Tag Archives: municipal

Flexibility and COVID-19

COVID-19 parking transportation curbBy Mark Lyons, CAPP     

Albert Einstein said the measure of intelligence is the ability to change. The demand for changes in mobility programs as a result of COVID-19 are enough to make any good mobility professional more flexible than taffy on hot day. I know you’re probably more than done with hearing about C-19 issues. And, yes, there are still many hurdles to cross before we can feel like it was before and getting back to the new “normal.” But for a minute, could we start to look back and realize that in very short order, our industry pros became central in the planning and recovery of our local microcosm?

Look at some of the stories where parking directors have yielded, albeit temporarily, the demand for paid meters and citations, instead posting signage to help local business preserve parking near their doors to encourage shoppers to continue honoring local services. Think about the number of streets and parking spaces that have been cut off so restaurants could bring seating outside to the customer. Loading zones have been extended to improve delivery logistics. Many cities and universities enhanced parking rates or time restrictions to ensure customers were not dissuaded from engaging local businesses. Many of us modified citation collections schedules and fees to provide relief during this period, when so many workers lost jobs.

There are many stories that could be talked about for days, but can we now take a moment to bask in our collective efforts to help our communities? Our professional parking and mobility pros have worked as integral partners with city engineers, planners, police departments, universities, city managers, and business associations and districts, and continue to support local businesses.

I hope our mobility community is no longer considered a distraction or viewed as an opponent of the business community. The next time somebody tells us that paid parking programs scare their customers away, remind them how flexible our industry was during the pandemic and of the hours we’ve spent contemplating how to help our local businesses, as well as the concessions that were made to help keep dreams alive.

If what Albert Einstein said is true, then congratulations team! Not only are you very smart, but you’ve made us all look great in the process!

Mark Lyons, CAPP, is parking division manager with the City of Sarasota, Fla.


Planning in Unusual Times

urban planning COVID-19 blogBy L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

I recently read an article by Sam Lubell about COVID-19’s effects on cities, in the Los Angeles Times.

In his article, Lubell outlines how “although pandemics have long been a tragic scourge on our cities, they’ve also forced architecture and city planning to evolve. The Bubonic Plague, which wiped out at least a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century, helped to inspire the radical urban improvements of the Renaissance. Cities cleared squalid and cramped living quarters, expanded their borders, developed early quarantine facilities, opened larger and less cluttered public spaces and deployed professionals with specialized expertise, from surveyors to architects.”

“In the 20th century, tuberculosis, typhoid, polio and Spanish flu breakouts prompted urban planning, slum clearance, tenement reform, waste management and, on a larger level, Modernism itself, with its airy spaces, single-use zoning (separating residential and industrial areas, for instance), cleaner surfaces (think glass and steel) and emphasis on sterility.”

Lubell concludes that, “It’s clear that the coronavirus will have — and is already having— a similarly profound effect on today’s built world. It’s shaking loose notions of what is “normal” in a field still employing many of the same techniques it did a century ago. And it’s pushing forward promising but still emerging practices, from prefabrication to telecommuting.”

I encourage you to read Lubell’s article in which he examines six methodologies related urban design and the built environment that are playing a prominent role in the age of COVID-19:

  • Modular construction.
  • Adaptive reuse.
  • Lightweight architecture.
  • The healthy building.
  • Telecommuting and small city living.
  • The town square, reconsidered.
  • Building beyond COVID.

According to Lubell, if history is a guide, the rise of these temporary methodologies likely will become permanent, at least in some form.


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


Is This Micro-mobility’s Moment?

A kick scooter on a city sidewalkSince COVID-19 lockdowns started in March, micro-mobility has struggled and several big players have either exited specific markets or left the field altogether. But with more people around the world heading back to work and wary of trains and buses, micro-mobility may be enjoying a big boom–and a chance to ingrain itself into city culture.

Several cities are reporting huge increases in the number of people using shared bikes and scooters, and at least one company is rolling out a leasing model, where a user would have a specific device to use for a monthly fee rather than hitting the dock or an app to claim one every day.

Key, some experts say, is avoiding monopolies, which left several cities’ riders stranded when companies collected their vehicles and left the markets during the pandemic.

Is this micro-mobility’s big moment? Read it here.

A 10-Point Roadmap for the New Normal in Parking and Mobility

Business new norm covid-19By Kevin White, AICP

Like many other sectors of the economy, the parking and mobility industry has been affected significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite significant impacts on revenue, staffing, and other functions, municipal operations have deftly adjusted to local conditions and are planning in earnest for an uncertain future as cities and states begin to re-open and we move further into this period of “new normal.” While we have all read and heard a variety of prognostications of what the future of parking and mobility might look like, there is a great deal of uncertainty inherent in all of it.

