Tag Archives: IPI

Member News: Macon-Bibb County Launches New Parking Management System with Passport






Macon-Bibb County Launches New Parking Management System with Passport

Mobile parking, permits and citation management platform available in Macon-Bibb

Macon-Bibb, Ga. (July 13, 2018) — Macon-Bibb County announces the launch of a new end-to-end parking solution that allows drivers to pay for their parking through their smartphones, a citation management platform and digital permit options for residents. The parking solution is completely powered by the global leader of mobile payments for parking and transit, Passport. The system will streamline the County’s parking operations providing more accuracy and convenience to both the County and drivers, integrating both the mobile pay, permits and citation management systems together on the same platform.

With the Passport citation management platform and parking platform, the two systems will run congruent with one another for a seamless client experience. The enforcement officers can efficiently issue citations using wireless handheld devices and Bluetooth printers. Enforcement officers are empowered knowing that they can monitor parking, conduct digital chalking and immediately upload pictures of violations. The real-time data transfer allows parking administrators to access citation information in real time upon ticket issuance through Passport’s back office platform.

The new system also has a built-in Scofflaw violation tool to provide officers with instant repeat offender information. With the platform, the county has the ability to track enforcement officers in real time, pull ticket density reports and analyze parking patterns to continuously improve transportation in the County. Passport’s powerful back-end portal provides real-time reporting and analytics for the County to make data-driven decisions regarding Macon-Bibb’s parking.

“All of our data points are connected in one place offering real-time analytics for parking, citations, and permits,” said Ben Steffen, Territory Manager, Lanier Parking Solutions. “The technology Passport provides supports us on all sides. This platform provides more accuracy and tools to manage our transportation efforts.”

“At Passport, we pride ourselves on being able to offer a seamless parking platform that can meet the needs of our clients,” said Passport Sales Director Kelsey Owens. “The technology we provide works congruently to monitor with real-time data, giving clients the upper hand in transportation information.”

Drivers can download the free PassportParking app from the App Store and Google Play. Users can also manage their parking online at ppprk.com. Annual residential permits are available with 24/7 access at maconbibbpermits.rmcpay.com.

About Passport

Passport transforms the way cities manage their operations. The fintech company’s mobile-first platform has been adopted by more than 450 cities, universities, and private operators around the world in cities including Chicago, Toronto, London, and Miami, across more than 5,000 locations. Passport’s product lines —– parking, transit and tolling payments, parking enforcement, and permit management —– enable organizations in the public and private sectors to streamline their operations, enhance customer service, and make data-driven decisions. Consistently recognized as one of the fastest growing companies and Best Places to Work in Charlotte, North Carolina, Passport has an ingrained practice of putting People First —– a guiding principle in its Culture.

Passport is backed by a group of investors, including Bain Capital Ventures, Grotech Ventures, MK Capital and Relevance Capital. Learn more, or get in touch with Passport at passportinc.com.


Media Contact:
Stacy Sneed
Marketing & Communications Manager
(704) 823-6021



How incorporating nine parking best practices boosted a new garage at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Long gone are the days when the drab, utilitarian dorm room sized for a sardine was a rite of passage for an incoming freshman at a college campus. Today’s college student is looking for an interactive, amenity-driven lifestyle that goes beyond academics. Universities are listening and with good reason: Multiple studies, including one by University of California, Los Angeles’ Higher Education Research Institute, have found that students who live on campus have higher graduation rates than those who do not. From state-of-the-art facilities to high-quality student housing, today’s higher education institutions are exploring innovative ways to offer students a more multi-faceted, compelling community environment that not only appeals to the modern student but also positions him or her for greater success.

Buried within this trend is a chronic issue nearly all college campuses face: supporting new growth with efficient parking. Parking for higher education has always been a limited resource, and new construction inevitably consumes existing lots. Therefore, maintaining well-integrated parking is critical to the success of this ongoing campus transformation.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is among the plethora of universities investing in new infrastructure that follows this trend. Currently under construction, the new Student Housing South residential community was envisioned to support the university’s strategic vision to create a vibrant residential campus that connects academic and social lives while enhancing student success. The complex, which will include new dormitories and amenities, will be built on an existing parking lot. Watry Design, Inc. was selected to design a parking structure that would support the project and integrate it with the environment. Among the responsibilities assigned was to ensure that the design followed best parking practices for higher education.

Watry’s goal was to design a parking structure the university could be proud of. It’s about a lot more than just providing parking. To successfully integrate parking, we take into consideration the context of the site from an architectural standpoint as well as walkability. What are the needs of the various user groups? How can we help meet sustainability goals?

From sustainability to modal integration and security, the education parking best practices that follow are designed to address every area of parking as it specifically relates to the needs of higher education. How does your campus parking stack up?

Understand Campus User Groups
A successful parking design requires a thorough understanding of the various user groups on campus. Faculty, students, and special-event parkers all have different needs and use patterns that vary depending on day of the week and time of day. The Cal Poly structure is intended to serve multiple user groups that include administration and visitors in addition to students and faculty, which the design takes into account. The garage provides two-way vehicle circulation with 90-degree parking in a two-column bay configuration. In other words, the Cal Poly structure offers an intuitive route through the garage with parking stalls that are easy to get into and out of. Stair and elevator core locations are easy to locate, whether a patron is a frequent user or first-time visitor.

Consider the Context of the Site
It is important to understand the relationship between a site and its adjacencies to design an effective parking solution. Beyond its effect on the architectural design, this understanding is a driver in determining the physical location of parking within the site. Considerations such as access to and egress from the site, capacity of surrounding streets, and the effects structured parking will have on traffic patterns factored into the design-build team’s decision to locate the garage away from student housing. The Cal Poly site is arranged so that the student housing and ancillary buildings face Grand Avenue, a major circulation road on campus that serves all forms of traffic: private vehicle, pedestrian, and public transit. While creating easy access for all modes of transportation via a rear vehicle circulation road off Grand Avenue, locating the parking structure entry and exit at the rear of the site places prominence on the student housing buildings.

Integrate Modes and Mitigate Conflicts
For education parking to be successful, a network of safe, direct, and attractively landscaped pedestrian and bike paths must connect the various areas of campus. Possibly the biggest challenges in developing these paths are the potential conflicts between pedestrians, bikes, autos, shuttles, and other modes of transit. It is important to protect pedestrians and other modes from more danger-ous modes. In addition, each mode is more efficient when effective design isolates and separates from the others. For example, a pedestrian walkway should be protected from vehicles with bollards or landscaping wherever possible. In the case of Cal Poly, the design team was able to utilize the unique hillside grading of the site to avoid pedestrian and vehicular conflicts. Vehicle entry and exit are located away from the student housing central core at a lower level elevation, while pedestrians head to their destinations via upper grade exits at the opposite side of the structure. This configuration eliminates the conflicts created when pedestrian and vehicle circulation routes cross each other.

Explore Mixed-Use
As campuses densify, combining mixed uses, such as a sports field or other campus facilities, can play an important role in creating a more secure, lively environment. As mentioned above, Cal Poly is incorporating this best practice by wrapping three sides of the parking structure with ancillary functions, such as a small café, community room, and welcome center. This not only integrates the parking structure more effectively into its surroundings but also supports the university’s mission to position its students for higher success by creating a rich, amenity-laden experience that fosters greater connectivity and engagement.

Develop a Parking Management Plan
Every campus needs a comprehensive parking management plan to address peak parking demand periods. University parking facilities are typically at capacity or beyond at the beginning of every quarter or semester and during special events. This results in using 100 percent or more of the parking resources. Having a plan in place to deal with these situations will improve the parking experience for all users. Cal Poly currently has in place a parking management plan, which will be critical for the new parking structure due to its proximity to other buildings, such as the Performing Arts Center.

Connect with Transit
Parking should form a connection point with other modes of transportation. For example, shuttle and bus stops can be incorporated or kiosks providing their location can be integrated. Ample bike parking should be provided. Student Housing South was designed to encourage alternate modes of transportation, from bike racks within proximity of the parking structure and throughout the project to a plentiful network of sidewalks that guide users to their destinations once they leave the garage. There are four bus transit stations within a half-mile of the parking structure that can be utilized to further travel around the campus and San Luis Obispo. In addition, infrastructure is being provided at 15 parking stalls to accommodate future electric vehicle charging stations.

Design with Sustainability in Mind
Sustainable parking design best practices should be incorporated into each solution. Universities can utilize the United States Green Building Council’s Parksmart Certification as a guideline and even achieve certification without adding significant cost to the project. From vegetated swales for stormwater management to LED lighting to the incorporation of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and geothermal loops, these measures illustrate a campus’s commitment to sustainability. The Cal Poly structure is incorporating a photovoltatic array on the roof level. This will not only help provide additional power but will also reduce the heat island effect of the roof deck. Additional sustainable features that have been integrated into the design are LED lighting and recycled content in building materials.

