Tag Archives: community

What is Normal in a New Year?

By Joshua Cantor, CAPP

I’ve finally accepted that 2022 is underway, not because I have some aversion to a new year or saying Happy New Year, but because I know that there is serious work to get done. Every year seems to bring new goals, challenges, and aspirations, but most of us have had to reset so many times over the past two years since COVID-19 started that it’s tough to know what “normal” is and what we should be planning for. We keep hearing that there is a “new normal” but what does that really mean? Is it a short-term assessment with the hope that everything will magically return to pre-COVID or has society permanently been altered?

In parking and transportation, our industry was already headed toward an emphasis on technology-based solutions, and that seemingly has only been accelerated. However, with many parking and transit agencies still facing revenue reductions and having to make budget cuts, they are being forced to take a hard look at what services are still essential versus what is just something nice to provide. What bus routes remain a core need to operate even as ridership has dropped? What staffing levels are needed in garage operations and in enforcement? Is there a customer service level that you can’t fall below even when faced with reduced staffing or can changes in operations be sufficient to meet the needs of a changing customer base? Reverting to what was “normal” before 2020 does not seem to be in the cards for us.

These are all the kinds of questions we find ourselves asking as we head into the great unknowns of 2022. Whatever the answers are, there is no doubt that “normal” is a temporary state of mind.

Whatever this temporary or perhaps altered state of mind is, IPMI has some great resources for all of us in the industry to stay abreast of what is happening. Forum’s online community, the educational webinars, the monthly magazine and e-newsletters, and annual conference are all opportunities to share the changes in our jurisdiction and learn from what others are doing. Not feeling like we are on an island with the resources of the IPMI community has been so wonderful as we navigate the new normal. It’s more important than ever to keep taking advantage of it in preparing for what is thrown our way next.

Joshua Cantor, CAPP, is director of parking and transportation at George Mason University and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors.

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.


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’s the Answer, Part II

Diversity Management blogBy David Feehan

As I thought about my previous blog, I realized that there is much I wanted to say but did not. I raised the issue of diversity in the parking industry and even looked to our leadership at IPMI to ask if we were doing enough.

But having just concluded a town meeting sponsored by Leadership Montgomery, the leadership program where I live, I realized that my life journey has a bearing on how I view the issue of race, and I wanted to share some experiences with those of you in our profession.

I am a native of Minneapolis. I grew up in a racially mixed community in that city’s Northside, and became acquainted with discrimination at an early age. My best friend, who was African American, thought we should look for jobs in a neighboring business district. But when I proposed a day of cold calling on businesses, he told me he had tried that and been told by several proprietors, “we don’t hire n***rs here.” He told me without a letter of introduction from the Urban League, there was no way that he would endure that kind of humiliation again.

When we started college, I found a job at a major downtown financial firm. When I told my supervisor I had a friend who needed a job and was a college student, my supervisor told me that if my friend was Black, he could apply for a position as a janitor or on the loading dock. This company did not hire Black people in sales or management.

These were only a few of the examples of overt racism I witnessed as the years went by. Redlining was common in housing; discrimination in employment was frequent and almost expected. Black business owners were few and generally limited to barber shops, beauty salons, and bars.

Today, I am 75 years old. I have been married to a beautiful African American woman for 32 years. We have two biracial sons and four multiracial grandchildren. But the recent incidents involving murders of Black people, sometimes by police officers, leaves me searching for answers.

The parking industry has made great strides since I joined IPMI’s predecessor back in the 1990s. The board has become more diverse, and I know CEO Shawn Conrad has worked tirelessly to encourage a more diverse industry at all levels. But perhaps the incidents of the last few days have made us aware that the job is not finished. We have the talent and the courage as a vital industry to look once again at what we do and seek new ways to welcome people of color into our field. Perhaps a partnership with HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) is worth exploring. I proposed that when I was president of the International Downtown Association, but it never came to fruition. Let’s put heads together and see what more we can do.

David Feehan is president of Civitas Consultants, LLC.


Member News: Heart of the Park Partners Band Together to Feed Baltimore

May 5, 2020

We’re at our best when we all work together.

Since its late March launch, Heart of the Park, a partnership between Harbor Park Garage and several local organizations and businesses, has distributed about 13,000 meals to Baltimoreans in need and to those on the front lines, serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative includes daily meal distribution at the downtown Baltimore garage, where visitors can head to the third floor to pick up free boxed lunches and dinners, and packages of rolls or loaves of bread.

In addition to the meals given out at the garage, Heart of the Park delivers weekend meals to the COVID units at three local hospitals: Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland’s downtown hospital, and St. Joseph Medical Center. In early May, Heart of the Park also launched “New Medical Center Wednesday,” when it donates 50 meals to healthcare workers at a different medical center each week (starting with Mercy Hospital).

