Tag Archives: COVID-19

Looking Back, Planning Ahead, and Changing Our Perspective

photo on top of the sneakers and the inscription comfort zone on the asphalt, the concept of personal private spaceBy Christina Jones, CAPP

Moving to Colorado in 2015 as an introvert who had been out of college longer than I care to admit, I was terrified by the idea of building a social network from scratch. So I challenged myself to try one new thing each month. It could be anything but it had to involve interacting with at least one stranger each time.

Initially it was intimidating going out alone and trying to start a conversation with strangers, so I stuck to things that centered on my interests, like a cooking class or a guided tour. When I decided to stretch outside my comfort zone, I tried a Bollywood dance class, then went on a cruise alone where each night I enjoyed dinner with a new stranger as we chatted about the day’s activities. I was really hitting my stride, gaining confidence, developing friendships, and expanding my network–and then along came 2020.

In looking back at the year of isolation and virtual everything, I was dismayed at a sense I was coming up short in my continued goals to try new things and meet new people. But my perspective was changed today by a comment from a colleague on a video call. He was talking about the challenges of changing the public’s parking perceptions, but it made me realize new experiences and connections were made during the year; they just came about a little differently.

In parking, we often talk about real versus perceived problems and how for many, parking and transportation system perceptions are reality. When things don’t initially appear to be as you hoped, consider changing your perspective and you may be pleasantly surprised. Going into 2021, keep the bar set high on your goals but give yourself flexibility in achieving them. 2021 has a lot of potential and we are all anxious to come out of the gate at full speed, but pace yourself and realize that new challenges may require a new way of thinking.

Christina Jones, CAPP, is a parking analyst with Walker Consultants.

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.

IPMI Webinar: Teleworking: An Alternate Mobility Mode. Presented by Perry H. Eggleston, CAPP & Ramon Zavala University of California at Davis.

Teleworking: An Alternate Mobility Mode

Perry H. Eggleston, CAPP, DPA; Executive Director for Transportation Services; University of California at Davis

Ramon Zavala, Transportation Demand Manager, UC Davis Transportation Services

Register here.

Or purchase the entire 2021 professional development series bundle.


Rahm Emanuel said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Last year brought discussions of campus closures, telelearning, and teleworking. Within a week, these discussions were reality. When the awareness that this COVID thing would last longer than a few weeks, we started to look at how the lull could be used to keep the momentum of teleworking going as a demand-reduction tool.

To address all the issues for making teleworking an ongoing mobility strategy, we created a telework committee. Stakeholders from human resources, technology, safety and ergonomics, employee/union relations, communications, and finance. Transportation Services coordinates the committee, which will address the physical, legal, supervisory, and training issues and keep teleworking a viable mobility option into the future.

Attendees will:

  • Illustrate how teleworking is a mobility advantage.
  • Recognize the institutional needs of a teleworking program.
  • 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.


Presenters:

Perry H. Eggleston, CAPP, DPA; Executive Director for Transportation Services; UC Davis Transportation Services

Perry Eggleston, CAPP, DPA, has more than 25 years’ experience developing, refining, and implementing mobility programs as an officer, supervisor, manager, director, consultant, and executive director. In his career, he has served organizations in California, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Texas. He is an active member of the IPMI and California Public Parking Association.

Ramon Zavala, Transportation Demand Manager, UC Davis Transportation Services

Ramon Zavala holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from UC Irvine, where he began his work in transportation demand management. After seven years with UCI’s Transportation department, he transferred to UC Davis’ Transportation Services, where he manages the TDM program, transit relations, and overseeing the overseeing the bicycle program.

 

Register here.

 

 

 

 

Prepare. Plan. Commute. Debrief.

Woman having ski lesson on mountainBy Kelly Koster

Uncertainty has been the recurring theme of 2020, and I doubt very much will be certain again in 2021. How do you adapt your parking and mobility program for uncertain times? Through skiing of course. Let me explain.

In an effort to social distance my ski habit this winter, I’m moving to the backcountry and taking an avalanche 101 course to prepare. And I’ve found the parallels to mobility planning are uncanny.

Avalanche training is all about minimizing risk and removing as much uncertainty as possible from your ride. The planning isn’t sexy (leave that to the fresh powder tracks), but it’s very necessary. In the backcountry, we use a framework to manage risk and uncertainty with diligent preparation, planning, technology, education, and teamwork. Do the best you can with the information you have available. Continually learn while riding; debrief and improve in real-time. Prepare. Plan. Ride. Debrief.

Now, re-read that paragraph and replace Ride with Commute.

Currently, the world of parking and commuting is full of uncertainty, and the avalanche training framework can help us prepare for an avalanche of another kind–overwhelming congestion and parking demand.