Incorporate Appropriate Security
Security is a prime concern in all parking structure environments but especially on campuses. Passive security or crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED; see the March 2016 issue of The Parking Professional for more), such as glass-backed elevators, open stairwells, and the elimination of hiding spots behind walls, can be very effective at deterring crime. In addition, active security measures should be considered based on location, such as code blue emergency phones and a video surveillance system. Security features integrated into the design at Cal Poly include stairwells that are open to the garage’s interior; increased visibility gained by eliminating columns that can obstruct views and create hiding places; and installation of of code blue emergency phones.

Provide Clear Wayfinding
Clear wayfinding is a requirement for all campus environments. Informational kiosks and plentiful signage should aid users not only in reaching their destinations but also on return. For example, the elevator and stair towers of a parking structure serve as powerful wayfinding elements. The Cal Poly parking structure provides clear views of the stairs and elevators from any point in the structure, making wayfinding easy and intuitive for both new users and those already familiar with the layout.

By designing well-integrated parking into a campus project, universities can effectively continue to expand and meet the evolving needs of students, faculty, and visitors without sacrificing what is already a scarce resource on nearly every college campus across the country.

MICHAEL PENDERGRASS, AIA, LEED AP, is Watry Design’s associate principal. He can be reached at mpendergrass@watrydesign.com

TPP-2016-10-Serving Multiple Masters




Form and function meet in Sarasota’s State Street Parking Garage

When Sarasota, Fla.’s city planners decided to develop a new parking structure, they saw it as an essential element of the city’s drive to promote economic growth. In fact, the city’s downtown parking master plan is largely designed to enhance the vitality of downtown development by encouraging visitors and employees of local businesses to park in centrally located garages and lots and use pedestrian ways to reach their ultimate destinations. The six-story, 397-space State Street Parking Garage is the second of a series of parking facilities planned for downtown Sarasota.

Ultimately, the parking master plan will provide city planners the flexibility to re-align or reduce the number of on-street parking spaces to increase sidewalk widths and pedestrian activity areas. Also, by centralizing parking, the plan minimizes the amount of parking area businesses need to develop to meet their needs. As a result, developers and building owners can focus their development investments on creating income-producing commercial and residential space rather than parking. In addition to supporting local businesses, this element of the parking master plan is also leading to the development of lower, more attractive, and more functional buildings.

Sarasota’s plan provides a terrific example of how strategic parking planning can help make cities more walkable, business-friendly, and congestion-free. In addition to providing wider sidewalks for pedestrians, the city’s plan also increases and improves landscaping downtown, provides new benches for visitors, and permits restaurants to provide outdoor services on the newly widened sidewalks.

Safe, More Convenient Parking In light of the important role parking is to play in Sarasota’s downtown plan, the primary goal of designers was to create a facility parkers would want to use. This was no small feat, considering the site’s small footprint. The site’s depth of just 105 feet with a 20-foot-wide alley created a significant design challenge. Not only did designers need to create a functional, parker-friendly facility on this small footprint, but they had to do so in a way that would support the development of a planned multi-level office or residential liner building that will be built on an adjacent site to the west of the garage. The design also needed to accommodate a 58,000 gallon stormwater detention vault, which was ultimately tucked under the ramp at ground level.

Finally, the design needed to accommodate the future implementation of a renewable energy program. To this end, the project’s parking consultants from Walker Parking included in the design the necessary infrastructure for the future installation of a photovoltaic system above the top parking level.

The functional design resulted in a two-bay-wide, six-level-high, single-threaded helix structure with parking on one flat bay and one ramped bay. With the exception of two spaces at ground level, that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, all 397 spaces are provided on the elevated floors and provide parking for visitors and employees of local downtown businesses. The deck’s footprint is 298 feet by 105 feet, and site boundary constraints resulted in only one row of parking being included at the ramps. The garage’s columns are typically spaced at 24 feet on center, with 48 feet at the end of bays. The north parking bay is 60 feet wide, and the south ramp bay is 45 feet wide.

Traffic flow is always a challenge in such small footprints. The consultant was able to achieve two-way flow with 9-foot by 18-foot, 90-degree stalls. These dimensions permit safe and convenient traffic flow combined with convenient parking. The typical floor-to-floor height is 10 feet, six inches, except at the ground level, which is 17 feet high to accommodate the 14,000-square-foot ground-level retail shell with a loading dock at the back of the structure. The 10-foot-high ceilings on the parking levels offer a more comfortable, customer-friendly parking experience while enhancing safety by improving visibility throughout the structure.

Access to the garage from State Street on the north is provided by an entry/exit on the east end of the deck. A second entry/exit on the east end is provided from Ringling Boulevard to the south through a 150-foot-long, two-way driveway to the garage. This driveway also
provides access to the alley bordering the south side of the structure, allowing access to the loading dock and utilities beneath the ramp. To allow tight turns for large trucks into the alley, traffic flow in the alley is one way, from east to west.

Pedestrian flow was also an essential design element. To provide the safest and most convenient experience, pedestrians are directed to two separate elevator and stair towers, one at the northwest corner of the deck and the other on the north side near the State Street entrance.

Two final design elements revolved around lighting and security. When it came to lighting, the primary focus of the electrical design was energy efficiency. Designers selected LED light fixtures arranged in locations to provide good light uniformity, exceeding Illuminating Engineering Society standards and providing a safer, more customer-friendly, and more energy-efficient experience. A lighting control system comprised of timers and photo cells further enhances energy efficiency by permitting parking operators to tailor lighting requirements around peak utilization and other considerations. The electrical system is backed up by an uninterrupted power system that provides energy for the emergency lights, and additional safety features include a surge protection system, emergency phone assistance stations, and an elevator recall system.

The electrical design also supports the city’s goal of promoting sustainable energy use with the addition of four electric vehicle charging stations. These stations are located near the northwest stair and elevator tower at the second level.

Security was an equally important design consideration. Passive security features include open stair towers with emergency phones. In addition, the interior of the deck, the stair towers, and the ground-level perimeter are well-illuminated to improve visibility throughout the facility. The design also includes infrastructure to permit future expansion of security elements, including the installation of a conduit for future security cameras at the lobbies of the stair elevator towers and multiple locations throughout the deck.

Tampa-based general contracting firm A.D. Morgan oversaw the construction of the garage, working closely with the development team, the city, and neighboring businesses. The garage structure is cast-in-place post-tensioned slabs, beams, and girders supported on a drilled shaft foundation system. The ground level is slab-on-grade construction placed on compacted fill. The structure’s stair and elevator towers are cast-in-place with conventionally reinforced walls, slabs, and beams with a structural steel gable-framed roof.

Form Meets Function
The State Street Garage’s architecture was a key element of its design. Because of its central downtown location, the garage needed to be attractive as well as functional. As a Sarasota-based architect, Harvard Jolly Architects was intimately familiar with the character of downtown Sarasota and able to design a structure that fits seamlessly—and beautifully—with its neighbors.

The garage’s attractive design presents the classical look of a residential apartment building that perfectly complements the surrounding buildings. The primary north facade along State Street is expressed with precast architectural panels with accented bands around window openings and 12-inch-deep sill ledges with dentils.

The main vehicle entry from State Street is the garage’s architectural focal point. It features precast architectural panels with arches and articulated stone veneers at vehicle and pedestrian entrances. Column panels with column capitals and bases are set in front of the precast panels. The east end of the building is block infill between the horizontal cast-in-place beams, and the east face has a stucco finish with custom foam shapes with polyurethane hard coat for columns, capitals, window surrounds, and cornices. The west elevation of the garage is masonry block infill panels between horizontal cast-in-place beams and vertical columns with no openings or trim to abut the future adjacent liner building.

The structure’s ground floor is designed to house future retail establishments, and the exterior architecture is designed to appeal to customers of these establishments while complementing the rest of the building. Continuous glazing along the ground floor and a combination of canopies and brick pavers for sidewalks with landscaping achieve a presentation that’s accessible and welcoming for pedestrians.

A final architectural accent is provided through landscape architecture. The design, which was  created by Sarasota-based David Johnston Architects, features a combination of palm trees,  shrubs, and deciduous trees to provide an attractive, welcoming environment outside of the parking facility.

Well-Earned Recognition
The State Street Garage has been well-received locally and is already considered a Sarasota landmark. It has also achieved wider recognition, having won two awards from the Florida Parking Association (FPA): the 2015 FPA Award of Merit for Parking Structure Architecture and the 2015 Award of Merit for Parking Structure Design.