The Heart of the Park initiative is headquartered at Harbor Park Garage but its success is driven by the generosity and creativity of several businesses and organizations located throughout Baltimore City. The garage’s partners include:

Pierpoint Restaurant

Pierpoint_restaurant_logoFells Point mainstay Pierpoint Restaurant, and its chef/owner Nancy Longo, have been the backbone of the Heart of the Park initiative from day one. Chef Longo’s celebrated restaurant has been an integral – and delicious – part of the Fells Point neighborhood for years. She is locally (and nationally) famous for her creative takes on Chesapeake cuisine.

Since Heart of the Park launched in March, Chef Longo and her team have created interesting and healthy meals to share with the community every day. They’ve been working, safely and tirelessly, to make sure the community has healthy and tasty lunches and dinners every day.

H&S Bakery

H&S_Bakery Logo

Starting in May, H&S Bakery is donating loaves of bread and packages of rolls for distribution at the garage – helping locals in need fill their pantries during this tough time.

H&S Bakery opened in Fells Point in 1943; visitors often notice the yeasty scent of baking bread when they’re strolling around the neighborhood’s historic cobblestone streets. In the years since, the bakery, which creates products sold under several brand names, has established itself as a generous community member, donating time, resources and bread products to many local organizations – including directly to Baltimoreans, through Heart of the Park.

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore


Downtown Partnership of Baltimore is working with Heart of the Park to solicit, organize and distribute the funds necessary to keep meal distribution going.

The organization is a champion of downtown businesses and events – part of the dream team that coordinates major city happenings like Baltimore Restaurant Week. During the COVID-19 emergency, Downtown Partnership has put its organizational skills to work, acting as a hub for community resources and a helpful collector and disseminator of information and funds.

Italian Cultural Center of Maryland

Italian_Cultural_Center_of_Maryalnd_LogoFood is an integral part of so many cultures but perhaps no cultural group is as closely tied to culinary glory as Italians. The Italian Cultural Center of Maryland, a group that educates and promotes Italian culture and heritage among Baltimoreans, is tapping into the culture’s great culinary tradition, assisting Heart of the Park with food donations.

What’s Next

As need persists in Baltimore, Heart of the Park will continue to provide meals for hungry locals and healthcare workers on the front lines. Harbor Park Garage management aims to keep the program growing as long as the need remains – and to do that, they plan to expand partnerships with local organizations of all types.

The collaboration between the garage, restaurants, associations and other local businesses has been a bright spot in the midst of a tough battle against COVID-19. By banding together, Charm City’s businesses help keep local residents in need and those on the front lines fed – and fed well.

Harbor Park Garage is located at 55 Market Place in downtown Baltimore. For more information and current news about Heart of the Park, including information about how to contribute to help feed Baltimoreans in need, visit: INFO

Pierpoint Restaurant is located at 1822 Aliceanna Street in Fells Point. For more information, call 410-675-2080 or visit https://www.pierpointrestaurant.com/

Parking, COVID, and Universities

University ParkingBy David M. Feehan

I have spent the last couple of years working to strengthen a business district organization in Dinkytown, the district adjacent to the main campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. This historic district is the place where Bob Zimmerman from Hibbing, Minn., got his start as a folk singer and changed his name to Bob Dylan.

As with any major university (and this is one of the largest in the U.S.) parking is always an issue. Student parking, staff and faculty parking, visitor and customer parking all must be managed and managed well, or chaos ensues.

Now, however, the university and surrounding areas must deal with a new and unexpected problem: no cars. A decision has not yet been made, but the fall semester may be conducted mostly online; there may be no football season; and most businesses are either closed or in limited operating mode.

So obviously, this presents the university, the city, and private businesses with a whole host of problems. One is obviously the loss of revenue. Football games are a tremendous source of revenue for the university, and parking revenue on game days is substantial. Football season for the business district is like Christmas for shopping centers. Local restaurants and bars can do half of their annual sales during the football season. But loss of customers does not mean expenses go away. Lots and garages still have to maintained, utilities stall have to be paid, and employees are still on the payroll unless furloughed.

Parking for students is another issue. Many students may elect to live at home with parents if classes are online. This represents additional revenue loss for the university. It also means lost revenue for the city, as on-street parking serves commuting students as well as restaurant and shop customers.

How long will the crisis last and what will be the lasting impact on parking? Will, for example, students who drive to campus opt for public transportation or purchase bikes? Will carpooling become more popular? Will more student housing be built so students can walk to campus? There are so many things we don’t know right now. But the “new normal” is upon us, and if you manage university parking or parking near a university, now is the time to get your plan in place.

