Tag Archives: michigan

Michigan City Enacts Micro-mobility Regulations

E-scooters and e-bikes will be able to operate on bike paths and sidewalks just like regular bicycles while respecting pedestrians just as regular bikes must in Ann Arbor, Mich., whose City Council gave unanimous preliminary approval to a personal mobility vehicle ordinance last week.

The growth of micro-mobility in the city led to preliminary adoption of the ordinance, which also gives riders the same rights on roads as motorists and lets them park in spaces designated for bikes and cars. It also spells out what riders are responsible for, including safety and personal responsibility around pedestrians.

The regulations are scheduled for a final vote Sept. 20.


Member News: City of Grand Rapids Retains AMG Payment Solutions for Credit Card Processing


The City of Grand Rapids, MI (GR) recently selected AMG Payment Solutions (AMG) as one of their new credit card processing vendors.

AMG will provide their niche processing services across the City’s entire parking ecosystem, applying their credit card processing solution for transactions at all parking meters, parking pay stations, parking ramps and lots, monthly parking permits, and the city’s Motu mobile parking application. Cities like Grand Rapids utilize a merchant services account to work with their parking hardware, software, and mobile payment providers to enable customers to pay via credit / debit card. These accounts come with high “regulated” debit card transaction fees that can reduce the revenues from these small ticket parking transactions. The AMG niche solution can reduce these monthly fees by 20% to 50%.

AMG’s First Data / Fiserv platform utilizes preferred interchange pricing from both Visa and MasterCard. The City will utilize AMG's industry leading processing platform for small ticket parking transactions. The AMG solution will help save the City of GR thousands of dollars each year. The savings retained by partnering with AMG will allow the City to utilize those funds for higher and better uses in their operation.

AMG’s value proposition is unique and unlike anything else in the merchant processing industry and the parking industry. In addition to the City of Grand Rapids, AMG provides similar services to hundreds of U.S. cities parking operations including Lexington, KY, Manhattan Beach CA, Hermosa Beach CA, Asbury Park NJ, Princeton NJ, Newark NJ, Bloomington IN, Athens GA and Tempe AZ.

About AMG Payment Solutions

AMG is a boutique merchant processing firm with a significant focus on the United States parking industry. AMG utilizes the First Data North processing platform for their clients, and currently partners with hundreds of cities nationwide to reduce their credit card processing costs at parking meters, parking pay stations (kiosks) and mobile payment apps like ParkMobile, Passport or PayByPhone.

AMG specialize in processing the $1-$5 parking transactions cities incur each and every day. AMG offers preferred interchange rates with both Visa and MasterCard on the small ticket “regulated” debit card transactions, and these rates are only available with AMG.

AMG services municipalities, universities, healthcare facilities, and parking management companies to help process parking revenue and significantly reduce client costs.  AMG clients save between 15%-50% compared to their previous merchant service provider.

AVs Get Their Own Lane in Michigan

Sign reading Detroit 94Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer yesterday announced the establishment of dedicated lanes for autonomous vehicles (AVs) on a 40-mile stretch of highway between Detroit and Ann Arbor. The lanes will be built thanks to a private-public partnership (P3) and construction is expected to begin after a two-year study to determine the best strategy.

Much of the project will be funded by companies owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, which hopes to expand it to other states. It will be headed up by Cavnue, which hopes to begin running AVs with human backup drivers along the highway to collect data. They plan for self-driving buses to get first crack at the lanes, followed by smaller shuttles, freight trucks, and some personally owned AVs.

Ford, which is part of the project’s advisory board, recently began renovating an old railroad station in Detroit for use as its AV headquarters.

Read the whole story here.

Parking and the Autonomous Future

Autonomous Vehincles self drivingBy Josh Naramore

There has been a tremendous amount of media attention the last few years offering prognostications and insight into a future where autonomous vehicles are the norm. For the City of Grand Rapids, Mich., the future has merged with the present.

In July 2019, the city with partners launched the Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (AVGR). AVGR is a collaborative, public-private effort to test the readiness of Grand Rapids for self-driving vehicles.

