal experts and legislators to cre­ate the framework for the safe and efficient development of autonomous vehicle technology.

In October 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released new federal guidance for AVs, “Prepar­ing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0” (AV 3.0), advancing its commitment to supporting the safe integration of automation into the broad multimodal surface transportation system. AV 3.0 outlines broad im­plementation of a legal framework on the federal level for the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology.

The Objectives of AV 3.0

AV 3.0 incorporates the results of extensive stakeholder engagement by USDOT to provide updated voluntary guid­ance and policy considerations for a range of industry sec­tors, including manufacturers and technology developers, infrastructure owners and operators, commercial motor carriers, and state and local governments. As stated in AV 3.0, USDOT seeks to pursue the following activities:

  • Establish performance-oriented, consensus-based, and voluntary standards and guidance for vehicle and infra­structure safety, mobility, and operations.
  • Conduct targeted research to support the safe integra­tion of automation.
  • Identify and remove regulatory barriers to the safe inte­gration of AVs.
  • Ensure national consistency for travel in interstate commerce.
  • Educate the public on the capabilities and limitations of AVs.

Rather than create a byzantine regulatory framework first and expect the AV industry to develop within its con­straints, the policy statement helps outline a process for USDOT to regulate new technology as innovations develop, with input from all participants. With the publication of AV 3.0, USDOT announced several upcoming rulemakings and other actions under consideration:

1. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will request public comment on a proposal to streamline and modernize the procedures it will follow when processing and deciding exemption petitions.

2. The Federal Highway Administration announced plans to update the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, taking into consideration new connected and AV technologies.

3. The Federal Railroad Administration is initiating re­search to develop and demonstrate a concept of oper­ations, including system requirements, for the use of automated and connected vehicles to improve safety of highway-rail crossings.

4. The Maritime Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are evaluating the regulatory and economic feasibility of using automated truck queueing as a technology solution to truck staging, access, and parking issues at ports.

5. The Federal Transit Administration has published a five-year research plan on automating bus transit.


USDOT is committed to five core strategies:

1. Engage stakeholders and the public as the central point between academia, private industry, public sector agen­cies, and research organizations.

2. Provide best practices and policy considerations to support stakeholders as they work to better understand automation, how it may impact their roles and respon­sibilities, and how best to integrate automated vehicles into existing and future transportation networks.

3. Support voluntary technical standards by working with stakeholders and developers to support technical stan­dards and policies development created by industry groups.

4. Conduct targeted technical research to inform policy decisions and agency actions through critical research and data analysis.

5. Modernize regulations as existing federal regulations and standards may pose challenges to the widespread integration of AVs as many current regulations are based on the assumption of the presence of a human driver.

The publication of AV 3.0 is an acknowledgement of the paradigm shift that will open the door for innovation and experimentation in the real world to safely develop AV technology. There is a clear policy goal to support emerging technologies and to not stifle the revolution of the transportation and mobility industry. There will be op­portunities for IPMI’s membership to engage with USDOT and play a major role in this process. Parking and mobility professionals are encouraged to review AV 3.0 in full at bit.ly/AV30.
This article is the first in a four-part series on the legal challenges presented by emerging technologies.

Read the article here.

MICHAEL J. ASH, Esq., CRE, is partner with Carlin & Ward. He can be reached at michael.ash@carlinward.com.

There is a clear policy goal to support emerging technologies and to not stifle the revolution of the transportation and mobility industry. WWW.TRANSPORTATION.GOV/AV/3

The Parking Professional: MOBILITY & TECH

Using Digital Signage to Optimize Occupancy and Communicate Rates

By Meghan O’Brien

REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF FACILITY YOU OWN OR OPERATE, parking rates are deter­mined and approved through private and local regulations. Although it seems like this might inhibit you from capitalizing on varying occupancy volumes at your garage, the opposite is true. By analyz­ing historical data for a parking facility and adopting a yield management approach, you are able to optimize its use and revenue.

Dynamic pricing has experienced growing global popularity in the parking world. One company found success implementing this methodology at a venue in Boston, where parking needs vary drastically de­pending on the type of parker and time of day.
LAZ Parking is one of the largest parking com­panies in the U.S., growing loyalty through a com­mitment to both its clients and employees. But with several options for parking near TD Garden, a multi-purpose arena in Boston, Mass., LAZ looked for a way to stand out among its competitors and attract additional customers, particularly during off-peak hours. While the parking venue did not struggle to at­tract parkers during games or concerts, the company decided on a strategy to conveniently and quickly change rates to increase the parking potential during less popular times without constantly reprinting windmasters and other static signage.

Automation in Play

In the hopes of improving communication with cus­tomers at this particular facility, LAZ was willing to test the benefits of a new technology. It partnered with Infotraffic to provide a solution that allowed changing rates to be programmed and displayed, putting dynamic pricing to work in a way that would be clear to customers.

LAZ programmed various parking rates using the system’s online rate calendar and management platform, which were then displayed at the entrance of the lot on a digital sign. Instead of reprinting and switching out a limited number of windmasters to display rates, the system lets managers automate, program, and display rates in real time, flexing with the market, local events, demand, and other factors. The new system was connected with the existing PARCS for a streamlined experience and also pro­vides a library of customizable digital content for an enhanced customer experience, including advertis­ing, holiday messaging, directional information for drivers, and event announcements.

“I’m very proud of this lot, and we’ve done a lot of improvements to it,” says Todd Gilbert, LAZ Parking manager. “The system is a great tool, and the sign certainly heightens the awareness and gives it some brightness. The team has been great about building rate grids for the sign, and we’ve seen a 4 percent increase in revenue since last year.”
There are great reasons dynamic pricing has tak­en off, particularly in cities and urban environments with varying parking needs depending on time of day, day of week, and what’s going on nearby. This case study illustrates the importance of both considering dynamic pricing and ensuring an effective, well-thought-out system is in place ahead of time to make it work.

Read the article here.

MEGHAN O’BRIEN is business development manager with Infotraffic and a member of IPMI’s Parking Research Committee. She can be reached at mobrien@infotraffic.com
800.241.8662 | info@southlandprinting.com Every Ticket Imaginable

PEO Safety

By Barbara Y. Roberts

When do I walk away? When do I hold my ground? PEO Safety Article

AS YOU PREPARE TO GO TO WORK, do you commonly think about how your shift will include verbal cursing, being punched, threatened, or spat on? Sadly, some parking enforcement officers (PEOs) experience abuse as they simply do their job of issuing parking compliance tickets.

Every employee should be able to go to work knowing that at the end of their shift they can head home without any damage, be it physical or psychological. There are inherent risks and challenges with parking enforcement work, which begs the question: When do I walk away? And when do I defend myself?

