Tag Archives: collaboration

Collaborating on Parking’s Big Challenges

By Cindy Campbell

There have been several recent Forum posts regarding the increasing hostilities our frontline personnel have been encountering with members of the public. While not unique to parking and transportation organizations, this troubling trend is affecting our organizations in a variety of ways.

We hear concerns regarding employee safety and well-being (both physically and emotionally), the need for increased training or tools to address aggressive behaviors, as well as challenges with employee recruitment and retention. In recent conversations, there are consistently more questions than definitive answers: What specific trainings address these challenges? Should we deploy body cameras? What tactics are working for other peer organizations–and what hasn’t worked? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to any of the questions being asked, we collectively have ideas and experience to share.

One of the things I always appreciate about the professionals in our industry is their consistent willingness to share experiences, observations, and potential solutions. These conversations afford us the opportunity to learn from the experience of others–both positive and negative. To that end, I’d like to suggest we keep this conversation going. Have something you need to address? Ask. Willing to share an approach that has been successful for your team? Sign into the Forum and share (there’s a password-free sign-in option if you don’t remember yours). You don’t have to have all of the answers and you certainly won’t be judged for asking your colleagues for input.

In the meantime, I’ll just be over here listening–and learning.

Cindy Campbell is IPMI’s senior training and development specialist. She is available for customized in-person or virtual training; click here for details.

The Parking & Mobility Industry Comes Together in a Time of Need

parking COVID-19 community collaborationBy Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

This blog is part of a special series on curb management and COVID-19. A joint effort of IPMI, Transportation for America, and ITE, this series strives to document the immediate curbside-related actions and responses to COVID-19, as well as create a knowledge base of strategies that communities can use to manage the curbside during future emergencies.

There is an enduring human spirit that persists in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has put that spirit to the test, forging stronger bonds within and between our communities, our industries, our nation, and our humanity. Lately, I have been struck by how closely connected we all are.

I don’t need to tell you how strange, trying, and scary these weeks have been. But what you might not know is while everyone was figuring out how to work from home, keep their business afloat, or protect their loved ones, professionals across the parking and mobility industry were hard at work trying to support those activities.

Our communities are normally test beds for ongoing transportation innovation, but this pandemic has accelerated the need for creative use of our resources and emphasizes the importance of collaboration between colleagues. Although every community has unique features, hopefully practices that work well in one community rapidly multiply across the country. The past few weeks have seen that concept accelerate to hyper speed.

As communities enacted new policies to protect citizens by minimizing the spread of the coronavirus, their parking and mobility programs adapted curb management and parking policies to address emerging priorities. Rapid installation of temporary loading zones for restaurant curbside pickup and paid parking and enforcement policy changes to help homebound residents were needed to support business and residential communities. Supportive parking policies for healthcare and other essential workers were critical to ensuring safe, efficient, and quick access to parking as hospitals expanded triage areas into their parking lots.

Behind these changes was an amazing network of professionals connecting in rapid fashion to share ideas, discuss challenges, and offer support. A few resources that truly helped to connect folks included:

  • City groups functioning through International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and Transportation for America’s 2020 Smart Cities Collaborative came together in a grassroots fashion to help discuss, test, implement, monitor, and triage curbside changes. Through a variety of channels – emails, Slack, and good old phone calls – policies implemented on one side of the country quickly made to the other side.
  • The IPMI Forum, an online IPMI member resource, provided a place for professionals to ask questions, compare ideas, and discuss how to adapt policy. As bigger cities created their policies, they trickled down through this network.
  • Transportation for America’s Smart Cities Collaborative Slack channel provided a simple, effective forum for member cities to discuss and share responses and solutions to COVID-19.
    • Smart Cities Collaborative member Chris Iverson from the City of Bellevue, Wash., shared that, “Once restaurants were mandated to shift to delivery and pick-up operations only, we reached out to the Collaborative to see what curbside best practices other cities were implementing. It helped immensely that everyone in the Slack channel was already focused on curbside management practices, and the transition to crisis mode was made easier with the help of the Collaborative.”
  • The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) launched a Transportation Resource Center public tool for cities to share information and develop effective responses to this evolving global crisis. It provides actionable examples of how cities around the world are addressing critical tasks, such as:
    • Helping healthcare and other essential workers get safely where they’re needed while protecting transit operators and frontline staff.
    • Creating pick-up/delivery zones to ensure that residents can access food and essential goods.
    • Managing public space to encourage physical distancing.
    • Deploying effective public communications and signage.
  • The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is collecting a variety of transportation data to assist in understanding recent changes to travel of people and goods in response to COVID-19

Collectively, this network helped keep businesses running, supported stay-at-home orders, and facilitated the needs of healthcare systems. In a joint effort, IPMI, Transportation for America, ITE, and other partner organizations are documenting these actions and their impacts. They plan to provide summary blogs, articles, and peer reviewed white papers to help communities understand, plan, mitigate, and forge ahead through future emergencies.