Through the testing of autonomous shuttles, the partnership aims to create more livable cities, attract next-generation innovation and job creators, and place Grand Rapids at the forefront of testing technology in the real world. The partnership has committed to engage the public, explore ridership trends, innovate accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and study impacts to the built environment. Understanding how autonomous mobility will operate in our world and how people will use or adapt to autonomous mobility is essential to making these systems accessible to people of all backgrounds and abilities. Parking and mobility professionals need to prepare for what the future holds and plan to manage it accordingly.

A future in which autonomous vehicles are the norm requires concerted effort on the part of key stakeholders—both in the public and private sector—to develop vehicles, infrastructure, and operational domain sooner rather than later. As the next wave of mobility emerges, it is vital that Grand Rapids stays on the forefront of learning and understanding how new technologies shape and cultivate consumer behavior.

Josh Naramore is director of Mobile GR & Parking Services for the City of Grand Rapids, Mich. He will present on this topic at the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo; click here for details and to register.


In Saginaw, A Court Decision That Could Undermine Downtown Planning Across the U.S.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this spring that chalking tires for parking enforcement violates the search and seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment. The decision had potential wide-reaching implications in the parking and mobility industry. IPMI developed this opinion piece on the matter.

By Shawn Conrad, CAE

The federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Michigan recently issued a decision that, if it stands, could have major repercussions for cities across the United States. The court found that the act of “chalking” tires as part of a municipal parking enforcement program constitutes a warrantless search and, without a search warrant, is illegal under the Fourth Amendment.

Tire chalking is a common practice across the country. It’s done to monitor whether a vehicle remains parked in a given space longer than the permitted amount of time. While conducting rounds, a parking enforcement officer discretely places a chalk mark on vehicle tires. When the officer returns, generally several hours later, it is clear which vehicles have overstayed their parking session by the chalk marks on tires.

The court’s ruling may seem like an obscure one, but its implications are potentially far-reaching. Parking time limits are a vital element of downtown urban planning. It is essential to keep parking spaces turning over throughout the day, particularly in downtown business districts. The general rule of thumb is that cities want 15 percent of their spaces to be available on each block to ensure that people who need parking can find it quickly and safely. The more quickly and conveniently drivers can park, the faster they can get to the shops, restaurants, service providers and other businesses they intend to patronize.

The economic benefits of this type of downtown planning are easy to see. Businesses are more likely to thrive if their customers can find convenient parking close by. But there are other benefits as well. For example, when parking is available and easy to find, cars aren’t circling blocks waiting for parking spaces to become available. This reduces congestion and creates a much safer environment for pedestrians and other drivers. It also provides environmental benefits because cars aren’t unnecessarily burning fuel and emitting carbon monoxide. By supporting local businesses, reducing congestion, and promoting more sustainable urban planning, parking time limits dramatically promote the welfare of communities and improve the quality of life of citizens and employees of local businesses.

By every indication this issue isn’t settled yet. Higher courts may weigh in, and we hope they’ll consider the important role parking time limits play in downtown parking and transportation planning. The courts should recognize that chalking and other strategies designed to keep parking spaces turning over regularly aren’t infringements, but rather essential strategies for promoting economic welfare and improving the quality of life for citizens.

Cities must be able to place limits on how long parkers can remain in downtown spaces. It doesn’t matter whether cities chalk tires or use more sophisticated technologies like license plate recognition. It is vitally important for cities to be able to monitor lengths of stay. Ultimately, everyone—drivers, residents, and local businesses—benefits greatly when parking laws are enforced.

Shawn Conrad, CAE, is IPMI’s CEO.

The Leading Edge of Mobility

Lots is changing in the way people get from place to place, and today Forbes says the state of Michigan is at the leading edge of it all.

While the state is preparing now for more alternative-fuel vehicles, shared rides, and everything we hear about the future of mobility, it’s also already creating jobs in those areas–jobs that may make up for those lost by new technology. Its universities are training students to be prepared for the new ways people will get around and enjoy successful careers in those areas. And it’s working on ways to protect people’s privacy in a connected-vehicle world.

Read the whole story here.