The Risks

As a vendor who provides privatized parking enforcement services, we have a catalogue of dangerous situations PEOs have encoun­tered. Receiving a parking ticket commonly invokes a visceral reaction from parkers when they come back to see the rectangular paper ticket affixed to their windshield. The average parker who sees a PEO issue on-street tickets typically worries more about the potential of being stuck with a $55 ticket than consider­ing that the PEO is simply enforcing parking compliance so congestion will subside.
Actual examples of dangerous situations experienced by our PEOs include a brick thrown through their vehicle window, gang members waiting for them to arrive, an unpro­voked attack, and an irate violator who threw a punch. Most people have no idea that a PEO job entails danger.

Policies and Administration

As you evaluate your enforcement program’s PEO safety, the first consideration should be alignment with your municipality’s pol­icies and administration. As an example, be sure the city’s policies focus on PEO safety first and foremost, so it is OK to let a ticket go. Re­garding meter time, too little time expired before ticketing can lead to the perception of predatory enforcement, which generates citizen animosity and creates legions of angry parkers. In some cit­ies, parking policy gives a one- to three-minute grace period before ticketing. The public then sees enforcement as more fair because a driver will not receive a ticket immediately after the meter expires.
For issuance policy, when a person walks up while a PEO is issuing a ticket, does he or she still issue it? That is an important policy consideration, and I’d encourage you to consider a more liberal ticket cancellation policy.
Concerning administration, collaborate with local police to identify high-crime areas. In known danger spots, or during certain times of the day, is parking enforcement a necessity? A municipality’s policies and administration should always be con­tinuously reviewed to synchronize with PEO safety.

Using Technology

Advancements in market technologies and tools can improve your PEOs’ safety. There are more options as handheld issuing devices are converting to smartphones. With automated issuance, an alert button can be used for assistance and issue escalation. Smartphones can automatically call for assistance during threatening situ­ations. GPS-enabled vehicles or smartphones can mon­itor PEO locations when alerts trigger. Voice recordings or picture captures in handheld-ticketing applications can be supporting evidence in after-action reporting to substantiate field actions taken. Although technology features may add costs, PEO safety is invaluable.

Evaluating Imminent Threats

To improve safety, train your PEOs to be aware of their surroundings and evaluate the types of imminent threat.

We suggest several tips:

  • Know your routes, danger pockets, and mix up your routes.
  • Keep watch for gang areas.
  • Be aware of mentally unstable people and unexpected behavior.
  • Monitor altercations in the same area for patterns.
  • Teach communication skills to defuse hostile situations.

As a part of PEO training, teach them to evaluate the type of threat they are encountering. In keeping with law enforcement, the three main types of imminent threat are passive, passive aggressive, and aggressive. There are no givens, but examples of each type of threat are shown in table 1 with a description, likely response, and indicative action plan.

Enhanced PEO Training

In most cases, more training is needed for PEOs to under­stand how to react in different situations.

Such training should include:

  • Carry yourself with confidence, not arrogance.
  • Wear the appropriate safety equipment and clothing to maximize visibility.
  • Enforcement is a distracted driving practice; therefore standardize cellphone and radio usage.
  • Know where you should position yourself so you can see as much as possible while still completing the is­suance of a notice of parking violation to avoid being struck by a passing vehicle, bicycle, or irate person.
  • Know what tools your agency authorizes for self-defense.
  • Know your own physical health, injuries, and limitations.
  • Know what to do it someone grabs you around your neck, waist, hair, arms, or legs.
  • If someone threatens you with a weapon, the time for talk is over. Leave the area immediately.
  • Know what your reporting system requires to track and collect assault and incident data.
  • What application should you use and what information does it need to analyze the data for policy, safety gear, or route modification changes?

Legislative Changes

Consider supporting legislative changes to support PEO safety. In Canada, assault on a parking enforcement offi­cer or bylaw officer conducting traffic bylaw enforcement is punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada as as­sault on a peace officer and carries higher penalties than standard assault.

Finding the Right Answers

Due to the myriad of variables and scenarios that can occur in the life of a PEO, there are no absolutes regarding the perfect response to every incident. PEOs perform a very important job for municipalities to keep traffic flowing, increase turnover for economic development, and enforce parking compliance on our crowded streets to keep our citizens safe. But our PEOs deserve safety as well. For the questions “When do I walk away? And when do I defend myself?” there are no perfect answers, but new and differ­ent training is needed to improve safety as much as possible so every PEO gets home unharmed.

The average parker who sees a PEO issue on-street tickets typically worries more about the potential of being stuck with a $55 ticket than considering that the PEO is simply enforcing parking compliance so congestion will subside.

There are more options as handheld issuing devices are converting
to smartphones. With automated issuance, an alert button can be used
for assistance and issue escalation.

Table 1: Types of Imminent Threat

Threat Type
Action Plan

1 – Passive
You don’t feel in danger and your public interactions are without active response or resistance.
Defuse the situation using your words.
Improve your verbal communication skills. IPMI offers a Tactical Communications course designed to use effective communication to mitigate situations that are becoming unruly.

2 – Passive Aggressive
You feel indirect resistance from your public interaction and sense that the situation could escalate to a more aggressive direct confrontation.
Continue to defuse a tense situation using your words, wherever possible.
Assess if you continue with your duties or leave the situation.

3- Aggressive
You feel your personal well-being is in immediate danger.
Leave the area and call for assistance.
If feasible, record voice documentation of the situation and/or take pictures of the scene.

Read the article here.


BARBARA Y. ROBERTS is Director, Business development with Serco Inc. and a member of IPMI’s Safety and Security Commmittee. She can be reached at barbara.roberts@serco-na.com. This article is a product of the Safety & Security Committee’s Safety for Parking Enforcement Officers Working Group.


The Green Standard: I Was Going to Recycle, but …

By Yasser Jabbari

YOU ARE LATE FOR WORK. You are carrying the breakfast that you some­how did not spill on yourself navigating through morning traffic. As you speed-walk through the parking lot, you come to a set of trash and recy­cling cans that have words on the front of them that you never really have time to read. What you do notice is that the trash cans have swinging doors on them, which means one of the hands being used to eat your breakfast is going to have to touch that door before you can throw away some of the trash from your car. Instead of doing that, you leave the trash on top of the container and never think about it again.

What was just described might be happening right now in any number of parking lots around the world. How do we convince our customers to act re­sponsibly with the trash they bring into the parking lot? On the other end of it, are we giving customers the right oppor­tunities in the right places to complete a sustainable act? A lack of trash cans or the wrong type of cans will negate any conscious effort to do the right thing.

Offering the Right Stuff
Disneyland has trash receptacles ev­ery 30 feet in any direction. They have figured out that people are only willing to walk 30 feet to throw out trash. They also have only two receptacles at any location: one for trash and one for glass and plastic bottles. The user’s choice becomes very simple at this point.