David M. Feehan is president of Civitas Consultants, LLC.

Member News: CurbTrac Assembles Industry Leaders to Innovate on COVID-19 Response with Clean Driver Program

PPA CurbTracPilot Grubhub Program Held in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA, May 8, 2020 – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CurbTrac, a technology innovator in the parking and mobility industries, has launched the Clean Driver Program in partnership with ParkMobile, ParkOps, and Ballparc. The Clean Driver Program provides turn-key solutions for Transportation Network Companies (TNC), taxi companies, food delivery service providers, and corporate fleets to keep drivers and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic through PPE distribution sites and automotive sanitation services.  The Clean Driver Program is made possible through the combined efforts and teamwork of numerous parking and mobility technology partners.  Commenting on the launch of the program, CurbTrac CEO Charley DeBow said, “By combining the technology platforms of industry leaders like Park Mobile and Ballparc, alongside the staffing network of Park Ops and the logistics expertise of CurbTrac, The Clean Driver Program provides  clients with a cost-effective solution to quickly and efficiently distribute PPE kits directly into the hands of their drivers as well as provide a sanitation service for fleet operators.”

“ParkMobile is proud to be a part of this initiative to keep people safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19,” says Jon Ziglar, CEO of ParkMobile. “Drivers can easily use the ParkMobile app to reserve an appointment at the distribution site where they can pick up their PPE kits or have their cars sanitized.”

Another technology component of the Clean Driver Program is Ballparc, who will utilize their scanning validation functionality to track driver reservations that are redeemed within their reservation window. Ballparc’s CEO, Taylor Chapman said, “Ballparc is honored to be a part of this program and with partners that are willing to step up and think outside the box when called upon during these unprecedented times. This program is a great example of how vital innovation will continue to be in our rapidly changing industry.”

During the initial pilot for the Clean Driver Program in Philadelphia held this past week, CurbTrac distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to food delivery drivers, courtesy of Grubhub.  The initial pilot program was also supported by the Philadelphia Parking Authority who provided the space for the distribution site. “Ensuring the safety of our community during these times is incredibly important, especially as delivery is one of the only ways restaurants are able to stay open right now,” stated Eric Ferguson, Senior Vice President of Logistics at Grubhub. “While we’ve already extended an easy way for our driver network to access PPE, our partnership with CurbTrac’s Clean Driver Program further extends our efforts and gives drivers in Philadelphia a quick and easy way to pick up the supplies they need – and at no cost to them.”

International Parking & Mobility Institute CEO, Shawn Conrad, also weighed in, stating, “IPMI firmly believes in addressing mobility at all points of a journey – from the first mile to the last, and addressing all aspects along the way. Customer safety and the patron experience remains the first and most important priority. We are proud of all of our members who are innovating, pivoting, and changing the way we handle disruptions to public and private transportation and operations in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Clean Driver Program by CurbTrac represents the best of our industry – applying creativity, spurring innovation, and bringing communities together. This program, and others like it by IPMI members, serve to achieve big picture goals: protecting public health during the crisis; creating new employment opportunities for those in our industry and beyond; allowing us all to travel more freely and carefully as we reopen cities, campuses, and destinations; and helping our economy recover by getting us all moving again.”

For more information on the Clean Driver Program, visit www.cleandriverprogram.com.

About CurbTrac

Founded by leaders in the mobility payment vertical, CurbTrac is a Philadelphia-based technology company creating innovative solutions for the parking and mobility industries.  The company’s leading product, a centralized parking payment database, provides municipalities, universities, and private parking operators with a fully integrated, multi-app payment system.  The Clean Driver Program is CurbTrac’s latest product and leverages its flexible software, and vast network of partnerships across the US, to quickly scale customized solutions to providing COVID-19 safety measures for Transportation Network Companies (TNC).  The Clean Driver Program launched in Philadelphia to support GrubHub drivers in partnership with the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

About Grubhub

Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) is a leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace with the largest and most comprehensive network of restaurant partners, as well as more than 22 million active diners. Dedicated to connecting diners with the food they love from their favorite local restaurants, Grubhub elevates food ordering through innovative restaurant technology, easy-to-use platforms and an improved delivery experience. Grubhub features over 350,000 restaurants and is proud to partner with more than 165,000 of these restaurants in over 3,200 U.S. cities and London. The Grubhub portfolio of brands includes Grubhub, Seamless, LevelUp, AllMenus and MenuPages.