As the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed to frontline workers, the return-to-office timeline has seen more certainty building around it. Major companies across the U.S. are announcing plans for hybrid workplaces once the pandemic subsides. This means more choice for employees–more flexibility to work from home OR the office. And when making the daily decision to commute, they can get there by foot, bus, bike, car, or scooter.

The key to unlocking this new world of work for your employees? Adaptable parking technology with the power to accommodate flexible schedules and modes of transportation. Now is the time for industry professionals to share, learn, and adopt best practices as we begin planning our return to the workplace in 2021.

Just like in the backcountry, we’re in this together. We depend on each other. And we need to work together to solve the challenges that lie ahead by giving our businesses, commuters and cities that much more certainty when it comes to transportation, parking, and mobility.

Kelly Koster is the director of marketing and corporate affairs at Luum. Together with parking and mobility leaders from Arrive, Bedrock Detroit, and Expedia Group, she will moderate a panel on “The Hybrid Workplace: What it means for parking technology, commute flexibility, and mode shift” at IPMI’s Mobility & Innovation Summit Feb. 24-25, online. Click here for details and to register.

Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb

COVID-19 parking transportation curbBy Matthew Darst, JD

COVID-19 has changed how we fundamentally live and the pandemic promises to continue to disrupt curbside management for months to come. While the tunnel is still dark, there is light—in the form of pandemic relief and vaccines—in sight.

There are measures that can be taken to help cities further mitigate viral spread, promote economic relief, and fund critical municipal programs. Parking professionals have a vast toolkit at their disposal, including digital curbside policies, virtual parking permissions, optimized enforcement, and data science. Coupled with data-driven amnesty programs, tailored payment plans, and sustainable, “asset lite” technologies, cities can deliver immediate assistance to those constituents and stakeholders most in need. And they can do it in a way that encourages social distancing.

In addition to decisive action, now is the time for planning and establishing a vision for the curb post-COVID-19. While average curbside occupancy may be returning to pre-pandemic levels, bock-by-block utilization presents a much different picture. Demand is uneven largely driven by the types of businesses proximate to the curb.

This reality provides opportunities to reassess the value of the curb and rethink use. We can better manage demand, allocate parking permissions, and restructure loading zones to help restaurants stay in or return to business. We can also reimagine parking enforcement to ensure those motorists most in need of economic relief today are not disproportionately impacted tomorrow. And we may even find that parking data offers clues to help identify and stop the spread of future viruses.

I’ll be discussing some of these strategies January 13 during an IPMI Webinar, “Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb,” and look forward to additional thoughts and feedback.

Matthew Darst, JD, is director of curbside management with Conduent Transportation. He’ll present on this topic during an IPMI webinar Jan. 13; click here for details and to register.

 

What a Year in Parking and Mobility

Blue box with "2020 Year in Review" on it.2020 will go down as the year lots of us are happy to forget. But like all challenging times, it also produced great innovation, from small organizational changes to big technological leaps. And lots of those things will stick around to make organizations, businesses, infrastructure, and communities better.

This year’s IPMI Year in Review takes a look back at the challenges and innovations of 2020, including those that changed the way our members work–and how we work with them. From virtual meetings and Shoptalks to transitional memberships, to new partnerships, professional development options, and ways to connect, there were some definite highlights of the year–and we’re grateful to have experienced it with the parking, mobility, and transportation community.

Take a look back. You might find some new innovations that’ll enhance your work life and your operation. Read, download, and share it here, and as always, let us know on Forum what you think.

IPMI News: IPMI Releases Roadmap to Recovery, University Planning, Strategies, and Benchmarking for 2021

IPMI Releases Roadmap to Recovery, University Planning, Strategies, and Benchmarking for 2021

Download or read the document online.


 

The fall 2020 semester for higher education campuses has been a mixture of trial and error, adaptation, and survival. With the impacts of the global pandemic continuing to evolve, ensuring some level of education and campus experience has been a rapidly moving target. Within the parking and mobility realm, this challenge has been no different. For programs that manage on-campus transportation activities, defining how to operate shuttles, manage parking, assist with mobility options, and keep patrons and staff safe has constantly evolved with the ebbs and flows of this unique campus life experience.

This document, developed by the International Parking & Mobility Institute’s Research & Innovation Task Force, seeks to assemble data from academic parking and mobility programs across the United States to help understand how the strategies implemented and adapted over the fall 2020 semester met the needs of patrons and helped to support campus life. The data was collected using an online survey that asked questions about enrollment trends, strategies used, lessons learned, and revenue impacts. The information in this document has been assembled to help programs throughout our
industry understand the potential opportunities and challenges associated with individual strategies or combinations of multiple strategies.

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.

IPMI COVID-19 Response & Recovery for Universities: Video Resources

IPMI interviewed members from the academic sector to find out more about how the pandemic has impacted operations and their plans for the future.  Check out these short video segments 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.