If you come across five different trash receptacles, are you going to stop and look at every single one to figure out which gets your half-eaten bagel and which gets your coffee cup, or are you just going to throw it in the trash and make peace with the compromise that it did not end up on the ground? The small impediments we as operators put in front of our customers will make or break whether a person makes the right choice.

The example given above was actual feedback our department received from customers in our parking lots. When it came time to replace the garbage can lids, the new ones were selected be­cause they had open lids that made it easy to just drop the trash in—no touch­ing with one’s hands.

Along with accessibility and ease of use, sustainability needs to be driven with education, ideally before a customer even arrives at the parking facility. Operators can take advantage of the recycling and trash norms most people adhere to that dictate how to discard refuse in the right way. But do we know what happens to that trash after it leaves our facilities?
What was once recyclable is no longer recyclable, and a well-meaning customer in a parking lot who thinks he or she is doing the right thing may not actually be at all. We need to make sure that the customer has the proper information so he or she really does the right thing. This goes hand-in-hand with easily accessible facilities that make the proper choices possible.

Consider pizza boxes. A pizza box is made from cardboard; cardboard can be recycled, so that goes into the blue recy­cling container. In actuality, because of the grease in the pizza, that box actually can’t be recycled and is now a contam­inant in the recycling can. The same goes for paper cups or plates, which sometimes have plastic or petroleum lining to make them last longer. Contrary to first glance, these items are not re­cyclable and should be disposed of in a landfill bin.

In the end, the interaction between a customer and a trash can or recycling bin is very short and one-directional. To effect any kind of change, people must be educated before they ever come near a trash or recycling can so they can make the right choice.

While I applaud any organization that can effectively compost from a parking lot, most users of our facilities just want to be able to make a simple choice—the right choice—and move on with their day. Can we achieve that with a simple trash can and recycling bin and clear labeling? I believe that most people will use the receptacles as long as we don’t get in their way.

Read the article here.

YASSER JABBARI works in facilities for transportation and parking services at the University of California, Riverside, and is a member of IPMI’s Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at yasser.jabbari@ucr.edu.


The Business of Parking: It’s Time for Your ADA Audit

By Michael J. Ash, Esq., CRE

THE LATEST RULES FOR ACCESS AND ACCOMMODATIONS in public and private facilities have been in effect since 2010, when the U.S. Department of Justice issued updated regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Requirements about access and accommoda­tion have evolved since the 2010 regulations went into effect, as courts have interpreted the ADA regulations in response to litigation. While ADA regulations have very specific rules for public and private parking, lawsuits have created additional re­quirements for parking operators. Private and public parking operators should review their compliance with the ADA regulations and relevant judicial opin­ions in their jurisdictions to prevent expensive (and ­unanticipated) lawsuits.

The 2010 Regulations

The 2010 ADA amendments included new require­ments for the quantity of accessible parking spaces and van-accessible parking spaces:

  • Medical facilities require more accessible parking than other types of uses.
  • Accessible parking spaces must connect to the building entrance by the shortest possible route and/or must be dispersed throughout a parking facility that serves multiple buildings.
  • Accessible parking spaces must comply with strict design criteria to accommodate width, access aisles, and loading areas.
  • They must be clearly marked with signage and striping to identify the availability of the acces­sible space and discourage others from parking in them.
  • Accessible parking spaces should be maintained with a heightened standard of care to remove snow, debris, or other impediments to access.

Enforcement of the ADA regulations is often left to private parties and nonprofit advocacy groups through the filing of a lawsuit.

Drive-by Lawsuits
Complaints for non-compliant ADA facilities have increased dramatically since 2015. Under Title III of the ADA, a plaintiff is not entitled to money damages but can seek reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs. The provision for attorneys’ fees has created a niche practice area for attorneys filing lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs with disabilities.
Entities with perceived parking deficiencies are even more susceptible to lawsuits in violation of the ADA for “construction-related access claims.” These lawsuits are commonly referred to as drive-by lawsuits because a potential plaintiff does not need to get out of his or her vehicle or patronize the es­tablishment to spot a potential violation. It is not un­common for a parking operator who is targeted with this type of suit to remediate the perceived violation and pay a nuisance settlement rather than incur the costs to litigate the matter.

ADA compliance through litigation has changed the requirements for accessible parking above and beyond the regulations.

On-street Parking
A recent California decision resulted in the exten­sion of ADA accessibility guidelines to on-street parking where no requirement existed in the regula­tions themselves. In Fortyune v. City of Lomita, 766 F. 3d 1098 (9th Cir. 2014), the City of Lomita, Calif., was sued by a private citizen for failure to provide on-street accessible diagonal stall parking. The city attempted to dismiss the suit on the basis that the ADA regulations did not require accessible on-street parking spaces. The lower court denied the city’s motion, finding “all public services must be readily accessible” to individuals with disabilities, “whether or not a federal agency has created spe­cific guidelines for a particular service.” The court relied on the intent of the ADA regulations that make it unlawful to deny public service to individu­als with disabilities.

This decision was upheld on appeal. The Ninth Circuit panel who considered the case noted that the absence of architectural guidelines does not preclude the city from making its on-street parking facilities accessible to people with disabilities. The Ninth Circuit made the specific finding that on-street parking is a “program, service, or activity” for pur­poses of Title II similar to the treatment of sidewalks that public entities have to ensure the accessibility of, even though the Title II regulations do not specifi­cally address sidewalks.
The resulting effect from the decision was for cities to reevaluate and address the accessibility of on-street parking, as well as their other programs, services, and activities, to ensure compliance with longstanding statutory obligations to avoid dis­crimination against individuals with disabilities, re­gardless of whether detailed regulations or specific guidelines addressing those programs, services, and activities exist.

Parking operators should consult with their at­torneys and consultants to ensure compliance with ADA guidelines and for other potential liabilities to avoid the prevalent drive-by lawsuit.

Read the article here.

MICHAEL J. ASH, Esq., CRE, is a partner with Decotiis, Fitzpatrick, & Cole, LLP. He can be reached at mash@decotiislaw.com.

Honoring an Urbanist

The work of Jane Jacobs and what it means to parking.

2018-12 Urbanist 1 2018-12 Urbanist 2

By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

On a recent project trip to Boise, Idaho, I was invited to wait in the conference room of our client, the Capital City Develop­ment Corporation, or CCDC, until other meeting attendees arrived. I had been in this conference room in the past, but it was a little different this time.
The agency had renamed the conference room the Jane Jacobs Room to honor the noted urbanist and activist who offered a new vision for diverse and vibrant urban redevelopment that prioritized people over automobiles. A small card was on a table in the waiting room outside that listed 10 of Jacobs’ princi­ples the CCDC, Boise’s urban redevelopment agency, has embraced in its daily work:

1. Eyes on the street.
2. Social capital.
3. The generators of diversity.
4. Form still follows function.
5. Local economies.
6. Innovation.
7. Make many little plans.
8. Gradual money.
9. Cities as organized complexity.
10. Citizen science.