BILL SMITH, APR, is principal of Smith-Phillips Strategic Communications. He can be reached at bsmith@smith-phillips.com or 603.491.4280

TPP-2016-10-Beauty and a Functional Beast





One-of-a-kind Dutch parking garage named its country’s Building of the Year.

The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects received 125 submissions for its 2016 Building of the Year. The juried contest sees hot competition from all facets of building design, so when the winner was a parking garage, people sat up and took notice. A parking garage? Building of the year for an entire country? You bet—and wait until you lay eyes on it. The underground garage in the small beach town of Katwijk aan Zee is part of a larger effort to protect the village from rising sea levels. That 70-million-euro plan put into play a “dike-in-dune” concept, which buries a wall—and a parking garage—under manmade dunes that look and feel just like the real thing. The two-pronged approach helps protect the town from rising water as waves hit the dunes and their embedded walls and allows the beach to remain a main community focus.

Under the dunes is a garage that was designed to serve the many tourists who visit the town’s sandy shores. The garage is nearly invisible; it was embedded into the surrounding dune environment in a way that was very carefully and deliberately respectful. Those in the know, including Fast Company, call it “incognito architecture,” and it works particularly well for the oblong parking structure. The garage offers plenty of parking for visitors, innovative lighting and design, and lines that led the competition jury to call it an “exceptionally beautiful object” and “virtually flawless.”

The garage was commissioned by the Municipality of Katwijk and designed by architects Royal HaskoningDHV. It contains 663 parking spaces and is largely hidden inside the town’s dunes, which were rebuilt as part of the greater conservation project. By locating most of the parking underneath the natural landscape, architects achieved their goal of strengthening the relationship between the beach and the neighboring village. The organic shape of the dunes was also used to create natural entrances and exits to the structure, easing wayfinding and orientation for drivers and pedestrians, and offer lots of natural light inside. At night, emergency exit lights create beautiful beacons along the shoreline.

Interior lighting and color was used to orient users inside the garage, which is long. Icons were also used in wayfinding for both drivers and pedestrians.

Residents of the town were hesitant when they first heard about the project, but embraced it whole-heartedly when they saw the final results. “People love it,” says Richard van den Brule, MSc, head of the architectural department at Royal HaskoningDHV. He notes that the garage was not only Building of the Year but also won the people’s choice award and an award for best public space.

“For us as a team, the results are really satisfying,” he continues. “During the design and construction stages, we already had a feeling this was going to be a very special project. Now it has become a benchmark for integrated design projects and governance, it’s won several awards, and it’s been published in media around the world.”



How to evaluate an early retirement offer and see if it’s the right move for you.
Risks and upsides to early retirement

In today’s corporate environment, cost cutting, restructuring, and down­sizing are the norm, and many employers are offering their employ­ees early retirement packages. But how do you know if the seem­ingly attractive offer you’ve received is a good one? There’s a simple answer: By evaluating it carefully to make sure the offer fits your needs.

What’s the Severance Package?
Most early retirement offers include a severance package that is based on your annual salary and years of service at the company. For example, your employer might offer you one or two weeks’ salary (or even a month’s salary) for each year of service. Make sure the severance package will be enough for you to make the transition to the next phase of your life. Also, make sure you understand the payout options available to you. You may be able to take a lump-sum severance payment and then invest the money to provide income or use it to meet large expenses. Or you may be able to take deferred payments during several years to spread out your tax bill on the money.

How Does this Affect Pension?
If your employer has a traditional pension plan, the retirement benefits you receive from the plan are based on your age, years of service, and annual salary. You typically must work until your company’s normal retirement age (usually 65) to receive the maximum benefits. This means you may receive smaller ben­efits if you accept an offer to retire early. The difference between this reduced pension and a full pension could be large, because pension benefits typically accrue faster as you near retirement. However, your employer may provide you with larger pension benefits until you can start collecting Social Security at age 62. Alternately, your employer might boost your pension benefits by adding years to your age, length of service, or both. These types of pension sweeteners are key features to look for in your employer’s offer, especially if a reduced pension won’t give you enough income.

What about Health Insurance?
Does your employer’s early retirement offer include medical coverage for you and your family? If not, look at your other health insurance options, such as COBRA, a private policy, or dependent coverage through your spouse’s employer-sponsored plan. Because your health care costs will probably increase as you age, an offer with no medical coverage may not be worth taking if these other options are unavailable or too expensive. Even if the offer does include medical coverage, make sure you understand and evaluate the coverage. Will you be covered for life or at least until you’re eligible for Medicare? Is the coverage adequate and affordable (some employers may cut benefits or raise premiums for early retirees)? If your employer’s coverage doesn’t meet your health insurance needs, you may be able to fill the gaps with other insurance.

What about Other Benefits?
Some early retirement offers include employer-sponsored life insurance. This can help meet your life insurance needs, and the coverage probably won’t cost you much (if anything). However, continued employer coverage is usually limited (for example, one year’s coverage equal to your annual salary) or may not be offered at all. This may not be a problem if you already have enough life insurance elsewhere or if you’re financially secure and don’t need life insurance. Otherwise, weigh your needs against the cost of buying an individual policy. You may also be able to convert some of your old employer cov­erage to an individual policy, though your premium will be higher than when you were employed.

In addition, a good early retirement offer may include other perks. Your employer may provide you and other early retirees with financial planning assistance. This can come in handy if you feel overwhelmed by all of the financial issues that early retirement brings. Your employer may also offer job placement assistance to help you find other employment. If you have company stock options, your employer may give you more time to exercise them. Other benefits, such as educational assistance, may also be available. Check with your employer to find out exactly what its offer includes.

Can You Afford It?
To decide if you should accept an early retirement offer, you can’t just look at the offer itself. You have to consid­er your total financial picture. Can you afford to retire early? Even if you can, will you still be able to reach all of your retirement goals? These are tough questions that a financial professional should help you sort out, but you can take some basic steps yourself.

Identify your sources of retirement income and the yearly amount you can expect from each source. Then, estimate your annual retirement expenses (don’t forget taxes and inflation), and make sure your income will be more than enough to meet them. You may find that you can accept your employer’s offer and likely still have the retirement lifestyle you want. But remember, these are only estimates. Build in a comfortable cushion in case your expenses increase, your income drops, or you live longer than expected.

If you don’t think you can afford early retirement, it may be better not to accept your employer’s offer. The longer you stay in the workforce, the shorter your retirement will be and the less money you’ll need to fund it. Working longer may also allow you to build larger savings in your IRAs, retirement plans, and investments. However, if you really want to retire early, making some smart choices may help you overcome the obstacles. Try to lower or eliminate some of your retirement expenses. Consider a more aggressive approach to investing. Take a part-time job for extra income. Finally, think about electing early Social Security benefits at age 62, but remember that your monthly benefit will be smaller if you do this.

Finding a New Job
You may find yourself having to accept an early retirement offer even though you can’t afford to retire. One way to make up for the difference between what you receive from your early retirement package and your old paycheck is to find a new job, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your former line of work for a new career. You can start by finding out if your former employer would hire you as a consultant. Or, you may find that you would like to turn what was once just a hobby into a second career. Then there is always the possibility of finding full- or part-time employment with a new company.

For the employee who has 20 years of service with the same company, the prospect of job hunting may be terrifying. If you have been out of the job market for a long time, you might not feel comfortable or have experi­ence marketing yourself for a new job. Some companies provide career counseling to assist employees re-entering the workforce. If your company does not provide you with this service, you may want to look into corporate outplacement firms and nonprofit organizations in your area that deal with career transition.

Many early retirement offers contain noncompeti­tion agreements or offer monetary inducements on the condition that you agree not to work for a competitor. However, you’ll generally be able to work for a new employer and still receive your pension and other re­tirement plan benefits.

What If You Say No?
If you refuse early retirement, you may continue to thrive with your employer. You could earn promotions and salary raises that boost your pension. You could receive a second early retirement offer that’s better than the first one. But you may not be so lucky. Consider whether your position could be eliminated down the road.

If the consequences of saying no are hard to predict, use your best judgment and seek professional advice. But don’t take too long. You may have only a short window of time, typically 60 to 90 days, to make your decision.

MARK A. VERGENES, is president of Financial Partners and chair of the Lancaster (Pa.) Parking Authority. He can be reached at mark@mirusfinancialpartners.com

TPP-2017-01-Early Out? Not so fast. 





Developing parking managers and teaching kids to fly fish: They’re the same thing. 

The ability to develop talented managers for a career in the park­ing industry can be as challenging as teaching a child to fly fish. Though frustrating at times, I can assure you the rewards from both can be memorable! During 30 years of experience in hospitality and parking management and only half that much time as a parent, I have tackled both with the same passion and goals. The years as a developer of managers and a parent of a fly fisherman (actually a fly fisherwoman) have taught me that neither is born—they are both made.

