Tag Archives: parking

The Curb is One of the Most Valuable Assets

By Chrissy Mancini Nichols and Jonathan Wicks, CAPP

This blog is a summary of the Frontline Fundamental session titled: Curb Management – Lessons Learned. The full session is available in the IPMI On-Demand Education Library, free to members and $35 for non-members – click here to order. 

Graphic courtesy of Walker Consultants.

The Curb is One of the Most Valuable Assets

In our rapidly changing world, the humble curb is seeing a convergence of competing uses. From an increase in pick-ups and drop-offs to new ways to get around like shared bikes and scooters, curb space must be managed to ensure accessibility, safety, and circulation.

Benefits of Curb Management

The curb is more than just vehicle storage or a path of travel: it is there to serve people. It’s a vital community space and one of the most extensive and valuable assets in a city. A good curb design promotes access and activity, drawing more customers for businesses. Cities must understand their curb utilization to determine the best mix of curb uses based on actual activity data, mobility, and land use goals.

Walker’s Curb Management Research Project

In Sarasota, FL, Solar-powered cameras recorded curb use every 10 seconds, amassing 13.2 million data points on occupancy, turnover, dwell times, vehicle color, activity, and violations (all manually reviewed for accuracy). Compared to hourly data recordings (shown in darker shades below), this approach delivers a more complete picture of curb use — and how quickly that can change throughout the day. Streets with shorter stays, for example, have more curb capacity than expected. Graphic courtesy of Walker Consultants.

To know parking is to know the curb. Curb management is an integral part of Walker’s planning, design, and financial studies and we know cities have different needs and require context-specific solutions. However, there are a variety of unknowns related to data, technology, regulations, and implementation of curb management.  There is also a spectrum of tools available to plan and implement curb management, and many are still in the testing phase.

Walker’s recent presentation on our curb management research project, which devotes pro bono staff time to find answers to these unknowns, is now available to watch on demand.  We are helping cities of various needs strategize on how to solve a specific curb management issue, with a goal of creating a curb management model that can be localized. The research project is exploring:

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Collect curb inventory and activity data and analysis

Planning and Testing

  • Pilot and test new curb designs and regulations
  • Develop curb use typologies and models
  • Vet, test, and leverage emerging curb management technology

Policy and Partnerships

  • Establish curb use goals and priorities with the community and stakeholders
  • Review existing curb policies and identify issues/draft policies
  • Evaluate curb pricing for all users
  • Identify partnerships and agreements necessary for implementation, including public-private partnerships

Chrissy  Mancini Nichols is national director of curb management and new mobility with Walker Consultants.

Jonathan Wicks, CAPP is a consultant with Walker Consultants.

To access this Frontline Fundamentals session as well as all of the IPMI On-Demand learning, click here.

Watch Me Work

By Victor Hill, CAPP

Yes, that’s a picture of Optimus Prime behind me. The other one features Megatron. Both pay homage to the 1986 movie that traumatized a generation of kids, me included.

What, you expected to see a wall of degrees or my CAPP certificate?

When I started working from home, I thought my office needed my bona fides on display, but I did not want any of those items in my space. I spend the majority of my workdays talking to colleagues and customers on camera, so it makes better sense that people see the real me. And the real me is an old-school Transformers nerd. What you don’t see on camera is the barcade I built a few years ago, the mini-fridge, or the Autobot logo that’s part of a modern interpretation of Prime’s trailer striping – and that’s way more than you wanted to know, but there it is, with photos.

I’m more productive at this point in my professional career than ever, in small part, because I work in a space that’s my own where I can truly engage. I have easy access to the professional tools I need to be successful, but they’re balanced with the stuff that keeps me focused and, often, serve as ice breakers.

We’ve spent the last two years talking about working from home, but we haven’t spent enough time talking about the things that make us productive, effective, or fun. If a wall of degrees is what makes you happy, cool. I just think Autobots are cooler, and the people I work with do, too.

Or maybe they’re just humoring me.

Victor Hill, CAPP, MPA is an account manager with T2 Systems, and a member of IPMI’s Sustainability Committee.

The Power of Connection

By Jamie Snyder, CAPP

These past two years have taught us many things. How to bounce back from adversity, how to meet unknown challenges head on, how to…. dare I say…. PIVOT. However, one of the greatest things it has taught us is how important human connection is to us.

I was reminded of this recently during one of Texas Parking and Transportation Association’s (TPTA) “Let’s Do Lunch” meetings. TPTA kicked off these monthly webinars shortly after the pandemic hit, when we were all confined to our homes. We have hosted them monthly for 1 ½ years, trying to bridge the “connection” gap until we could finally see each other in person again. It has been a great way to stay connected to our colleagues and meet new ones in the process.

We are a connected industry. It is one of the things I fell in love with when introduced to the industry so long ago. We are unique in that way, not many industries forge the friendships and mentorships like ours does. It is important to us to stay connected, either by computer or in person.