I have run across many urban planners during my career whose critical thinking, innovative ap­proaches, and practical applications changed the way I think about urban environments. This in­cludes such names as Jan Gehl (Life Between Build­ings), Daniel Hudson Burnham (Chicago architect and planner), Kevin Andrew Lynch (The Image of the City), and contemporary planners such as John Fregonese from Portland, Ore., with whom I had the pleasure of working on a project in Dallas, Texas.

A Little More About Jacobs
The card outside the conference room inspired me to learn more about Jane Jacobs. In her 1961 book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” she critiqued 1950s urban planning policies, which she believed were responsible for the decline of many city neighborhoods in the U.S. Going against the mod­ernist planning dogma of the era, Jacobs proposed a newfound appreciation for organic urban vibrancy in the United States.
Jacobs argued that modernist urban planning neg­atively affected cities because it rejected the value of human beings living in a community characterized by layered complexity and seeming chaos. The modernist planners preferred to use deductive reasoning to devel­op principles by which to plan cities. Among these poli­cies, she considered urban renewal the most dangerous and prevalent of the era. These policies, she claimed, destroy communities and innovative economies by creating isolated, unnatural, urban spaces.

In their place Jacobs advocated for what she called “four generators of diversity” that create effective eco­nomic pools of use and emphasized the importance of place. Her four generators of diversity were:

  • Mixed primary uses, activating streets at different times of the day.
  • Short blocks, allowing high pedestrian permeability.
  • Buildings of various ages and states of repair.
  • Density.

She sought to better understand and develop con­cepts for the role of cities in the economy. She felt the importance of a sense of place and multi-dimensional diversity in urban policy and design allows us to see the multiplicity of economies and working cultures, in which regional, national, and global economies are embedded.

Parking and Mobility
In reviewing the 10 urban planning principles noted above, I was struck by how closely they resembled many of the planning principles I have adopted from multiple sources over the years:

  • Eyes on the Street: Pedestrian traffic throughout the day, and the watchful eyes that come with it, en­hance the safety of city streets. In my work with the Interna­tional Downtown Association, I got to know and appreciate business improvement dis­tricts and downtown devel­opment authorities that run downtown clean-and-safe pro­grams as a primary strategy for urban area revitalization. The eyes-on-the-street principle has become well accepted and has, in fact, become a central tenet of the policies endorsed by the philosophy of crime pre­vention through environmen­tal design (CPTED).
  • Social Capital: The idea that every day activities and interactions that occur in an area create a net­work of relationships between neighbors and gener­ate social capital is central to Jacobs’ philosophy. As I have seen the parking profession grow and mature, I see parking professionals becoming more actively engaged in their communities and in the process of building foundations of mutual trust, shared efforts, and resilience in times of trouble. Examples include parking professionals who serve on multiple com­munity boards or other civic institutions and offer programs such as food for fines (pay parking fines with food donations), forget the fines (pay parking fines with homeless center donations), etc. I think Jacobs would have endorsed activities and pro­grams such as these.
  • The Generators of Diversity: Four factors in city planning and design help make the city diverse, safe, social, convenient, and economically vibrant. These are mixed uses, aged buildings, small blocks, and population density. Certainly, modern parking garage design has embraced mixed-use facilities and enhanced architecture, and there are sever­al that have embraced historic preservation by integrating old building facades into new garage designs. Emerging trends such as automated and adaptive reuse garages are useful concepts for sup­porting denser urban environments in the future.
  • Form Still Follows Function: Fashions and tech­nologies come and go, but what always remains relevant are the countless ways that people use the city, how the city works as a whole, and whether our urban design and planning reflect and serve those functions. Adapting to changing environments and technologies is at the heart of modern parking management. Adopting new curb-lane management strategies to support ride hailing and other shared mobility innovations is a good example.
  • Local Economies: Economic growth, whether local, national, or global, relies on the ability of urban economies to provide amply and diversely for themselves, rather than relying on imports. A key focus of my work the past decade has involved advancing the concept of parking as a tool for com­munity and economic development. One compo­nent of this is leveraging parking infrastructure de­velopment to achieve a variety of other community benefits, such as green roofs, public art, integrated residential development, street-level retail, and community gathering places. Customer-friendly parking management is essential to supporting a diverse set of business enterprises, especially in dense urban environments.
  • Innovation and Creativity: The greater the diver­sity of existing work in a local economy, the more opportunities to add new work and recombine old work in new ways. Parking structures can reflect community personality as well as cultural and social diversity. One of my favorite examples of this is the city of Eugene, Ore.’s, Step into Poetry program, along with its colorful garage murals, art-wrapped multi-space meters, and other public art projects.
  • Make Many Little Plans: The diversity of a good neighborhood can only be achieved when we allow many different people to pursue their own little plans, individually and collectively. My first reaction to this principle was to contrast it with Daniel Burn­ham’s famous quote: “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably them­selves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.” After I let this contrast marinate a little, I realized that while these two statements seem to be at odds with each other, they are actually quite complementary. Both are needed to advance and sustain urban environments and their essential vitality and functionality.
  • Gradual Money: Both diverse little plans and new kinds of work require diverse little sources of mon­ey available on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, both public and private sources often only provide money floods and money droughts instead. I have been impressed in recent years to see local park­ing programs stepping up to be funding sources or partners to support projects that benefit their communities’ larger strategic goals. Examples in­clude parking programs being financial supporters of downtown master plan projects or community bike-share programs.
  • Cities as Organized Complexity: Cities function like ecosystems. Everything is connected to every­thing else in intricate, particular ways that cannot be captured well by statistics or formulas. Only close observation and reasoning from the bottom up will do. My work in cities has always held a fascination with the marvelous and often unexpected ways that dense, multicultural environments express themselves in urban settings. The rich and creative cultural stew created by so many diverse groups and activities can truly be magical (and even a little grit­ty at times). This authenticity is powerful and pal­pable, especially when contrasted to newer lifestyle centers that try to emulate urban cities but often come off feeling staged or contrived.
  • Citizen Science: The people best equipped to un­derstand urban complexity are ordinary interested citizens. Without the assumptions that often come with professional training, everyday users of the city can learn more freely from what they see and experience firsthand. I have spent my fair share of time attending or presenting to city council meet­ings and other community forums. Reinforcing this principle, I have often been impressed with the insights brought by the engaged citizens who attend these meetings. Their insights are grounded in their firsthand knowledge and experience of their com­munities. Merging these local insights into larger planning concepts through engaged community outreach always improves community planning in my opinion.

In Summary
While many of these concepts have become bedrock planning principles, it is often the simplest ideas that have the biggest effects. I am happy that many, if not all, of these principles are being integrated in day-to-day parking management programs across the country!

Read the article here.

L. DENNIS BURNS, CAPP, is regional vice president and senior practice builder with Kimley-Horn. He can be reached at dennis.burns@kimley-horn.com.