Before you non-fishing readers decide to pass over this article, I ask you to take a moment and remember your own career develop­ment and the people whose own careers you most influenced. I am sure you’ve had similar challenges and rewards you draw upon for your own continued development. Each of us acting as teacher and subject matter expert have to adjust to different environments. As the fly fisherwoman must read the stream and select the proper arsenal for a successful time on the water, so must you take great care as the developer of future parking professionals.

Learning to Contribute
Early on in my career I did not understand young managers or, for that matter, my seven-year-old daughter (the fly fisherwoman) when they demanded to be allowed to make a contribution. But managers not only direct and complete tasks, they also make decisions that affect people, businesses, and careers. For her part, the fly fisherwoman must learn to cast so the line, leader, and tippet move effortlessly through the air and land the fly at a precise spot.

As the so-called subject matter expert, I was reluctant to give full scope to individual strength and responsibility. The idea that a manager might make a mistake and embar­rass me or the organization in the eyes of customers or clients was unthinkable. I am sure we all have this recurring nightmare! And as a parent, the idea that my daughter might place a well-sharpened hook into herself or me was more than I could chance.

Early on, I gave very little freedom to either managers or my fly fisherwoman, and I never understood why the managers didn’t excel or why the fisherwoman lost interest in the sport. My own experiences living, working, and fishing in 11 different states played a large part in my authoritative nature. Through the years I had, in some instances, very little time to settle in and give full attention to all my manag­ers and my fly fisherwoman. In time, it became evident that more time and more freedom would be necessary to excite and engage both groups.

A River Revelation
One day as I stood in a stream and remembered my own experiences as a young parking manager and fly fisherman, I recalled having the freedom to convert objective needs into personal goals. My teachers, mentors, and coaches focused on me as a person. Their aim was to enable me to develop my strengths and abilities to the fullest extent and allow me to find individual achievement. Though there were times I struggled, I learned and grew from those situations. The parking manager developed the skills necessary to assess clients’ and customers’ true needs and expectations, adapting to all emergent situations, directing resources where required to meet goals by maintaining well-organized teams, cultivating awareness and self-actualization of personnel, and building increased investment in operations and organization. As for the fly fisherman, having spent countless days catching air, trees, and water, I finally brought fish to hand.

It was a revelation. The next day I charted a new course in the development of both future parking profes­sionals and my young fly fisherwoman. Remembering an important and hard lesson once learned, I started from the bottom up. Placing my mantra—you get what you inspect, not what you expect—at the bottom of the page, I crafted a plan for both in hopes of effecting change, all the while mindful I must answer to a higher authority. For the parking manager, it was my own direct super­visor, and for the fly fisherwoman, it was her mother!

Taking a page from both parking and hospitality man­agement, the parking manager’s plan evolved. I share it here in hopes you may select some or all of the elements to advance the careers of future parking professionals:

  • Build trust.
  • Develop work standards.
  • Organize and plan.
  • Make decisions.
  • Take action on those decisions.
  • Delegate responsibility.
  • Coach.
  • Align performance for success.

The foundation of the program is building trust. The manager must interact with others in a way that gives them confidence in the manager’s intentions. The manager must also operate with integrity, demonstrate honesty, keep and fulfill commitments, and do all of that consistently. The manager must remain open to ideas even when the ideas may conflict with his or hers. The final step for the manager to master building trust is to treat people with dignity and respect.

Without a high level of work standards, the parking professional can behave in a way that’s less than profes­sional. Many in our industry had to lay the foundation for respect and acceptance by setting high standards for self and others, assuming the responsibility and accountability for the completion of work, and self-imposing standards of excellence instead of waiting and having those standards imposed by others. Remember, there are a great number of us in the parking industry who can see clearer and farther due to the fact we are standing on the shoulders of others!

The ability to organize and plan gives meaning to the madness. The ability to establish courses of action for self and others and ensuring work is completed ef­ficiently translates progress. Prioritizing, determining tasks and resources, allocating appropriate amounts of time, leveraging resources, and staying focused allows the manager to tackle complex or multiple projects.

Making Decisions
A fundamental element in everyday life is the ability to make decisions. Having the ability to identify and un­derstand issues, problems, or opportunities; gathering information; interpreting the information; generating alternatives; choosing appropriate action; and committing to the action in a timely manner sets the professional manager apart. Teach new parking professionals the lost art of making decisions to ensure their longevity.

Once the decision has been made, teach managers to take action. We all have been taught to lead, follow, or get out of the way. Sometimes the concentration must be on the propensity to act versus the quality of the action. Young parking mangers must be empowered to take independent action instead of waiting for others to request action.

Delegating is a simple task for some people, but others struggle with what and how to delegate. Knowing how and when to delegate allows the parking professional to maximize the organization’s and individual’s effec­tiveness. Managers must be mindful they do not push tasks and responsibilities to others, thinking they have removed themselves from accountability.

Coaches and Leaders
Perhaps those who have participated in sports can recall a bad coach. The parking industry is no different. Coach­es and leaders have the same traits: They both meet all events—favorable or not—with calmness and composure. The coach should have a love of wisdom and study the general principles of the field of knowledge and the processes governing thought, conduct, character, and behavior. Remember that coaching is much more than exerting authority. The parking manager must provide timely feedback and guidance to help others strengthen the knowledge they need to accomplish tasks or solve a problem.

Combining all these elements creates the environment to align performance for success. It is not enough for the parking manager to recite the words and definitions of each element. To become a parking professional, the manager must set performance goals, establish the approach, create a learning environment, track the performance, and provide meaningful evaluation.

With a written plan, I returned to the stream to con­template the implementation. As good fortune would have it, I was able to bring fish to hand and with that, I remembered the other motivation behind my plan: the fly fisherwoman! In my haste to reward myself for finalizing the plan for the parking manager I neglected to develop one for the fly fisherwoman. Later that eve­ning, I tried to do just that. I struggled getting words onto paper. Knowing I had limited time to engage and excite the fly fisherwoman in hopes she would once again take to the stream, I decided to become a student of the parking manger’s plan. Before long, I realized the same plan could be adapted to the fly fisherwoman.

The next several years were exciting for the parking managers and the fly fisherwoman. The growth of both aided in my own growth.

Remember: Future parking professionals are all around us right now. The future of the parking industry is highly dependent on the growth of managers. Just as the fly fisherwoman one day walked out into the stream by herself, stood in the early morning light, took rod in hand, and began casting with precision and purpose, so will the manager. Develop the managers as you would the fly fisherwoman. The view from the sidelines can be enjoyable and fulfilling.

DANIEL LASSITER, CAPP, is director of business development for Allpro Parking LLC. He can be reached at dlassiter@allproparking.com.

TPP-2017-01-Lessons on the Fly





Villanova University expands a garage skyward, increasing capacity and campus visibility.

By William F. Kavanagh, AIA, NCARB

As part of the Campus Master Plan implementation at Villanova University, outside Philadelphia, Pa., there was a need for additional parking on campus. Phase 1 consisted of the creation of new surface parking lots and the vertical expansion of the Saint Augustine Center (SAC) garage by two additional levels. Upon their completion, the parking spaces from the existing Pike surface lot were relocated to allow for Phase 2, a new 1,300-space parking garage, to commence. When the Pike Garage is complete, the existing Lancaster Avenue parking lot will be replaced with new residence halls for 1,135 upperclass, undergraduate students. Finally, Phase 4 of the plan will be the construction of a new performing arts center beside the new Pike Parking Garage.

The existing SAC garage, with a capacity of 270 spaces, was increased to 493 spaces during its vertical expansion. This resulted in a net gain of 223 spaces for the university. The original precast concrete garage consisted of two levels: grade plus a supported level. Because the garage is recessed into the sloped site, each flat parking level is accessed directly from grade and not via a ramp.

The many challenges associated with this vertical expansion of the existing precast parking garage included:

  • Providing new shear walls for the lateral stability of the taller, vertically expanded garage.
  • Integrating a new access-ramp connection between the existing and new parking levels.
  • Adding a new elevator and new pedestrian bridge for improved accessibility.
  • Enhancing the architectural appearance of the expanded garage.
  • Guaranteeing crane access around garage perimeter on a tight site.
  • Maintaining an aggressive construction schedule.

Design Solutions
The original garage was designed in the early 1990s with reserve capacity to be expanded by one level in the future. An analysis of the existing foundations by the structural engineer and the geotechnical engineer found that a two-level vertical expansion was possible. However, the original design did not provide adequate lateral support for such a two-level vertical expansion. The lateral design criteria had become more stringent under subsequent editions of the building code. New cast-in-place concrete shear walls had to be inserted into the existing precast garage. This required excavation for new shear wall foundations within the existing garage footprint. Micro piles were selected due to the
low overhead working clearances beneath the existing garage floor. In addition, holes had to be cut into the existing floor of precast double tees to allow for shear wall continuity up to the new floors. The cast-in-place shear walls were tied into the existing double tees of the existing supported floor. New precast shear walls were installed on top of this as part of the new precast superstructure of the expansion above.

