Tag Archives: cities

Wired: Pandemic Prompts Cities to Rethink the Parking Spot

Yellow sign on curb reading Curbside Service Pick Up HereIt’s no news to industry members that the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a change of thinking around parking–after all, parking and mobility professionals are the ones who largely thought through and enacted curb management strategies to help businesses and communities. But as the larger world takes notice, the mainstream media is asking: What does this mean for the future?

Wired takes a look at how fewer cars and alternate uses for spaces traditionally used for parking have caused people outside the industry to wonder if things could be different going forward. “In many cities, business proprietors have pushed back against parking changes, afraid that potential customers won’t stop to shop if they can’t park. But the pandemic has changed the way many make money—and shifted their opinions on how the curb is used,” it says. It goes on to look at how things shifted in several cities when pandemic lockdowns began, and how parking and curb management might change permanently as a result.

Read it here and let us know in the comments: What do you think?

IPMI Webinar: Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb, presented by Matthew Darst, Conduent Transportation.

Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb

Matthew Darst, JD; Director of Curbside Management; Conduent Transportation

Register here for this webinar.

Or purchase the entire 2021 professional development series bundle.


How we think about traveling and commuting in the cities where we work and live has changed dramatically with the spread of COVID-19 . We drive less, eschew public transportation, and are less likely to use shared mobility devices.  This new definition of mobility has exacerbated declining municipal revenues. Cities and states face a unique challenge: stimulate local economies and generate revenue all while working to reopen responsibly to prevent new hot spots of infection and protect public health.

Curbside technologies offer unique solutions to help fund government programs while safeguarding the public. Curbside technologies can help monitor and mitigate viral spread, provide economic relief to constituents, and create a path for municipal revenue recovery. Cities have an opportunity to quickly pivot and utilize metered parking, permit parking, citation issuance and processing, and data science to achieve critical municipal goals.

Attendees will:

  • Identify curbside strategies for reducing the risk of contagion, providing relief to customers, and helping fund critical municipal goals.
  • Assess curbside data for its effectiveness as an early indicator of people congregating/flaunting social distancing guidelines, the need for enforcement, and the spread of COVID-19.
  • Detail best practices and measure the effectiveness of amnesty and relief programs for constituents and revenue recovery efforts.

Offers 1 CAPP Credit towards application or recertification.


Presenter:

Matthew Darst, JD; Director of Curbside Management; Conduent Transportation

Matt Darst, JD, oversees Conduent Transportation’s analytics team, helping cities use data to better manage curbside resources to promote social equity, improve pedestrian safety, and increase physical distancing during the pandemic. Prior to joining Conduent, he served in the public sector for 16 years.

Register here.

What Cities Need

U.S. Capitol building with flags draped across the front and an inauguration stage on the steps.By David Feehan

As January 20 approaches with a new administration in Washington, D.C. (where I live), I have to express my outrage for recent events. I love living in Washington and I have great respect for the heart of our federal government. Having said that, it is important that we look forward to what a new administration might mean for transportation, parking, and cities in general.

Let’s look at what we need. Cities–downtowns in particular–are hurting right now because the virus that has killed more than 365,000 Americans has also nearly killed many businesses. Parking and transit systems have been hit hard by loss of revenues. And city governments have been struggling with budget issues as tax revenues and parking revenues are greatly diminished.

Everywhere we turn, almost no aspect of urban living goes unaffected. I work with the University of Minnesota, and the absence of sports revenues, parking revenues, and other types of income have forced the layoffs of faculty and staff. The ancillary loss of business to business districts surrounding the university has yet to be measured.

There will be a major role for the new administration to play in helping cities recover. Direct financial aid will be needed. Investments in infrastructure and support for transportation systems and specific grant programs can help recovery. Bus and subway systems will need subsidies until riders return and in the meantime, rolling stock will need ongoing maintenance. Old programs such as Urban Development Action Grants might be revived to help developers complete stalled projects.

Local readers will look to new cabinet officers for creative ideas. The departments of transportation, housing and urban development, commerce, and other cabinet-level departments should develop and implement new programs that encourage recovery and provide a bridge to stability. And the new normal will undoubtedly look different than the old normal. Teleworking, e-commerce, ghost kitchens, and food delivery systems will offer new challenges and opportunities.

We have to put 2020 behind us and look to the future.

David Feehan is president of Civitas Consultants, LLC.

The Value of Curb Space

Cars parked along city curb.By Chrissy Mancini Nichols

A century ago, in establishing the first parking regulations, planners recognized the value of curb space.  In The Storage of Dead Vehicles on Roadways, William Phelps Eno discussed how parallel parking at the curb caused, “considerable waste[d] space” and that on roads dedicated to commercial purposes, “the importance of getting to the curb is paramount.” There was even a discussion on prioritization of curb use.  Eno wrote, “Surely conveyances such as streetcars, buses, and taxicabs, which are available to the general public, should have precedence, if necessary, over those for private vehicle use.”

Our predecessors understood that the curb was a tool to promote local business activity, grant people more access, and keep traffic flowing—the curb was there to serve people.  But historically the curb has mostly served as a place for private vehicle storage.