Case Study: Improving the Fan Experience

18-09 Improving the Fan Experience18-09 Improving Fan experience pg 2

By David Hoyt

The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium (home to the Atlanta Falcons football team and Atlanta United FC soccer) opened for business in 2017. The state-of-the-art facility replaced the Georgia Dome, which was in operation since 1992. From day one, the new stadium’s owners challenged both internal and external team members to create a fan experience like no other, and from the unique architectural design elements to cutting-edge technologies inside and out, Mercedes-Benz Stadium did just that. And, by the way, the new stadium, which rivals some of the most iconic event venues in the world, includes one of the most innovative parking experiences anywhere.

If you have never been, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in­cludes some of the most captivating features ever seen in a sports arena environment. The design includes an eight-panel retractable roof that resembles and opens like a pinwheel, allowing the stadium to open and close depending on weather and other elements.
Inside the stadium, a 360-degree “halo” cylindrical video board curves around the top, from end zone to end zone, showcasing game highlights, advertisements, and other graphics and features. Further, the stadium also features a 100-yard bar stretching the length of the football field on the upper concourse, as well as a fanta­sy football lounge and premium field-level club seating behind the team benches.

How parking made a difference at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Ownership continues to invest in this world-class venue by adding more entry and exit points into the stadium, creating a Home Depot Backyard fan zone, a future pedestrian bridge providing access from certain parking areas, and a nearby MARTA transit station. Ownership is relentless in providing a fan experience like no other.

One of the most critical elements to improving the fan experience was to accommodate the parking needs of the thousands of spectators arriving to events at the stadium. In a place like Atlanta, Ga., the majority of event attendees drive, so the project required the inte­gration of numerous parking facilities and lots.
As is the case with most event operations, but par­ticularly a 70,000-seat urban stadium, the effective and efficient movement of vehicles in and out of the parking areas can have a profound effect on the overall fan experience. Therefore, parking was one of the highest priorities to this project. In particular, a main question was how to administer a parking program that can en­hance—not detract from—the arrival experience.

Designing a Program for Fans
The first step to ensuring a positive parking experience was to develop a parking program specifically designed for the fans. The project team, which consisted of team and ParkMobile staff, was tasked with creating a program that would work for all stakeholders, includ­ing suite holders, season ticket holders, single-game ticket holders, one-off event holders, VIPs, staff, third-party employees, volunteers, and the media. The project team had to account for each of these stake­holders and, in many cases, develop a specific parking strategy for each.

The parking program at the stadium had to effec­tively engage with the fans before their automobiles came to rest at their parking spaces. Out of those initial discussions, an interactive web interface was designed that could provide all necessary stakeholders with the ability to take their appropriate parking action remote­ly via multiple mediums.
This Mercedes-Benz parking reservation interface creates an efficient process for administering the ap­propriate parking rights to the various stakeholders. The interactive reservation system allows future park­ers to select the event they are planning to attend and the parking facility or lot in which they wish to park. The platform provides the location and details of each parking area, including a map, distance from the sta­dium, pricing, and ease of exit. Patrons can then either print their parking pass or retrieve their pass in their stadium or parking reservation app at any time. Future enhancements will include the purchase of the parking pass via certain connected cars, allowing the fan to re­serve and drive straight to a stadium parking lot via the in-vehicle navigation screen. Further, the site provides digital parking passes that are accountable and audit­able, with each game or event permit being unique to that particular date and time.

As ownership only had control of a limited number of parking spaces, the project team had to engage with the area operators to secure enough parking for the fans, staff, third-party vendors, and all other stakehold­ers. Because the program had to provide access to all stakeholders, parking inventory had to include both prime and secondary spaces. The current program includes more than 20,000 parking spaces from seven different parking operators up to two miles away from the stadium.

The Importance of Reservations
Because the stadium was going to have a high drive ratio, getting the fans to their parking areas was critical to the success of the program. The project team knew early on that we must focus primarily on providing the ability to pre-purchase and reserve parking. While parking reservations took the guesswork out of making the parking purchase decision, providing fans with real-time routing could reduce the number of people driving around looking for their parking locations.

Thanks to a partnership with Waze, every parking permit allows for real-time routing to the parking facility entrance. Not only does this help create a more efficient and pleasant experience for parkers (and parking staff), but it also helps reduce congestion and improve safety by expediting fans directly to a parking garage or lot.

Monitoring Is Key
While the program encompasses multiple parking op­erators, some have embraced the concept of improving the fan experience through parking. SP+ constantly monitors event parking in real time via its command center at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC). Through a robust campus-wide camera system, as well as significant personnel on the ground, watching the situation in the parking areas and on the streets, in­gress times are closely monitored.

This system also includes real-time tracking of how many parking passes have been purchased, as well as an inventory of vehicles and used parking spaces as facilities fill up. This information is critically import­ant to the ability to park as many cars as quickly as pos­sible, taking advantage of unclaimed reservations and under-used parking areas.
GWCC recently invested in additional technology that tracks all transactions down to the smallest de­tail and is fully integrated to accept stadium parking reservations in real time. All the data—electronic and visual—is used to make real-time decisions at the most critical time of the parking experience. The parking team evaluates its performance after every event, taking into account all the factors that influence the ingress and egress of the events—weather, score, date of the event, time of the event, etc. If there are potential improvements to be made, the team takes immediate action before the next event.

Promoting Alternative Transportation
The project team knew that promoting alternative modes of transportation would reduce congestion and improve the overall fan experience at the stadium. In addition to providing significant accommodations to attendees driving vehicles, the project team focused on creating more mobility options for those who may seek an alternative to driving.
As mentioned, there is a MARTA public transpor­tation station next to the stadium, so people have the option to take the train if they choose. Ride-sharing is also growing in popularity, with many attendees being dropped off near the stadium by services such as Uber and Lyft. Mercedes-Benz Stadium partnered with Lyft to provide two pick-up/drop-off locations in close proximity to the stadium.

Another very unique element to this project was the promotion of bicycle transportation. Biking to the sta­dium is easy. The stadium partnered with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to provide an enjoyable riding experi­ence, including a bike valet at most events and 250 bike racks around the stadium.

The final step to the development and implementation of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium parking program is com­munication. It is extremely important to keep the fans connected and make them feel they are being served in the best manner possible, from arriving at the stadium in their vehicle, via public transportation, or even on a bike or on foot, throughout the course of the game or event, and when they leave at the end. In addition to the various applications and websites mentioned, the media has also been critical to helping get the word out to patrons.

Local Atlanta media regularly provide important information related to parking, technology, alter­native-transportation options, and event tailgating. Mercedes-Benz Stadium also uses social media to a great extent to communicate directly with future cus­tomers regarding events weeks in advance and their parking and transportation options the day of their planned event.