A new internal ramp was required for accessing the two new upper levels from the existing supported level of the garage. Galvanized steel framing, cast-in-place concrete, and special precast detailing were required to provide a smooth transition between the new and existing garage portions. The initial ramp from the existing flat double tee floor was a speed ramp without parking before transitioning to a lesser sloped ramp with parking.

An elevator and a pedestrian bridge were added at opposite ends of the expanded parking garage. The elevator was provided to allow for accessibility to all floors. The elevator shaft was carefully inserted into an opening in the existing garage that previously accommodated a stair. Careful design and detailing as well as some underpinning of an existing retaining wall at the elevator pit allowed for the elevator to be accommodated within the existing garage footprint without the expense of an external elevator tower. The pedestrian bridge connected the new third level with the adjacent grade for a better and more convenient connection to the heart of the Villanova campus. The bridge spanned
over the sloping site.

Fitting In
The architectural design of the newly expanded parking garage was important to the university. The size of the original two-level garage was obscured by the sloping site and landscaping. The perceived mass of the new expanded garage was much greater and required appropriate architectural detailing to break down its scale and blend more contextually with the campus. Keeping with the collegiate gothic style prevalent on campus, buttressed shaped column covers with integral stone veneer cast into the precast were provided. They provide a three-dimensional quality to the facades, helping to break down the scale of the building. Stone veneer was also added to the shear walls at the ends of the garage. The difference architecturally between the original and the vertically expanded garage is very pronounced and has been well-received by the university’s community.

Sufficient crane access around the perimeter of a garage is essential for a vertical expansion with precast concrete. Typically, for new precast garage construction, a large crawler crane erects the building from within the garage footprint. This allows for the crane to get very close to the structure during erection. With a vertical precast expansion, the crane has to be on the perimeter and reach over the existing garage for erection of the expansion. Instead of a crawler crane, a very large, wheeled, mobile hydraulic crane—a Grove GMK7550, 550-ton capacity crane—was utilized. This crane was required to erect the precast expansion from two opposite sides of the garage. The greater mobility of the wheeled crane versus a crawler crane was beneficial for this reason. Additional site constraints that affected the construction of the expansion included the sloping site, existing trees, and the adjacent railroad tracks. The sloping site resulted in increasing the distance between the road where the crane was located and the garage itself. The longer distance required a bigger crane with a longer reach and lifting capacity. Several trees were removed to allow room for the crane to swing its loads into place during erection. A couple of very large trees were required to remain and required special means and methods to work around.

Finally, the proximity to the adjacent rail lines required special approvals.

An aggressive construction schedule was specially tailored to minimize disruption to the campus and its academic calendar. The faculty and staff who utilized the original garage were displaced during the construction of the vertical expansion. The time the entire garage was closed was reduced by installing the foundations for the vertical expansion with partial closures of just the required immediate area. Also, the use of precast allowed for the schedule to be compressed further. The precast elements were fabricated offsite at the same time the foundations were being installed.

Vertical expansions of existing garages are inherently more complicated than that of new construction. Combining the existing construction with the new expansion required careful coordination. As a result, the construction costs are usually greater for a vertical garage expansion than that of a new garage. However, sometimes building upon an existing asset has the greatest outcome, where the resultant garage is better than the sum of its parts.

WILLIAM F. KAVANAGH, AIA, NCARB, is director of parking design for The Harman Group, Inc. He can be reached at bkavanagh@harmangroup.com.

TPP-2016-08-Going Up


PARKSMART FAQ: A PRIMER ON THE GROUNDBREAKING GARAGE CERTIFICATION Parksmart FAQ: A Primer on the groundbreaking garage certification programPROGRAM

By Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C

What is Parksmart? Parksmart (formerly Green Garage Certification) is the only sustainability rating system designed for parking structures, featuring parking and transportation-specific measures that address the unique challenges and opportunities to increase efficiency and sustainability in this distinct building type.

What Happened to Green Garage Certification?
Originally developed and launched by the Green Parking Council, Green Garage Certification was rebranded Parksmart under the aegis of Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), the certification arm of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). GBCI acquired the program effective January 2016 and added the Parksmart Certification to its complement of sustainability ratings systems, including the LEED family of certifications for buildings, renovations, existing buildings, and neighborhoods.

What Is the Role of the Parksmart Advisor?
Parksmart Advisors are trained by IPI, in coordination with GBCI, to offer specialized  consulting services to clients and organizations pursuing Parksmart Certification for parking structures. The Parksmart Advisor serves as a guide and technical expert on the program. Although Parksmart Advisors are not required for Parksmart Certification submissions, their training and experience with the program will benefit both the certification process as well as the sustainability decisions and improvements made to parking structures in pursuit of certification.

How Do I Become a Parksmart Advisor?
Individuals who successfully complete the training program receive a certificate and are listed as approved advisors by GBCI. The training is currently offered in a full-day, face-to-face professional development class that includes scenarios and application of measures
in a case-study format, as well as an assessment at the conclusion of the training. IPI is currently collaborating with GBCI to develop an online, blended-learning format for the Parksmart Advisor Training, allowing anyone to take the class during a set period of time online with an instructor. This training program will be available in early 2017.

How Is the Certification Organized?
Parksmart Certification is arranged in four major categories: management, programs, technology and structure design, and innovation. Each of the four areas contains individual measures that are scored on a point basis to offer varying levels of certification under the program. Currently, there are no required measures in the rating system.

Does the Program Address New Construction and Renovation?
Certification is available to both new and previously constructed parking structures. Currently, all garages follow the same standard. Additional detail on these classifications is available in the Guide to Parksmart Certification.

How Does Parksmart Certification Relate to IPI’s Sustainability Framework?
IPI’s Sustainability Framework provides seven primary objectives that advance sustainability goals and the parking profession. These seven objectives are complemented by 10 action items for IPI as an organization.

The Framework reinforces the certification, stating our intention to “increase education and information sharing and promote the use of rating systems and benchmarking tools such as the Parksmart Program for new and existing parking assets.” The Framework
sets objectives and strategic direction for the parking industry but does provide specific guidance on how to increase efficiency and sustainability. The Parksmart Standard provides specific, detailed operational guidance and best practices for every parking facility, regardless of whether certification is pursued.

What Are Some of the Criteria Addressed by Parksmart?
The management section contains 16 measures totaling 90 points and includes parking pricing, shared parking, proactive operational maintenance, and building systems commissioning. The programs area contains 13 measures totaling 64 points and includes wayfinding systems, traffic flow plan, carshare program, rideshare program, low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles, alternative-fuel vehicles, alternative-fuel fleet vehicles, bicycle parking, and bicycle sharing/rental. The largest section, technology and structure design, contains 18 measures totaling 88 points: HVAC systems—occupied spaces, ventilation systems—parking decks, lighting controls, energy-efficient lighting system, and design for durability. The innovation section includes a single measure focused on including new technologies, best practices, and unique ideas to the program. It also allows points to be applied to those projects that successfully and significantly exceed certification benchmarks.

What Resources Are Available to Support the Parksmart program?

  • The Parksmart Certification Standard, which is available in the USGBC online store, serves as the primary reference for certification and contains detailed information on measures, objectives, point values, compliance paths, and documentation requirements.
  • The Guide to Parksmart Certification is the companion document to the Standard. Available for free download, this document introduces the structure of the program, includes eligibility, certification levels, and basic guidance on pursuing certification.
  • The Parksmart Documentation Package contains the technical revisions to the certification program that have been added since the launch in 2015. The revisions offer clarification and revised compliance paths for select measures.
  • The Parksmart scorecard serves as a working document for applicants and Parksmart Advisors to track progress toward certification.
  • The Parking Professional magazine highlights structures that have achieved certification in the parking.org Resource Center.

Contact parksmart@gbci.org to register a project. For more information, visit gbci.org/certification.

What Does the Transition to USGBC Mean for Parking Professionals?
With the acquisition of the program by GBCI, the Parksmart program gains significant resources to expand and promote certification, as well as advance the content of the program through innovation and collaboration. Similar to the LEED rating systems, the next version of Parksmart will refine the program and the specific measures, raising the bar for the entire industry. Parking professionals now have an industry-specific program to certify their structures, with enhanced visibility, awareness, and recognition for their sustainability achievements.

TPP-2016-08-Parksmart FAQ

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

Recognizing Excellence

Recognizing Excellence

IPI’s 2016 Professional Recognition Program awardees serve as leaders, mentors, and inspirations for the industry.