The curb isn’t a parking lot. It is a vital community space and one of the most extensive and valuable pieces of real estate in a city—and it is a finite commodity. Current trends that have only escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the importance of curbs in helping many industries succeed. Ride apps need pick-up and drop-off spaces, commercial and on-demand delivery companies compete for loading zones, dockless scooters and bike-share operators need parking spots, and restaurants want parklets for outdoor dining.

Given these trends, cities can use the policy tools at their disposal–zoning, regulations, financing mechanisms–to align private-sector goals with public-sector priorities for curb use. With active and intentional curb management, communities can offer more equitable access among different users, improve the level of service for everyone, collect data on transportation behaviors, and eventually create a sustainable revenue source.

Chrissy Mancini Nichols is the national curb management lead for Walker Consultants.  She will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2021 Mobility & Innovation Summit online, February 24-25. Early-bird rates expire Jan. 15; for details and to register, click here.

MSNBC: Transportation Changes Equal Effect of Building Railroads

Cartoon delivery van in a city.An analysis on MSNBC equates pandemic-born changes to transportation with the birth of the U.S. railroads in the 19th century.

“If the pandemic were to continue or a vaccine was distributed right away, it really doesn’t change anything, because this was a train already moving down the track,” said Rich Thompson, who leads the global supply chain and logistics solutions team for the commercial real estate company JLL. “It’s just now accelerating.”

Thompson goes on to say a new network being created by private delivery carriers is effectively the same kind of revolution as the construction of the railroads hundreds of years ago.

“Parcel deliveries are akin to the creation of the American railroad system,” he said. “These alternative logistics providers are trying to create a private delivery network across the country — because that’s what we need.”

The article looks at what COVID-19 has meant for retail and delivery and briefly, into what it’s meant for cities; while curb management isn’t mentioned, there’s no question its acceleration has been a huge, permanent effect of the pandemic. Read the whole story here.

IPMI News: Industry Effort Requests $30B in Additional Municipal Stimulus Funding

The International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI), with a coalition of municipalities requests additional stimulus funds of $30B to support cities providing essential services in response to COVID-19.

Read the Open Letter to Congress below. 

Share your support. Municipality representatives, click the link to sign the letter.


July 14, 2020

To: U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Leadership, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation and House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Members

From: International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI) on behalf of municipal parking and mobility organizations

The International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI) commends your commitment to protecting Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic and your leadership in passing the CARES Act to mitigate the direct impact to businesses. However, significant additional funding is needed for municipalities and cities facing ongoing and protracted challenges and disruption.

The restaurant, airline, and events industries have suffered a direct and immediate impact from pandemic-related shutdowns; it’s important to recognize that the parking and transportation industry underlies each of these industries. Parking is one of the most important urban mobility infrastructures, facilitating the daily needs of more than 100 million commuters and businesses across the country – every single day.

Parking is the foundation of municipal economic activity and a critical resource for businesses, their employees, first responders, tourists, and many others. The parking industry contributes to the U.S. economy by directly employing 580,000+ individuals and generating over $130 billion in annual revenue.

As the largest collective operators of parking facilities in the country, municipalities rely heavily on parking and transportation revenue to fund local budgets, transportation systems, and city programs.

The importance of parking-related revenue may be even more significant for smaller municipalities. Per Henry Servin, Parking Manager at the City of Santa Monica, Calif., “Parking contributes 30%+ revenue to Santa Monica’s General Fund every year.”

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on municipalities cannot be understated. With a 50-70%+ drop in commuter activity and a 95%+ decrease in visitor revenue observed from real-time data in cities across the U.S., municipalities will likely incur a $30B loss of revenue in the next 12 months, resulting in significant employee layoffs.

Parking authorities and offices of our respective cities are avidly working to curb operational expenses in an effort to mitigate impact, but this alone cannot resolve the crisis they face.

We respectfully seek $30B in the upcoming stimulus bill be earmarked specifically for municipal governments. This funding will support services to businesses and residential communities throughout the country.

Municipalities provide essential services to 200 million residents and are in need of federal government relief. With your assistance, we can ensure that critical services are maintained, while helping to materially contribute to the economic recovery of our cities.

IPMI News: Industry Effort to Support $30B in Additional Municipal Funding during Pandemic. Sign the Open Letter before Wednesday, July 22.

Over the next few weeks, Congress is working on a potential third stimulus package to assist various sectors of the U.S. economy. The International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI), with a coalition of municipalities, is requesting an additional $30B to support cities providing essential services in response to COVID-19.

Read the Open Letter to Congress below. 

IPMI is asking for your support before Wednesday, July 22, 2020.  Municipality representatives, click the link to support the effort and sign the letter.


July 14, 2020

To: U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Leadership, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation and House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Members

From: International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI) on behalf of municipal parking and mobility organizations

The International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI) commends your commitment to protecting Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic and your leadership in passing the CARES Act to mitigate the direct impact to businesses. However, significant additional funding is needed for municipalities and cities facing ongoing and protracted challenges and disruption.