If you have a good story, please share it with brett@woodsolutionsgroup.com.

Brett Wood, CAPP, PE, is president of Wood Solutions Group.

Free Online Shoptalk: Leading Remote Teams and Best Practices

Wednesday April 22, 2020 – 2:00 PM EST

Free Online Shoptalk: Leading Remote Team & Best Practices

Pre-Registration is required to attend

Free for all Industry Professsionals

Access the recording here

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including managing employees from home and best practices for working from home. We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.

Working from home comes with its perks, but also its challenges and frustrations. Join us to collaborate about how we’re managing people, organizations, and our own work and time while working from home during COVID-19. Bring your questions and the solutions that have worked for you for a discussion about the best ways to keep our companies, staffs, and selves at our best while the office is where we live.

If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.



Vanessa Solesbee headshotVanessa Solesbee, CAPP, is Parking & Transit Manager for the Town of Estes Park, Colorado. In her role, Vanessa manages on- and off-street parking for a small mountain community that welcomes 4.5 million visitors each summer. Vanessa also manages Estes Transit, a free seasonal shuttle system with five routes serving 55 stops throughout the Estes Valley. Vanessa is currently leading one of the Town’s four COVID-19 operational response teams focused on accelerated economic and business recovery.  Vanessa is also President of The Solesbee Group, LLC (TSG), a management consultancy founded in 2013. TSG specializes in designing public involvement processes that support parking, transportation and mobility planning efforts for cities and universities. Vanessa was also part of Kimley-Horn’s parking planning practice from 2015-2017.


Business people putting hands in together.By Robert Ferrin

The parking, mobility, and transportation industry is changing at a head-spinning rate and driving us to innovate and be responsive to our customers, new technology, and increasing demand for the curb and parking space. As the industry changes, expectations have increased for what a parking and mobility professional is and in what space we operate.

These expectations were never higher than for our team as we developed the Short North Parking Plan. Our team quickly realized that collaboration would be critically important to the success of the plan’s development and implementation. So what did collaboration look like?

First, it meant bringing together a wide array of internal and external stakeholders to develop a plan that was as comprehensive as possible for as many user groups as possible. It meant engaging with the community in public meetings, focus groups, online and in-person surveys, and via social media.

Second, collaboration meant the city couldn’t implement a dynamic plan alone. The city collaborated with the vendor community to put together a holistic parking plan that leveraged technology and used a data-driven approach to modify in the future. Combining virtual permitting, mobile payment, license plate recognition cameras, and a parking benefit district to leverage newfound revenues was a formula that worked for the Short North.

Most importantly, it took a collaborative approach between multiple entities and organizations to get it done and become work the city is using as a foundation for parking enhancements in other parts of Columbus.

Robert Ferrin is the assistant director for parking services with the City of Columbus, Ohio. He will be presenting on this topic at the 2020 IPMI Conference & Expo, May 31 – June 3, in San Antonio, Texas. For information and to register, click here.

Emerging Parking and Mobility Partners

By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

In the past year or two, I have noticed what seems to be an encouraging trend related to an increased interest and focus on parking and mobility issues by inter-governmental and planning organizations. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in particular have become much more active in funding and leading parking and mobility projects in their jurisdictions.

In the past few years, we have worked on several parking and mobility studies for urban areas funded by MPOs. These projects are often managed in collaboration with local municipalities. It is exciting to see the universe of planning professionals recognizing the importance of parking and mobility as key levers to affect the larger issues of congestion management, economic development, environmental sustainability, and even community resiliency.

One example of this is an RFP put out by the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), Utah, in conjunction with several other agencies to complete a “parking modernization initiative.” Using a case-study approach with two specific communities, the project will ultimately generate a roadmap for updating parking and mobility strategies that can be used by any Utah municipality or agency dealing with parking and mobility issues.

Local or regional councils of governments (COGs) are also sponsoring important research in parking and mobility. A few years ago, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) put out an RFP for the creation of its Regional Parking Management Toolbox “as a means of providing the communities, jurisdictions, and destinations within the San Diego region a framework for evaluating, implementing, managing, and maintaining parking management strategies to support community growth and stakeholder desires.” Kimley-Horn was fortunate to win this project and the resulting toolbox won an IPMI Award of Excellence.

Recently, my colleague, William Reynolds (RBT Consultants), and I spoke at a parking symposium sponsored by the North Texas Council of Governments in Dallas. This was an excellent regional conference and it was great to reconnect with many Texas parking professionals. One of the focus areas for this symposium was how we can better leverage data to inform parking management decisions. We presented on a project we had completed for the City of Portland, Ore., a “Performance-Based Parking Management Manual.” I  am happy to share this presentation on request.

It is great to see parking and mobility issues being addressed by a larger and more diverse group of planning and government agencies. This trend is good for everyone!

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