The undertaking of such a significant new stadium, in an urban downtown setting like Atlanta, comes with a number of complications. However, after less than a year in operation, they have already seen many suc­cessful events and results, including:

  • Rated No. 2 in 2017 NFL fan arrival.
  • Voted No. 1 in the NFL and MLS “Voice of the Fan” surveys.
  • Won the SportTechie award for most innovative venue.
  • Sports Business Journal Sports Breakthrough of the Year for food and beverage experience.
  • Sports Team of the Year—Atlanta United.
  • Sports Executive of the Year—Arthur Blank (owner of the Atlanta Falcons).
  • Hosted the 2018 college football playoff champion­ship game.
  • Future host of the 2019 Super Bowl and MLS All-Star Game, as well as the 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

While the average, everyday event attendee may not necessarily make the connection, we in the parking in­dustry understand that without an effective and quali­ty parking and transportation program, not only would the day-to-day events be far more complicated and difficult, but it would be nearly impossible to provide the highest-level fan experience possible. The owners, managers, and decision-makers of Mercedes-Benz Stadium understood the importance of not only creat­ing a great experience inside the stadium, but outside the stadium as well. They took into account the events of the entire event day, from arrival to departure, and went to great lengths to consider the many details of a very complicated process.

Parking and transportation issues often get lost in the details of such a significant project, yet the de­velopment of a comprehensive, intuitive, and quality parking and transportation program has helped to dra­matically improve the Mercedes-Benz Stadium experi­ence for fans from beginning to end.

Read the article here.

DAVID HOYT is senior vice president, sales and account management, with ParkMobile. He can be reached at david.hoyt@parkmobile.io.


Disruption! Mobility! What’s a Parking Professional to Expect?

By Trevyr Meade, LEED GA

18-09 Disruption Mobility IPMI’s Parking Research Committee convened experts and professionals and invited them to weigh in on what to expect in transportation, shared mobility, and effecting positive change.

WE HEAR A LOT ABOUT MOBILITY—the ability to get from place to place—especially in cities. But what do trends in transit, shared rides and vehicles, and alternate modes of transportation mean for parking organizations? IPI’s Parking Research Committee asked some of the industry’s top experts for their opinions.
During the next 10 years what will be the biggest driver of change in our transportation systems?

Gary Lawrence: I think there will be three major drivers of change in our mobility and access systems. First will be the deg­radation of existing infrastructure with insufficient funding to replace it while also embedding needed communications ar­chitecture. The second will be a shift from fossil to alternative fuels. And there will be increases in urban congestion in surface transportation system, requiring multidi­mensional thinking.
Chris Atkins: The biggest drivers will be the rise of the sharing economy, its effects on driving, as well as the rise of autonomous and electrically powered ve­hicles. Also, from a technology perspective, the continued rise of digital transforma­tion using data to design new models of citizen mobility.

Robert Ferrin: Mobility behavior enabled by innovation will be the biggest driver in our transportation system. Con­ventional norms on how we access place are rapidly changing, spurred by shared-­mobility providers and instant informa­tion at your fingertips. Owning a car is no longer a necessity in locations where good public transit is coupled with robust car- and bike-share, dynamic shuttle systems, and other shared-mobility providers. As mobility behavior continues to change, it is important we create forward-thinking policies and programs to encourage the efficient movement of people and goods to support the growth of our communities.

Diana Alarcon: For South Florida, it will be the development of a regional mass transportation system. Our current mode of transportation in South Florida is a car. The three regional counties are currently working with the local transit agency on developing a mass transportation system of moving folks through all three counties. As these transitions occur, it will be the local cities’ challenge of that first/last mile trav­el. That is using all modes: walkability, bi­cycle, ride-sharing, car, car-sharing, trolley, bus and modern street car. And the biggest challenge will be: How do we make it work with the limited right-of-way available and curb to manage the traffic flow?

Joachim Hauser: The biggest driver for change will be digitalization indeed. There is no other technology around the block that will have more influence. ­Decision-making by each driver and indi­vidual will be accomplished by city-wide fleet management and in-car traffic man­agement, observing singular movements of cars, and managing traffic in a wider city-appropriate manner.

What should parking and transportation professionals know about shared mobility? What effects will shared mobility have on parking?

David Stein: The effects of shared mo­bility are real, but at the same time, there is still a great unknown in what the end results will be regarding parking. Adoption rates, investment in new technologies, and varying approaches to these emerging concepts mean there is no one-size-fits-all model and each municipality, region, or country will have already experienced different impacts to date. However, I think there is some consensus that as shared mobility begins to rise, the demand for parking will decrease and the way we think about parking will change. Accordingly, we should be proactive and resolute in our ap­proaches and response to the emerging and evolving system.

Robert Ferrin: In our urban cen­ters, shared-mobility providers are offering a new way to get from point A to point B that does not include taking traditional transportation options such as public transit or a single-occupancy vehicle. These pro­viders are having profound effects on our industry. For off-street providers, shared mobility is, in some cases, driving down parking demand and forcing operators to think differently about how they allocate spaces and permits to users. For on-street pro­viders and regulators, shared-mobili­ty providers are changing the way we allocate curb lane space beyond the traditional uses such as taxis, limos, and metered parking spaces. Flexible use of curb lane space is important to maximize limited parking and loading areas.

Joachim Hauser: We know from scientific studies that each car-­sharing car is able to substitute for up to seven individual cars. This figure might not be scalable to the entire car park, but there is a clear option to reduce the number of cars in a city. Most of these eliminated cars might have their parking at roadside, and they are seldom used. So this might not affect off-street parking at all. Furthermore, cities might use the chance to reduce on-street parking capacities to the advantage of park­ing operators. Also, mobility as such does not seem to be close to its saturation yet, which means more options for rides probably will lead to more rides but not to more cars. New opportunities are given by usage of strategically inter­esting parking locations as mobility hubs.

What current trends are you seeing related to mobility that are disrupting traditional transportation trends?

David Stein: The growth in the ride-hail industry is probably the most prevalent and identifiable trend that’s disrupting tradi­tional transportation throughout the world. First and foremost, the concept and functionality of a taxi has been transformed, and in many places, the ride-hail industry has outpaced and outnum­bers the traditional taxi market. It has also changed the way we think about moving from space to space and mobility in general. While car-share has changed our perception of mobility and is viewed as a mechanism to reduce car ownership and use, the pure func­tionality, cost, and convenience offered by ride-hail vehicles is changing the transportation landscape. For example, a recent article in Crain’s New York Business cites the rise of Uber and Lyft as both a major contributor to conges­tion while at the same time, discour­aging people from driving into the city. Operationally, parking operators are seeing less volume and demand in their facilities, creating what the author calls a “one-two punch” to our transportation system and skewing transportation trends like ­never before.