Lisa DeBow, Principal, Cloudburst Advisory Group
(202) 262-4261

Natalie Gerke, Senior Manager, Communications
(850) 554-5416

Member News: Penn Parking Develops More than 3,000 Face Shields for COVID-19 Healthcare Workers

Penn Parking logoMay 7, 2020- Penn Parking, a Maryland-based parking management company, recently wrapped up the Herculean effort of handcrafting 3,300 PPE face shields for healthcare workers throughout Maryland, Virginia and DC area. The shields are to assist in the fight against COVID-19. Penn Parking leadership, staff and friends worked together to create these vital personal protective equipment resources and donate them to those on the front lines.

Penn Parking delivered the shields to numerous area hospitals and nursing homes. This important project dramatically exceeded the initial goal of 1,000 shields.

Penn Parking CEO Lisa Renshaw stated, “We are on a mission to get our health care workers and first responders the vital equipment they need to keep them and the public safe. We all need to pull together in this crisis.” Lisa went on to challenge every business that is in the position to do so, to please find a way to help in the effort to “slow the spread”

About Penn Parking

Penn Parking is the Only women owned parking management company in US history. She started it by living in her first garage for 3 ½ years. Today Penn Parking manages over 50 facilities in the Maryland, Virginia and DC area. Penn Parking offers a wide range of parking management and consulting services and has provided tailored and budget-friendly parking solutions for over 35 years. For more, visit www.pennparking.com.


Lisa Renshaw
Penn Parking


COVID-19 Information Clearinghouse: Events and Education

Read all the COVID-19 Information Events & Education postings here.

To search all resources by keyword, search the Resource Library.

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All Heroes Don’t Wear Capes

COVID-19 HeroesBy Shawn Conrad, CAE

I was tempted to focus this post on what potential changes our industry will experience when stay-at-home orders are lifted and we look at life post-pandemic. But as I work through my fifth week of sheltering in place, I’d like to offer an observation on the use of the term “heroes.”

When I was younger (I am about to really date myself), I grew up watching George Reeves as Superman, Gary Cooper westerns, John Glenn circling the earth three times, and all of the Apollo 11 astronauts (Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins), or reading anything I could get my hands on about Abraham Lincoln. While I didn’t personally know these people, they were my heroes because of the way they conducted themselves, showed empathy, rushed into danger, and overcame obstacles—along with what they unselfishly accomplished. So whenever I hear the term “hero” used to describe someone, I often think back to my boyhood heroes.

Today, “hero” is used to describe medical personnel, care workers, supermarket clerks, transit and truck drivers, parents homeschooling their children, the National Guard and others feeding the hungry, and so many more people who find themselves on the front line of this pandemic. I recently heard that the term was being watered down; some complain “hero” is overused and therefore means less.

While my use of the hero label was limited, calling out a person whose altruistic acts in the service of others or for the greater good seems much more relatable now, since we actually know many of the people who fit this bill. These heroes seem more real and less mythical. The heroes of today walk among us and are a constant reminder to others to do their part. Using the hero term with a broad-brush approach sends a positive message to the young and the young at heart that the image of a hero doesn’t look like Luke Skywalker, but more like their family member or neighbor.

Shawn Conrad, CAE, is IPMI’s CEO.

Free Online Shoptalk: Planning for Future Municipal On-Street Operations

Wednesday April 29, 2020 @ 2:00-3:30 PM EST

Free Online Shoptalk: Planning for Future Municipal On-Street Operations

Free to all Industry Professionals

Access 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 how we plan for municipal on street operations post COVID-19.

This online Shoptalk will address the critical questions on how we begin to plan for re-opening our cities and parking and mobility operations, with a focus first on on-street operations, staff and patron safety, and planning ahead ready for staggered and phased operations that incorporate both innovations and best practices.   Bring your questions or share them in advance with us.

We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.  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.


Scott Petri headshotScott Petri, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, is devoted to public service and committed to providing strong leadership and direction to the PPA. In 2018, he guided the authority through accreditation, resulting in the PPA being Accredited with Distinction by the International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI), the highest rating available by this trade association.

An accomplished and talented leader with years of experience in fast-paced legal and legislative environments, he has been a practicing attorney for more than 30 years, and served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he represented the 178th Legislative District from 2003 through 2017.

Scott has worked to reform the legislature by instituting new rules to make government more transparent and open. He helped re-write Pennsylvania’s House Rules incorporating new standards of conduct for members, as well as laws to protect children from abuse. The National Federation of Independent Business awarded him its Guardian of Small Business award in 2014; and in 2012 and 2016 he was named State Public Official of the Year by Pennsylvania Bio, the statewide trade association representing the life science industry, and Legislator of the Year by BIO, a national association