The restaurant, airline, and events industries have suffered a direct and immediate impact from pandemic-related shutdowns; it’s important to recognize that the parking and transportation industry underlies each of these industries. Parking is one of the most important urban mobility infrastructures, facilitating the daily needs of more than 100 million commuters and businesses across the country – every single day.

Parking is the foundation of municipal economic activity and a critical resource for businesses, their employees, first responders, tourists, and many others. The parking industry contributes to the U.S. economy by directly employing 580,000+ individuals and generating over $130 billion in annual revenue.

As the largest collective operators of parking facilities in the country, municipalities rely heavily on parking and transportation revenue to fund local budgets, transportation systems, and city programs.

The importance of parking-related revenue may be even more significant for smaller municipalities. Per Henry Servin, Parking Manager at the City of Santa Monica, Calif., “Parking contributes 30%+ revenue to Santa Monica’s General Fund every year.”

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on municipalities cannot be understated. With a 50-70%+ drop in commuter activity and a 95%+ decrease in visitor revenue observed from real-time data in cities across the U.S., municipalities will likely incur a $30B loss of revenue in the next 12 months, resulting in significant employee layoffs.

Parking authorities and offices of our respective cities are avidly working to curb operational expenses in an effort to mitigate impact, but this alone cannot resolve the crisis they face.

We respectfully seek $30B in the upcoming stimulus bill be earmarked specifically for municipal governments. This funding will support services to businesses and residential communities throughout the country.

Municipalities provide essential services to 200 million residents and are in need of federal government relief. With your assistance, we can ensure that critical services are maintained, while helping to materially contribute to the economic recovery of our cities.

Urban Mobility After COVID-19

More of us are working from home than ever—some with no return to office in sight. Buses and commuter trains are running nearly empty in some markets, cars stay parked for weeks at a time, and the demand for bikes is unprecedented.

COVID-19 has had huge effects on the way people get around, but what might it mean for the future of cities? The City Fix, a publication of the World Resources Institute, has some thoughts:

  • Active mobility (walking, biking, scootering, etc.) will remain popular and cities may decide to widen or create dedicated spaces for those transportation modes, away from cars.
  • Working and learning from home may never go back to pre-pandemic, low levels, which may translate to less traffic, more open space, and less tolerance for crowds on and off roads. This may lead to more taxes for road users who hope to get from place to place on more than two wheels.
  • Transit may shift from scheduled services to on-demand, tailored routes—sort of like Uber but with buses. Startups may play a big role in developing the technologies to make this happen.
  • Nature-based infrastructure becomes a bigger, more visible part of transportation.

Curious about this vision? Read more here. Let us know in the comments—is this an accurate picture?

 

 

Planning in Unusual Times

urban planning COVID-19 blogBy L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

I recently read an article by Sam Lubell about COVID-19’s effects on cities, in the Los Angeles Times.

In his article, Lubell outlines how “although pandemics have long been a tragic scourge on our cities, they’ve also forced architecture and city planning to evolve. The Bubonic Plague, which wiped out at least a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century, helped to inspire the radical urban improvements of the Renaissance. Cities cleared squalid and cramped living quarters, expanded their borders, developed early quarantine facilities, opened larger and less cluttered public spaces and deployed professionals with specialized expertise, from surveyors to architects.”

“In the 20th century, tuberculosis, typhoid, polio and Spanish flu breakouts prompted urban planning, slum clearance, tenement reform, waste management and, on a larger level, Modernism itself, with its airy spaces, single-use zoning (separating residential and industrial areas, for instance), cleaner surfaces (think glass and steel) and emphasis on sterility.”

Lubell concludes that, “It’s clear that the coronavirus will have — and is already having— a similarly profound effect on today’s built world. It’s shaking loose notions of what is “normal” in a field still employing many of the same techniques it did a century ago. And it’s pushing forward promising but still emerging practices, from prefabrication to telecommuting.”

I encourage you to read Lubell’s article in which he examines six methodologies related urban design and the built environment that are playing a prominent role in the age of COVID-19:

  • Modular construction.
  • Adaptive reuse.
  • Lightweight architecture.
  • The healthy building.
  • Telecommuting and small city living.
  • The town square, reconsidered.
  • Building beyond COVID.

According to Lubell, if history is a guide, the rise of these temporary methodologies likely will become permanent, at least in some form.

 

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president and senior practice builder with Kimley-Horn.

 

Is This Micro-mobility’s Moment?

A kick scooter on a city sidewalkSince COVID-19 lockdowns started in March, micro-mobility has struggled and several big players have either exited specific markets or left the field altogether. But with more people around the world heading back to work and wary of trains and buses, micro-mobility may be enjoying a big boom–and a chance to ingrain itself into city culture.

Several cities are reporting huge increases in the number of people using shared bikes and scooters, and at least one company is rolling out a leasing model, where a user would have a specific device to use for a monthly fee rather than hitting the dock or an app to claim one every day.

Key, some experts say, is avoiding monopolies, which left several cities’ riders stranded when companies collected their vehicles and left the markets during the pandemic.

Is this micro-mobility’s big moment? Read it here.