Diana Alacorn: Ride-sharing is a game changer in how people move in two ways: It allows someone the flexibil­ity of moving without the responsibility of a car, but at the same time, the num­ber of ride-share vehicles on the road­way is creating more traffic congestion. In time, the market will work through the number of ride-share vehicles that are on the road, but the demand for parking spaces will decrease as less peo­ple bring their own cars. Ultimately it may be a wash because reduced parking demand will open up curb space, which can accommodate ride-share queuing to reduce the traffic congestion on city surface streets.

Gary Lawrence: Declines in the quality of infrastructure—roads, rail, bridges—and associated infrastructure such as parking structures are compounding in­creases in vehicle trips and associated congestion. In addition, online shopping is putting more delivery vehicles on the streets, particularly in dense urban centers. Demand increases coupled with a reduced delivery speed and reduced reliability are causing frustration in many communities.

How do you see the design of parking structures evolving in response to these changes?

Robert Ferrin: Parking garages will need to adapt to new trans­portation innovations and be more than buildings that house vehicles. Older garages will need to be retrofitted to accommodate connected vehicles or lose their competitive advantage to newer facilities. Revenue-control equipment will need to be flexible to allow for in-vehicle payment and access and share real-time parking availability in an efficient manner. New garages should be designed to accommodate non-parking uses such as housing or office space, as the latest urban infill projects in Columbus, Ohio, are being designed.

Chris Atkins: Large-scale deployment of the internet of things (IOT) and communications infrastructure will generate lots of data. The data will be used to design mobility solutions, including parking, to take advantage of the ability to sense, moni­tor, and respond in real time. New pricing techniques and unified payment systems will also be designed using this data.

David Stein: With parking operators experiencing less de­mand, cities are seeing a golden opportunity for redevelopment through the adaptive reuse and/or redevelopment of their park­ing assets, both surface and garages. With many cities seeing their assets reaching the end of their useful life and limited op­portunities for growth, as well as people moving back into cities from the suburbs, there is little point to continued investment in such properties. Cities across the U.S. are seeing these prop­erties transformed into mixed-use development, rich in transit accessibility, and reinvigorating what were once desolate blocks.

How can the parking industry partner with mobility providers and managers to positively effect change?

Diana Alacorn: Parking operators from all branches of the busi­ness need to look and recreate the experience for the first and last mile. We work to meet federal, state, and local laws, but we forget to provide the patron an amazing experience. What is that experience? How can we all make it better? What is the customer service that you want to deliver and have your customer experi­ence? What do we need to do to make that experience the best! Working on the first and last mile will be the most important linkage between the parking and mobility industries.

Chris Atkins: Embrace the sharing economy, develop part­nerships to enhance the “smartness” of your infrastructure, and view yourself as a critical part of citizen mobility.
Gary Lawrence: I think the parking industry will need to move from being peripheral to mobility problem-solving to a more centralized role bringing together all modes and potential uses for storage and distribution.

Robert Ferrin: Municipal parking leaders should be creat­ing forward-thinking regulations to celebrate and grow these new mobility options for our customers. Setting the stage in the public realm for these transportation options to prosper will lead to additional mobility opportunities for all citizens in our com­munities. Taking chances with pilot or demonstration projects can test a concept and lead to increased acceptance of mobility options, such as car-share, ride-share, dynamic shuttle systems, and bike-sharing systems.

The effects of shared mobility are real but at the same time, there is still a great unknown in what the end results will be regarding parking.

Read the article here.

TREVYR MEADE, LEED GA, is certification program lead with the U.S. Green Building Council and a member of IPI’s Parking Research Committee. He can be reached at tmeade@gbci.org.


Our Experts

DIANE ALARCON is transportation and mobility department director for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

CHRIS ATKINS is vice president for digital government transformation at SAP Public Sector.

ROBERT FERRIN is assistant director for parking services with the City of Columbus (Ohio) Department of Public Service.

JOACHIM HAUSER is head of project, automated driving on business ground, with the BMW Group.

GARY LAWRENCE is chief planning and resilience strategist/principal with Enviro Dynamix.

DAVID STEIN is director, parking planning and policy, with the New York City Department of Transportation.


Driving Smart Cities: The Trends affecting parking, transportation, and the evolution of mobility.

By Brett Wood, CAPP, PE; and Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C

Driving Smart CitiesThe goal of this piece is to share seven key trends and innovations that will affect our industry and your business. This is not a definitive tome predicting the future, but rather a place to start examining where we are headed as an industry and generate conversations (and possibly arguments) about what that means for us as professionals. While it’s important to review recent survey results and relevant research, we also felt it’s critical to take a look at key bleeding-edge, disruptive, and innovative trends from within our typical space—as well as outside of it.

Trend 1: Evolution of the Curbside Environment
During the past 10 years, the curbside environment in our cities, universities, and airports has changed dra­matically, with rapid growth in competition for needs along the curb. What was once the domain of parking, loading, and transit now sees competition from food trucks, parklets, bicycles, transportation network com­panies (TNCs), and a variety of other uses. This rapid rise in competing interests naturally draws the concern of parking professionals, but the multi-faceted need is actually empowering industry professionals to think creatively and dynamically.

In recent years, our cities have adopted policies that promote flexible use of the curb, aiding businesses with loading needs in the morning, parking needs mid-day, and advanced passenger drop-off in the evenings. This dynamic approach is improving use of the curb and promoting higher activity and revenue for parking pro­grams and businesses alike. With this new approach, we have seen increased thoughtfulness related to policy development, data collection and aggregation, and curbside access. As the transportation industry continues to change, the need to be flexible, creative, and dynamic along the curb will also grow.


Trend 2: The Dynamic Parking
(and Transportation, and Mobility) Professional
Evolving responsibilities mean changing skill sets that are required for professional success, as organizations and as individuals. IPI’s 2018 Emerging Trends in Parking survey cited massive change on the horizon for parking professionals; in response to the question “Which of the following best describes the parking professional of the future?” 60 percent stated “parking, transportation, and mobility professional.” Roughly 10 percent selected parking professional or transportation professional.

The role of the current industry professional is already exceedingly more complex than it seems. Our readers know that well. However, the lists below, though not com­prehensive, provide a snapshot of our professional areas of practice today and our evolving and anticipated ones. How will we prepare new team members who join our organizations? How will we keep our current employees and leaders engaged and learning these broad skill sets for continued growth? A significant strate­gic (and ideally annual) investment in continued training and professional development will be required of those organizations that are deter­mined to stay ahead of the curve.