LOTS OF PEOPLE EMBODY THE “PROFESSIONAL” in “parking professional,” but there are those who do it in a way that not only leads their individual organizations to success, but inspires everyone around them to work a little harder, smile a little more, and strive to reach just a little higher every day. Those are the people IPI recognizes with its Professional Recognition Program awards, and this year’s recipients are no exception.
Honored at the 2016 IPI Conference & Expo in Nashville, this year’s awardees have mentored younger staff members, launched new programs, built bridges between parking departments and their larger communities, and served as leaders both at work and during their off hours. We hope you enjoy their stories and use them to inspire your staff and yourself!

Staff Member of the Year
Jeremy Hernandez | Bicycle Coordinator
The University of Texas at Austin Parking & Transportation Services

In just two years with Parking & Transportation Services at the University of Texas at
Austin, Jeremy Hernandez has become known as a leader and mentor for both his department and the university as a whole. In fact, he’s credited with both promoting excellence at his desk and developing strategic working relationships with local and state government entities, which is a huge plus for the university.

Hernandez oversees the daily operation of the bicycle program, which includes education, maintenance, enforcement, project coordination, wayfinding and communication, community events, auctions, and the daily operations of the campus bicycle shop. He also oversees the Orange Bike Project (a student-led initiative) and the BikeUT Twitter account, where he’s generated more than 600 messages about the university bike program and biking in general. This outreach has spilled over to Bike Texas, where he cultivates an active working relationship to spread the word about safe cycling throughout Austin and the state. Additionally, he works with the City of Austin to coordinate the city’s and university’s bike programs.

Hernandez was instrumental in procuring 100 new bike racks and 1,000 new bicycle parking spaces on campus, some in locations previously inaccessible. He suggested permeable surfaces to create bike parking in areas that weren’t suitable for it before, which combined a new parking addition with a sustainability element.

The UT-Austin Bike Auction, which attracted more than 500 people this year, also owes much of its success to Hernandez; it raised more than $20,000 to support campus bike infrastructure. And he’s done all of this with a great, positive attitude, terrific work ethic, and willingness to both get his hands dirty and lead by example.

Supervisor of the Year
Cathy Harrison | Office Supervisor
Arizona State University Parking & Transit Services, Tempe Campus

Cathy Harrison is one of those people everyone wants to work with. Kind, compassionate, helpful, and motivated, she’s worked with Arizona State University Parking & Transportation Services for more than 20 years.

A supervisor for the past 10 years, Harrison and her staff of seven serve more than 100,000 students and employees. She greets every co-worker and customer every day and helps boost morale, leading by example to encourage her employees to make smart decisions and taking a sincere interest in her crew and customers.

Harrison started her career with Arizona State University as a part-time employee and worked her way up to supervisor, giving her keen insight into each employee’s duties and challenges. Customers know they can rely on her to find the best possible accommodation for each unique situation, and she’s the recipient of several Sun Awards, which are given by university staff to their peers for individual excellence.

She was the first female president of a local chapter of the Tempe and Arizona Jaycees and guided her chapter to a “Chapter of the Year” designation. She is a Life Member of the Tempe Jaycees and received an Arizona Jaycee Senatorship in 1991; she was also named Outstanding Program Manager by the U.S. Jaycees for her work with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Lifetime Achievement Award
H. Carl Walker, PE | Chief Executive Officer
Carl Walker, Inc.

H. Carl Walker is wellknown throughout the parking industry as a pioneer in the design of new parking structures and has contributed much to the industry throughout his career. It all started at Precast Industries, Kalamazoo, Mich.; he eventually went to work with T.Y. Lin, an engineering consultant and professor at Cal Berkeley, and designed his first garage: a 600-space structure for General Motors in Detroit, Mich.

Walker founded the company that became Walker Parking Consultants in 1965 and launched what is now Carl Walker, Inc., in 1982. Walker has been personally involved in more than 2,500 parking projects during his career, including parking studies, structural engineering for parking structures, functional design of parking structures, prime design of more than 500 completed structures, restoration projects, and serving as expert witness on many projects.

Early in the 1970s, he led the development of standards for criteria to design parking decks; the manual included vertical loads and other information vital to long-lasting structures. Walker says memories of good projects are usually based on respecting the people who ran them and the good relationships formed during the process. But he’s also known for more technical successes, including:

  • Introducing design concepts that include the use of mercury vapor, sodium vapor, and metal-halide high-intensity lighting; glass-backed elevators; PVC drainage systems; the archistructure concept of structural concrete design; and durability design of extended service life.
  • Developing the first standards for criteria to design parking decks.
  • Speaking around the world.
  • Writing articles about parking structure design and restoration.
  • Being named an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan.
  • Receiving multiple awards from IPI, the University of Michigan, and other organizations.
  • Founding four companies specializing in parking consulting, design, and restoration.

Emerging Leader of the Year
Blanca Gamez | Assistant Director, Parking & Transportation Services
The University of Texas at Austin

Blanca Gamez was hired as a student assistant for special events for the University of Texas at Austin’s Parking & Transportation Services department back in 2000. She worked there until her graduation in 2004, returned to the department as an administrative associate in 2006, earned her master’s degree in public administration and urban and environmental planning, and along the way established herself as a transportation expert and leader both with the university and in the parking industry.

Gamez has held positions on multiple transportation organization boards and worked through numerous organizations to mentor young women preparing for careers in science, technology, engineering, math, and transportation. She’s also an academic coach for the College of Natural Sciences Texas Interdisciplinary Program and a senior advisor with the Con Mi Madre program, where she works with Latina women preparing to go to college.

Gamez is known for working with many groups to build support for car sharing, including establishing an innovative partnership with Zipcar; after seeing the success of the program at the university level, the City of Austin expanded its share program in a similar way. She made changes to the university carpool program that grew it from 50 users to nearly 1,500. And among her greatest successes is the BikeUT program, where she’s developed mixed-use pathways, increased the number of bike lockers and racks, established a bicycle hub and fix-it stations, led bicycle appreciation events, and mentored the student-led Orange Bike Project, which provides short-term rentals for students.

In 2014, Gamez began working on her PhD in adult, professional, and community education and expects to graduate in a few semesters.

Parking Organization of the Year 
Texas Tech University Transportation & Parking Services

During one weekend in November 2015, the Texas Tech University campus hosted the first men’s basketball game of the season; a conference volleyball game; the first round of the NCAA soccer tournament; a Lady Raiders Basketball Education Day game with 105 buses carrying 6,000 children; the final home football game with more than 55,000 fans; a press conference with more than 200 attendees; and 15 additional special events, along with the normal departmental operations on a campus with 35,000 students and 6,000 employees. Five years ago, this feat would have been next to impossible. Today, Texas Tech University Transportation and Parking Services (TPS) handles days like these with relative ease.

After years of complaints, heckling, parking shortages, insults unsuitable to print, and weekly editorial cartoons in the student newspaper blasting the department, TPS placed an intense focus on customer service and technology improvements.

First to come online was a license-plate-recognition (LPR) system coded for university parking use in August 2010. The switch went over extremely well with customers. The department continued its forward progress in fall 2013 with eCitations (the first paperless parking ticket program), becoming the first university parking system to commercialize its software.

Texas Tech also saw a large increase in students using alternative transportation. By fall 2015, 54 percent of students biked, walked, bused, or carpooled to campus. To handle the growth, TPS built bike parking areas, began reselling abandoned bicycles, and assisted the student government association with the management of bus routes and apartment route contract payments. The department changed its name from University Parking Services to Transportation and Parking Services to reflect the wider focus.

Customer service programs expanded:

  • Communications increased permit-holder notifications by email and text.
  • Marketing created the Bike Clinic, a free event for campus cyclists, winning an inaugural IPI Parking Matters® Marketing & Communications Award and earning plenty of campus news coverage.
  • Toys for Tickets encourages customers to exchange a new, unwrapped toy for dismissal of a parking citation.
  • Expectant Mother Parking (EMP) and Temporary Assistance Parking (TAP) programs provide closer parking to permit holders at no charge.
  • The free Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) saved 944 stranded motorists on campus in fiscal year 2015.
  • TPS developed a first-citation dismissal program to give students one citation at no charge to chalk it up to a learning experience.
  • The new abandoned bike sales program returned 130 bicycles to students and employees in 2014—its pilot year—and 342 in 2015.
  • Increased staffing and training helps create a great first impression with families at Raider Welcome move-in events and an increased presence at dozens of campus resource fairs.
  • Proactive Twitter and Facebook accounts provide additional customer service and communications outlets.

Increased efficiency led to increased sales, greater lot utilization, less abuse, and higher and multiple revenue streams. The customer-service focus stopped the editorial cartoons and instead led to informative pieces about parking updates and programs. TPS is now known for its flexibility, openness, service, and efficiency.