Looking to the immediate and more long-term future, cities should focus on what they know to be true and what they can control. The new normal places significant importance on being nimble, open, and transparent, and leveraging technology and data to serve customers, understand the parking and mobility demand profile, evaluate performance, and make operational adjustments as the situation evolves.

Chrissy Mancini Nichols and I authored a 10-point roadmap for navigating the new normal in parking and mobility. We hope it’s helpful.

Kevin White, AICP, is a parking and mobility consultant with Walker Consultants.


Are Parking Minimums a Thing of the Past?

parking minimums municipalsBy Jonathan Wicks, CAPP

In this time of evolving transportation needs and consumer preferences, municipalities and developers are asking: Are old-school parking minimums applicable to today’s usage? Developers often find them inflexible, frustrating, and costly. The planning community is increasingly opposed to parking minimums, concerned that they perpetuate an auto-centric nature of American cities that dedicates more land to cars than people, housing, and quality design. Transportation planners point out that parking minimums increase the distance between destinations, making cities and towns less walkable and—subsequently—have even more parking.

Cities are beginning to respond to the need for less parking in a meaningful way by reducing or removing minimums near transit, in downtown districts, and even city-wide. In a 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Virtual Conference & Expo panel led by Walker Consultants’ Sue Thompson, Chrissy Mancini Nichols, and me, we’ll dive deep into parking minimums. Expect to learn the current story of trends and data around parking minimums, see real-life case studies and analysis on minimum requirements compared to demand, and build a how-to toolbox of the policies and plans for parking and the curb to take back to your project or town.

Jonathan Wicks, CAPP, is a consultant with Walker Consultants. He will present on this topic during the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, June 1-2, wherever you are. Click here for details and to register.


COVID-19 & the Curb: Private Sector Works to Adapt and Offer Creative Solutions

A woman in a medical mask and gloves hangs a "curbside pickup" sign.
Image: Downtown Santa Monica Inc.

This post is part of a special series on curb management and COVID-19. A joint effort of International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI), Transportation for America, and Institute of Transportation Engineer’s Complete Streets Council, this series strives to document the immediate curbside-related actions and responses to COVID-19, as well as create a knowledge base of strategies that communities can use to manage the curbside during future emergencies.

By Mae Hanzlik

Flexible curbside management is a small, but key, piece of many cities’ response to COVID-19. Often, these efforts have been supported or made possible with the support and technology of private-sector partners. Transportation for America reached out to its Smart Cities Collaborative sponsors to hear how they’re responding to COVID-19 and working with jurisdictions to adapt curbside management.

Adapting their platforms and launching new tools

To accommodate increased food takeout and deliveries, Coord, a curbside management software company, is offering their platform at no cost for 90 days to cities in its coverage area. Coord also worked with existing city customers who were identifying locations for temporary loading zones and fast-tracked specific feature requests.

Downtown Santa Monica Inc. (DTSM), a business improvement nonprofit in Santa Monica, Calif., used Coord’s data collection and analysis to help them quickly stand up a program where essential businesses could temporarily convert metered parking into short-term loading. “[We] were looking for any opportunity to support our district businesses during the COVID-19 crisis,” Benjamin DeWitte, DTSM’s research and data manager, shared with us. “Our prior research into curb usage, driven by COORD data collection and analysis, indicated that a shift from metered parking to short-term loading could positively impact access and efficiency for those who rely on delivery and take out business.”

Populus, whose data platform helps cities manage their curbs, streets, and sidewalks, is working with their existing city customers to provide digital solutions that support “Open Streets” and “Slow Streets”. They’re also inviting cities and agencies to apply to their Open Streets Initiative where they’ll partner with a handful of cities on implementing dynamic street policies and provide them with complimentary access to their Street Manager platform. The deadline to apply is May 15.

Lacuna, a transportation technology company, is launching a dynamic curb reservation system in May that allows cities to remotely allocate sections of curb in real-time to accommodate deliveries of food, freight, and other essential supplies.

Establishing internal teams to work directly with cities

Uber has put together an internal team that’s dedicated to working with cities and stakeholders to ensure safe access points for trips to essential places like hospitals, grocery stores, and pharmacies. They are also reaching out to cities to learn how they can best support city efforts to ensure adequate space for social distancing, offering the use of geofencing and in-app routing changes to support car-free streets.

Preparing for the future

A number of companies are starting to think about what the world may look like post-COVID. Passport, a parking and mobility software company, is starting virtual conversations through its webinars on the future of the mobility industry and the equity impacts of cashless payments.

Strong public and private partnerships are key to emergency response. We hope to continue to see the private sector work alongside municipalities to offer support and transformative tech solutions.

Mae Hanzlik is a program manager for Transportation for America in Washington, D.C.