Current Tool Box/Qualities of the Parking Professional

  • Operations
  • Administration
  • Management
  • Technology
  • Politics
  • Economic development
  • Community outreach
  • Human resources
  • Accounting
  • Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation demand management (TDM)

Tool Box/Qualities of the  Future Industry/Mobility Professional
All current qualities, plus…

  • Curb management
  • Mobility as a service (MaaS)
  • Smart city development and support
  • Urban planning
  • Data analysis and benchmarking/KPIs
  • Mobile applications and technology integration
  • Investment and management of alternative modes, including microtransit
  • Transit integrations and partnerships (all modes)
  • True TDM Integration
  • Bicycle/electric bicycle/scooter programs/storage/share
  • Accommodating and encouraging active transportation, including pedestrians
  • Adaptive reuse and capital planning for industry change

And that is just the beginning…

Trend 3: Wrestling  with Big Data

The concept of big data in the parking industry is nothing new—our leaders in the technology realm have been push­ing us farther and farther into the worlds of data collection, aggregation, validation, and analytics. During the past decade, everyone from experts to field personnel have been focused on collecting and unearthing data from all parts of our systems, including:

  • Back-end program management systems.
  • Sensors and counting equipment.
  • License plate recognition.
  • Video analytics.
  • PARCS equipment.

Now that we have all this technology, what do we do with it? First and foremost, professionals should be col­lecting data in a way that they can develop and maintain key performance indicators that support the growth of their programs. Whether that means internal performance metrics to validate and adapt program decisions or external benchmarks to compare against industry peers, the data we have been collecting and maintaining is a valuable source of information to chart our programs.

Second, as more and more cities adapt smart city pol­icies and practices, parking can be at the forefront of this movement, both internal and external to our programs. Most of our advanced technologies are already in place and should be easily adapted for contributions to smart city systems. More importantly, the parking technologies of the past few years are likely customer focused and, we hope, revenue positive, both of which are central tenets of successful smart city technologies. A few examples of park­ing-related smart city technologies include:

  • Wayfinding integrated into everyday apps.
  • Smart and efficient enforcement.
  • Mapping existing and underutilized assets.
  • Creating opportunities for more informed choice and behavioral change.


Trend 4: Generational Shifts
Our conversations about millenials and their tremendous effect on society will continue, but more change is coming. Get ready for Generation Z or Gen Z (also known as iGeneration or iGen and post-millennials). Although the name and precise birth years aren’t yet decided (roughly mid-1990s to mid-2000s), we do know quite a few things about how this generation is different.

According to Nielsen data, Generation Z currently makes up 26 percent of the U.S. population, making it larger than the baby boomers or millennials. Its members will comprise 40 percent of all consumers by 2020. Much has been published about their eight-second attention span (down from 12 seconds in 2000), but this may be interpreted in more than one way. Fast Company magazine dug a bit deeper into the attention span question and found that Gen Z has what they call “highly evolved eight-second filters.” Because of the wealth of information and sources of that information, they make decisions on what to read or digest and what to discard very quickly. As professionals, we will need to understand and adapt, as Gen Z will be our customers as well as our employees. Other attributes of this cohort:

  • They seek value for their money. They won’t hesitate to invest, especially on tech, but they will spend time making sure they find the best deal, either in stores or online.
  • They are ambitious, driven, and under pressure to make a difference and gain work experience, including internships and mentoring experience.
  • They communicate with multiple plat­forms—social media, podcasts, and their own branded material. Your typical public relations campaign for the boom­ers simply will not work across these platforms; they need shareable content and will create their own.
  • They are collaborative, but also entre­preneurial—they don’t trust the estab­lishment to provide them with long-term employment and a pension. They are prepared to make their own way.

Perhaps most importantly at present, gen Z grew up connected from birth. With approximately Gen five devices per person (and increasing by the day), they demand immediate and real-time information and seamless integration of services, including those in the mobility sphere.

Trend 5: Managing the Changing Workplace
During the past decade, the workplace has steadily taken on a new look in an ef­fort to meet the desires of a new gener­ation of workers. Led by the technology and innovation sector, the workplace has become less rigid and more about open collaboration. And the way we work has changed, with a great focus on flexible work schedules, digital and telecom­mute work options, and mobility to do your work from wherever you may be.
In response to this changing ap­proach to the work environment, the professional who manages transporta­tion and parking choice for the employ­ment sector may need to rethink the way they provide for and manage parking. Employers will likely need to think about commute options for their employees, including flexible transit, parking, and mobility options. Employers also need to help educate and inform their employees of commute options, to help them make better decisions on a day-to-day basis. And commute choices should come with options for digital data access, which help employees keep working, even when on the move.

Trend 6: Disruptive and Innovative Technology
This trend often gets the most press, as almost all elements of the transportation industry are waiting eagerly to see the effects of full vehicle automation and driverless systems. The good news (we think) is that we don’t really need to wait for impactful transportation disruption. Today’s impacts, such as TNCs and shared mobility options, are already changing the way we manage parking. Changing electric vehicle ownership trends will likely change the way people make decisions about parking. And data-sharing, along with connected vehicles, will change the way we interact with parking technologies.
In regard to autonomous vehicles, the parking professional has a large stake in the ultimate outcome of their implementa­tion and adoption. Vehicles that never park and always shuttle between destinations, waiting on their owners, have the poten­tial to completely change how parking facilities operate. Auton­omous vehicles that are part of a larger ride-sharing fleet could also change how and where vehicles are stored and recharged. The ultimate goal of the parking professional should be to have a seat at the table to help craft policy and make decisions about how cities adapt to and manage autonomous vehicles.

Trend 7: Active Transportation as A New Frontier
Active transportation,otherwise known as “nonmotorized transportation,” includes human-powered activity such as walking or bicycling and plays a significant role in the development of real estate. A high walk score can improve the value of your home or facility. Aside from the dollar value impact, the built environment, which includes neighborhood design, street layout, and building design, has a significant effect on the health of communi­ties, families, and individuals. Walkability di­rectly affects health. Living in a neighborhood with shops and retail within walking distance lowered the risk of obesity by 35 percent , according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Roughly 45 percent of respondents to the Emerging Trends survey citied the desire for more livable, walkable communities as a key societal trend affecting our industry, mirroring the 50 percent of U.S. residents who stated this was a high or top priority when considering where to live. Access to trails and green space further amplifies these impacts.
So it follows that where we place our fa­cilities and our programs matters—in terms of access, convenience, and overall usage. Consider active transportation as a catalyst for development, a way to make employees healthier and more productive, and a method to increase retail visibility and sales volume.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about these trends will be where and when they in­tersect and amplify, or contradict, each other. The rise of TNCs and competition for the curb will be directly affected by the progress of au­tonomous vehicles (AVs) and other disruptive technologies. The focus of Gen Z on active transportation and the changing shape of work will transform how we develop real estate, especially in major metropolitan areas. Each of these trends will also help shape the evolution of the mobility, transportation, and parking professional—as an industry, we should be poised and ready for change.

Read the article here.

RACHEL YOKA, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C, is IPI’s vice president for program development. She can be reached at yoka@parking-mobility.org.

BRETT WOOD, CAPP, PE, is a parking planner with Kimley-Horn and co-chair of IPI’s Parking Research Committee. He can be reached at brett.wood@kimley-horn.com.