Parking Organization of the Year
The University of Texas at Austin, Parking & Transportation Services

As the fastest-growing large city in the U.S., Austin, Texas, is in a race for space, and on the University of Texas at Austin campus, the landscape is no different. New buildings are being erected each year where once there were surface parking lots. As these lots make way for academic progress, the university’s Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) department has adapted by moving parking to the periphery of campus and establishing a robust transportation system. With a campus of more than 75,000 people; events bringing in 100,000+ on a given day; a new medical school on the way; and only 90 full-time PTS employees, PTS runs efficient, innovative, and dedicated operations to provide access and mobility.

PTS added two garages in the past five years, and another three are currently underway. Along with adding electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in an older garage, the newest garage is LEED certified, and PTS is seeking Green Garage Certification (now Parksmart) for those under construction. Once complete, PTS will manage 12 garages and 50 surface lots, totaling nearly 17,000 spaces. Along with lot- and garage-specific permits, low-cost general surface permits are available to access periphery surface lots, and frequent buses transport parkers to and from central campus. PTS also offers a low-cost permit that provides access to periphery surface lots during the day and all-garage access at night and on weekends.

Event and departmental guest parking options include custom event garage access cards, single-use access cards, scratch-off permits, and online event parking through Click and Park, which has collected $350,000 in online event sales since 2012; 12 percent of event parking permits were purchased online last semester.

Within the past two years, PTS has focused on expansion of online services, adding the ability to recharge garage debit cards, as well as manage permit waitlist selections. The university shuttle system has 10 dedicated routes to shuttle individuals around campus, as well as to student housing areas in Austin. PTS partners with the local public transportation provider to offer university affiliates fare-free rides on both the shuttle system and 70 mainline system routes. PTS also collaborated with the university athletics department to provide the Longhorns Express bus service between remote lots and the stadium on football game days.

The uRide 24-5 program operates five days per week providing fare-free car service home from the library after midnight, while uRide Safe Ride was designed to give students safe, no-charge car rides home from the downtown entertainment district. It joins PTS’s other collaboration, the E-Bus, which provides fare-free bus service to and from downtown.

One of PTS’s biggest pushes in recent years has been to improve cycling on campus. PTS’s BikeUT program has semester auctions and runs The Kickstand, a bike hub selling supplies and loaning tools and offering registration. Recently, PTS also began managing a shop where cyclists can rent bikes or use tools.

James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, Parking Professional of the Year
Anne Guest | (Retired) Director
Missoula Parking Commission

During Anne Guest’s 20-year tenure, the Missoula Parking Commission (MPC) evolved into a full-service agency that builds and manages parking in the Missoula, Mont., community and serves as a major player in local economic development initiatives.

One of the characteristics that sets the MPC apart from most parking programs in the country is its level of community engagement. The MPC and Guest were involved in a wide range of community initiatives, including active involvement with almost every community development agency and significant institutional organization in Missoula. The positive and intimate relationship of the MPC to the Missoula Downtown Association, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, and the Downtown Business Improvement District formed the basis of a cohesive and well-integrated downtown partnership.

Guest and the MPC worked closely with several other organizations to create a comprehensive and integrated access management network in downtown Missoula. The MPC became an effective contributor in the community and economic development arenas along with parking and transportation.

Under Guest’s leadership, the MPC became a major funding partner and active participant in the Greater Missoula Downtown Master Plan. Perhaps the most significant parking program action item to emerge from this was the decision to build a significant new parking garage to support a focus on retail growth. The Park Place garage was an important catalyst project for the community and won an IPI Award of Excellence.

Guest also oversaw the development of a parking strategic plan, which was an integrated element of the Greater Missoula Downtown Master Plan. The MPC adopted a strategic framework of 10 guiding principles that aligned parking philosophies and programs with the larger downtown strategic goals and objectives. To keep the community informed of the parking program’s progress, the MPC created an annual report that further explained the importance and contributions of the MPC. The report included a section titled “Why Parking Matters.”

Finally, Guest oversaw an upgrade to the latest modern multi-space meter technology that added a wide range of positive downtown customer service enhancements.

James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, Parking Professional of the Year 
Melinda Alonzo, CAPP | Director, Parking & Transit
Arizona State University Parking & Transit Services

To many, parking is thought of as merely two stall lines, nine feet apart, that designate where a car can be left unattended. To Melinda Alonzo, it’s about leading-edge technology, abundant alternate transportation options, and innovative programs with an unwavering focus on customer service.

In 2011, Alonzo introduced Service Blueprinting to Arizona State University Parking & Transit Services (ASU PTS). More than 60 PTS employees have participated in Service Blueprinting training, mastering a versatile and practical technique that visualizes service processes and delivery from a customer’s point of view.

Under Alonzo’s stewardship, bicycling at ASU has blossomed into a program that boasts three card-access bicycle parking facilities; four bike valet stations; nearly 4,000 registered bicyclists; and 25 percent more bike racks on campus than there were just three years ago.

In 2006, she created an in-house communications team to facilitate more effective and timely information to PTS customers. This venture proved so successful that the associate vice president for university business services employed the team to assist other departments with their communications efforts. Alonzo developed the Gimme-A-Break program in 2007—vehicles not in the parking database system receive a $0 citation upon their first parking citation on campus. She also established the Eco-Pass, which allows for 30 all-day in/out parking privileges at a designated parking structure or lot. This program makes taking alternate forms of transportation more attractive because it provides commuters with a safety net during rainy-day situations.

In what is perhaps the most tangible proof of giving back to the campus community, Alonzo created the Benefactor Program to donate parking revenue to a university program or student-run organization. More than $18,000 has been donated to Arizona State University’s American Dream Academy, Student Health Outreach for Wellness, and the ASU School of Art combined.

TPP-2016-07-Recognizing Excellence


Gorgeous The 2016 IPI Awards of Excellence

Gorgeous The 2016 IPI Awards of Excellence


It’s not something in the general lexicon, but we’re hearing it more and more, as designers and parking professionals design lots and structures that are functional, sustainable, and sometimes drop-dead gorgeous.

IPI’s Awards of Excellence recognize those projects that make the public say “wow.” From beautiful, art-filled garages to lots that become social centers of their communities (really!), parking is really going places, and this year’s awardees demonstrate that. Awards were announced at the 2016 IPI Conference & Expo in Nashville, Tenn. For information on submitting for the 2017 awards, see the end of this article.

And now, on with the parking show!

CATEGORY I—Best Design of a Parking Facility with Fewer than 800 Spaces and Category 6— Award for New Sustainable Parking & Transportation Facilities Excellence

E11 Parking Project, Abu Dhabi
Parking Division, Department of Transport, Owning Agency
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Mohammed Al Muhairi, General Manager, Parking Division, Dept. of Transport
Maintenance Section, Parking Division, Dept. of Transport–Project Management
Parsons International Limited, Consultant and Mechanical Engineer
Man Enterprise Ltd., General Contractor
Ravi Potwar, Engineer, Dept. of Transport
Zwarts & Janoma Architects, Architect


A parking study revealed a shortage of public parking spaces in sector 11, a central business district of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. As a result, plans were drawn for a 726-space underground garage that incorporated relevant improvements to nearby roads and infrastructure. A temporary, modular structure of 509 spaces was constructed to accommodate loss during construction of the final garage, which was designed to be easy to navigate and include electric vehicle (EV) parking, 41 spaces for women, and parking for disabled drivers.

The new underground garage eliminated corners in favor of curved walls, which offer increased safety features and don’t collect trash as straight corners can. Wall panels incorporate LED lighting, and each floor features its own color scheme for easy wayfinding. Stairwells feature illuminated handrails and granite floors, and the structure is remotely monitored.

The ground floor of the structure features a play area for children, basketball court, and landscaping suitable for the environment. Slabs and walls are reinforced for weight load and noise control, and the structure was rigorously tested for waterproofing.


CATEGORY 2—Best Design of a Parking Facility with 800 or More Spaces Capital Crescent Garage (Bethesda Parking Lot District Garage 31)
Montgomery County Dept. of Transportation Division of Parking Management, Owning Agency
Gaithersburg, Md.

SK&I Architectural Design, Architect
Smislova, Kehnemui & Associates, Consultant
PN Hoffman, Developer/Partner
Cagley & Associates, Structural Engineer
Clark Construction Group LLC, General Contractor
Rodgers Consulting, Civil Engineer
Walker Parking Consultants, Parking Consultant
StonebridgeCarras Associates


To relieve cramped parking in the busy downtown area of Bethesda, Md., Montgomery County purchased two lots totaling 279 spaces and built an underground garage with more than 1,000 spaces. The garage sits beneath a street and two mixed-use buildings with luxury condos and apartments atop 42,000 square feet of street-level retail.