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

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

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

Free to all Industry Professionals

Access recording here

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including how we plan for municipal on street operations post COVID-19.

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

We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.  If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.


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

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

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

Free Online Shoptalk: Leadership on Their Terms to Ease Stress and Enable Focus

Free Online Shoptalk: Leadership on Their Terms to Ease Stress and Enable Focus

Download the Shoptalk here.

IPMI invites all industry professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your various mobility programs and options, including how we plan for municipal on street operations post COVID-19.

Now more than ever, empathy, self-awareness, and sensitivity are key aspects to leading teams and maintaining healthy relationships (just ask any celebrity busted on social media for complaining about cabin fever from their palatial home). Meeting employees where their heads are to communicate change, celebrate success, and break bad news are the leadership qualities that win the day in today’s environment.

If you’re leading others and, would like to go from good to better or haven’t really had to lean on these aspects of leadership until now, this online Shoptalk will be well worth your time. Join Colleen Niese and Vicki Pero from The Marlyn Group for a highly interactive session to discuss key strategies and take away easy-to-implement tactics to ensure your leadership from a distance will:


  • Make decisions that consider team members needs in a COVID-19 world.
  • Help manage stress for your team and you(!).
  • Support all in accomplishing the work at hand with as much focus as can be expected.


Niese headshotColleen M. Niese, SPHR understanding of what makes a business tick comes from her nearly 25 years of parking industry experience, and her insatiable curiosity about high-performing business.

With a background in leading an international shared services center to then consulting in strategic HR and customer service to now overseeing new business development, sales and client relations for Zephire, the people-first complete monthly parking solution, Colleen is well versed when it comes to a parking operator’s priorities in managing seamless monthly parking.  She possesses a unique skillset to listen to a client’s needs and connecting Zephire’s holistic solution to each individual’s expectation.  In her spare time, Colleen is a hopeless Cleveland Browns fan (there’s always next year!).

Free Online Shoptalk: COVID-19 & Industry Response – Municipal & Transportation Providers

March 24 @ 12:00 pm1:00 pm EDT

Tuesday, March 24, 2020: 12:00 PM EST

Online Shoptalk for Municipalities & Transportation Providers: COVID-19 and Our Industry’s Response

Access the recording here.

Join IPMI for a free online shoptalk to discuss and collaborate about the effects of the COVID-19 virus and the industry’s response. Moderated by Casey Jones, CAPP, former IPMI chair, this hour-long discussion will provide insights, evolving best practices and ideas/solutions to help your organization cope with these challenges. We understand this is an extremely busy time and will record the online shoptalk and distribute to all members and colleagues.  If you have a question or would like to share something that has worked for your organization in advance, please email Fernandez@parking-mobility.org.

Limited to 100 registrants


Casey Jones, CAPP is a recognized transportation and parking industry leader with over 24 years industry experience overseeing parking and transportation programs in the Pacific Northwest and at the University of Colorado and Boise State University.  He’s spent the past 10 years providing consulting and project management services to universities, cities and hospitals focusing on improving customer satisfaction, operational effectiveness, and financial performance.  His public and private sector operational experience complements his strong project management skills and experience. Jones currently serves as Senior Parking & Mobility Planner for DESMAN. He is past chairman of the board for the International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI), he serves on the Accredited Parking Organization Board of Directors and is a board director for the California Public Parking Association and Pacific Intermountain Parking and Transportation Association.

Parking Whack-a-Mole

IPMI Blog 03-18-20By Blake Fitch, CAPP

In my last blog post, I wrote about transformation by communication. I explained the process used for adding an additional parking zone to the City of Aspen, Colo., for the first time since 1995. It didn’t take long to see the domino effect from making this change. Our parking director likes to refer to this as the Whack-a-Mole effect, meaning that when you address one issue, another pops up.

In another section of the city outside of the designated parking zones, a transformation was taking place. The vehicles displaced for the creation of an addition parking zone found another area to migrate to. Lone Pine Road became the new storage area for vehicles and trailers—some individual had even set up shop conducting business out of a small, converted bus.

It was difficult to find the right balance for the best use of the parking spaces in this area. This section of the city originally started out being regulated as 72-hour parking. Residents of the area as well as parking staff observed the creativity of the individuals parking here. Some of the parkers banded together and found a way to defeat this system by simply trading parking spaces with each other.

We then implemented a two-hour parking rule that was meant to promote the turnover of parking spaces. We had swung the pendulum too far, leaving the street’s parking virtually empty. In our latest attempt to remedy the issue we have designated these spaces as a 24-hour parking with strict enforcement. The results so far look promising for balancing turnover and occupancy. Only time will tell if the effect will be long lasting. The next step to try may be the implementation of a paid parking system in this area.

Blake Fitch, CAPP, is parking operations manager for the City of Aspen, Colo.