The project incorporates 984 public parking spaces and 264 privately owned residential spaces in a four-level structure. A realignment of the street above the garage allows a single control point to serve the structure’s two points of ingress and egress. The garage has three double-loaded bays with 90-degree spaces on each side of a 24-foot, two-way drive aisle; it features easy pedestrian access throughout.

Four of the garage’s elevators are oversized to accommodate bicycles (the garage is adjacent to the heavily used Capital Crescent Trail), and a surface-level bike drop-off area entrance is offered.

Exhaust shafts for fresh air extend through the garage, and driveways feature paving that distinguishes pedestrian crossings. A 24/7 security patrol monitors the garage, and cameras are located at all entries and exits along with all pay station lobbies and gates. Efficient lighting and white ceilings keep things bright inside, and six EV charging stations serve drivers. Wayfinding uses standard graphics and signage and is color-coded by level. Art glass windows depicting the history of the county add visual interest.



CATEGORY 2—Best Design of a Parking Facility with 800 or More Spaces Florida International University Parking Garage 6 Tech Station
Florida International University, Owning Agency Miami, Fla.

PGAL, Architect-of-Record
Facchina, Construction Manager
Ross & Baruzzini, Mechanical Engineer-of-Record
Miller Legg, Civil Engineer
Walter P Moore, Structural Engineer-of-Record
Curtis & Rogers Design Studio, Landscaping
Thomas Hartley, CAPP, FIU Security
HUB Parking Technology, Parking Vendor


Architectural design for this seven-level garage complex responded to many needs: greater access to parking and public transportation, more options for retail and services, and a visually appealing campus landmark. The new structure offers all of that with 2,100 new parking spaces, master planning for a future transportation hub, and a very appealing building.

The campus loop road in front of the garage was widened to offer additional lanes, bike lanes, a turning circle, defined pedestrian paths, and campus entrance traffic improvements. An open-air, stainless-steel-clad pedestrian bridge is connected to the second floor of the garage, which features 51,500 square feet of retail, a gym, a multi-purpose corridor, covered food store, and special-needs day care center. The building also houses five classrooms, training labs, and meeting and conference rooms.

Exterior design was configured to reduce perceived massing while giving the structure a signature presence. Layering architectural precast panels on the facade, incorporating revels and architectural banding, and incorporating the university’s signature blue and white colors throughout make this a very attractive garage. A landscape and hardscape plaza buffers the structure from the loop road and offers a green space for social gatherings. Sidewalk design creates easy pedestrian access to bus stops, bike storage, area roads, and the garage’s classroom and meeting space features. Traffic direction can be reversed for faster exit during peak times, while a parking availability system with sensors and digital signage on each level give visitors real-time information. The complex is highly sustainable and meets many LEED criteria.


CATEGORY 3—Best Design/Implementation of a Surface Parking Lot
453 Spadina Road (Carpark 164)
Toronto Parking Authority, Owning Agency
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Our Cool Blue Architects, Inc., Architect
Councillor Joe Miheve, Ward 21–St. Paul’s, City of Toronto
Terraplan Landscape Architects, Landscape Architect
EGF Associates, Planner
Forest Hill Village Business Improvement Area, BIA
Across Canada Construction Ltd., Contractor
exp Services Inc., Engineers

TOTAL COST: $686,000

Originally opened in 1987 as a 43-space surface lot, Toronto’s Carpark 164 was  redeveloped into a 58-space parking lot with a new public seating area. The redevelopment helped alleviate parking demand from nearby businesses and incorporate some area master plan elements.

A bioswale and permeable pavers facilitate a sustainable stormwater management system, and a tree planting layout reduces urban heat-island effect while being drought tolerant.

Drivers pay for parking via a pay-and-display system and can pay for, track, and extend their parking sessions via smartphone. Low-maintenance plant and construction materials reduce the need for constant upkeep, and tamper-resistant security measures and regular patrols help keep things safe. The community has embraced the lot’s seating area, which has become a natural gathering space.

Parking spaces are marked with alternate-color inset pavers rather than painting and eliminating a curb between the pedestrian right-ofway, and the lot promotes openness and multi-functionality for events that include a public market and other lot offerings. Canopy trees shade parking and the pedestrian areas, and the project has been met with very high community approval.


CATEGORY 4—Innovation in a Parking Operation or Program
Park Miami Parking Authority
Miami Parking Authority, Owning Agency
Miami, Fla.

Beefree Media, Creative Agency
Margarita Castro, Project Manager, Beefree Media
Alejandra Argudin, CAPP, Chief Operations Officer, Miami Parking Authority
Rolando Tapanes, Miami Parking Authority, Parking Vendor
Wilfredo Soto, Miami Parking Authority, Parking Vendor

TOTAL COST: $5,500

The Wynwood Arts District of Miami, Fla., is home to more than 70 art galleries, retail stores, antique shops, and eclectic bars, along with one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world. The Miami Parking Authority (MPA) found the opportunity to weave itself into the fabric of this community by holding a contest to coincide with ArtBasel 2015 (an art fair).

More than 20 artists responded to a call for art issued by the MPA, and eight winners were selected to launch the “Park Your Art” event, turning distinct parking machines into pieces of art. In November they painted live in front of the public.

Each painted pay-and-display machine proposal was reviewed by the MPA and Beefree Media. The initiative gave local artists exposure to the public by adding liveliness to an often overlooked parking device. Machines were covered with anti-graffiti lamination to protect the artwork, which will remain on display until the 2016 contest. Winners were selectedcbased on originalitycof content, technique, and creative interpretation of a theme (IHeart 305 was last year’s theme).


CATEGORY 5—Best Parking Facility Rehabilitation or Restoration
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport Parking Deck Structure Restoration
Birmingham Airport Authority, Owning Agency
Birmingham, Ala.

Carl Walker, Inc., Structural Engineer & Parking Consultant
Khafra Engineering Consultants, Inc., Architect, MEP Engineer
Taylor + Miree Construction, Inc., General Contractor
Volunteer Restoration, Restoration Contractor
Birmingham Engineering and Construction Consultants, Inc., Testing and Special Inspector


This project tackled a vast restoration of a 5,300-car structure that was constructed in phases from 1971 to 1997, bringing the garage up to date, improving safety, and doing it in very innovative ways.

Two miles of expansion joints were removed and replaced while 410,000 square feet of deck coating was laid down, and 2 million square feet of ceiling was painted. New perimeter fall protection barriers were installed; structural repairs were made; and operational, aesthetic, and durability upgrades were planned and implemented. Two new restrooms were constructed for the public and employees of a rental car facility inside the garage. Security upgrades were made, and the façade was pressure washed and sealed. Floor drains were added to address pooling water and concrete bollards replaced chain-link fencing to separate different areas of the structure, allowing pedestrian pass-through. Light fixtures were cleaned, replaced, and/or supplemented, and ADA spaces were reconfigured at current terminal access points with new signage and striping.

Work had to take place without shutting down the structure; the airport authority provided historical occupancy data to allow workers to shift to different areas during high- or low-occupancy times. The contract was structured for flexibility and used a combination of lump-sum, unit-cost, and allowance items, which was very unusual. Operational improvements represented a significant portion of contract value and added to the complexity of the project but addressed the central objective of improving the overall experience of airport patrons.

CATEGORY 7—Award for Architectural Achievement
Miami Design District City View Garage
DACRA, Owner’s Representative and Security Specialist Miami, Fla.

Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc., Engineer, Architect and Parking Consultant
KVC Constructors, General Contractor and Construction Manager
Leong Leong, Designer
Iwamoto Scott, Designer


It’s not every day a new garage goes up in a major design district, and this one by TimHaahs fits into its setting beautifully while serving its ultimate purpose very effectively. The City View Garage includes approximately 22,660 square feet of retail and 14,790 square feet of office space. The Leong Leong façade on the west consists of titanium-plated, stainless-steel panels cut and folded for a 3D effect, and the Iwamoto Scott façade on the east features a blue and silver pattern that complements the surrounding Palm Court buildings. These dramatic facades and dramatic lighting combine to provide an attractive connection between parking and the rest of the development.

The middle portion of the south façade features a public art piece by John Baldessari that transforms pixels from dots into different diameter cutouts in steel panels, providing tone variations and an image that becomes gradually more visible at a distance.

The structure was designed with post-tensioned concrete slabs and beams that allow spans to be achieved and keeps decks column free. Pay-on-foot machines in both stair towers reduce wait times for exiting, and wayfinding graphics throughout the structure make it easy to navigate both in the car and for pedestrians. Highly visible from the nearby interstate, this project offers visitors their first impression of the design district, and it is landmark of its own.