It is even more important to form connections with people new to the industry. We need to make a concentrated effort to reach out to those that have not been here as long as some of us old timers. To bring them in and make them feel welcome, to be the mentor that so many of us had at some point. It is especially critical in this topsy-turvy world we are living in now.

Let’s all make a pledge to do just that, welcome everyone to the great connection. Meet new people within your own firm, in regional organizations, and through IPMI. Welcome everyone in the positive way you were welcomed and if it was not positive, then welcome them in the way you would have wanted.

Jaime Snyder, CAPP is a senior parking consultant with Walter P Moore. Jaime is a member of IPMI’s Planning, Design, and Construction committee.

APO – If Not Now When?

By Casey Jones, CAPP

Accredited Parking Organization logoI was with a client recently who shared that they aspire to become an Accredited Parking Organization (APO)…in five years.  “Five years, why wait five years? I think you’re much closer than you think,” I responded.  Rationally I get it. One naturally hesitates even with a basic understanding of what’s required to earn global recognition as one of the top parking and mobility organizations.  It’s not easy and it requires significant effort.

While the goal should clearly be earning accreditation, going through the process makes yours a better parking organization.  You will be forced to consider shortcomings by creating processes and procedures based on industry best practices.  You’ll look comprehensively at your operation and facilities with a playbook designed by industry thought leaders.  And you’ll build teamwork and accountability as you work through evaluating criteria and where you measure against established global standards.

Some folks hesitate pursuing APO because they want everything to be “perfect” before investing the time and energy needed to earn accreditation to which I share Voltaire’s famous advice to not let perfect be the enemy of good.  Good organizations can earn their APO and should start now.

Want to know more? You can jumpstart your process by attending the upcoming APO Chat on March 24, 2022, at 2:00 pm. Join IPMI staff and representatives from current APOs to explore the program. The session will address the accreditation process, outline the benefits, and answer any questions that you may have.

This session will provide an excellent overview of the program and put you on a path to success.  Click here to register. What better time than now?

Casey Jones, CAPP, is director of customer success with Flash, and is a member of IPMI’s APO Board.

Positioned for Success

By Robert Ferrin, CAPP

Back in November I blogged about just how exciting a time it was now that an Infrastructure Bill had been passed.  That excitement is starting to come in focus as guidance is being provided by the federal government on how applicants can access the $1.2 trillion in infrastructure investment being provided over the next several years.  There have been many summary articles written on the Building a Better America (BUILD) program over the past several months.  I encourage you to review the guidance accessed off the https://www.whitehouse.gov/build/ website.  The guidance documents break down the legislation by program focus area.  Some programs that should interest parking and mobility professionals include:

RAISE Grants: An existing program that focuses on road, rail, transit, and other surface transportation projects that will double the funding available to applicants. Applications slated to open in the first quarter of this year.

Bus & Bus Facilities Competitive Grants: Another existing program to replace, rehabilitate, purchase, or lease buses with an emphasis on capital funding for low or no emission bus projects.  Applications slated to open in the first quarter of this year.

Charging & Fueling Infrastructure Grants: Billions of dollars being invested in the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations, as well as hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure.  This program will most likely be accessed through State EPAs as well as directly to larger cities later this year.

Rural Surface Transportation Grant: A new $2 billion program to improve connectivity and expand surface transportation options in rural areas.  Applications slated to open in the first quarter of this year.

And there are many others to review and determine if your program could benefit from these federal dollars.

Be sure to connect with your grant writers, fiscal teams, and parent agencies to get a seat at the table and access these funds for projects that support the goals of the BUILD program.  Let’s position ourselves for success and capitalize on this generational investment in our communities and infrastructure.

Robert Ferrin, CAPP, is assistant director, parking services with the City of Columbus, Ohio, and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors.

Free Webinar: Reducing Cruising for Parking: New Research & Tools Presented by the Federal Highway Administration

Reducing Cruising for Parking: New Research & Tools Presented by the Federal Highway Administration


Experts say 30 percent of urban traffic comes from cars circling in the hunt for parking—but recent research says that’s not necessarily true.

Join experts from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration to learn why that number is usually much lower. They have developed a new tool to reduce circling even more, potentially transforming the way people find parking, and how professionals limit costly cruising and maximize on-street and off-street resources.

Click here to view webinar.

Resources from Parking & Mobility

Read the January issue of Parking & Mobility, featuring our cover story on FHWA’s groundbreaking research on cruising and new tools to help industry professionals manage parking assets.


SFMTA Makes a Prominent Place for Car Share Parking

By Andy Thornley

Vehicle sharing is a great option for getting around and doing the things we all need to do with a car, without having to own a car. Whether it’s for running errands, visiting friends, or making a day trip to the beach, vehicle sharing services help give people access to “just enough car” and help reduce car ownership and the pressure on parking spaces. That’s good for household budgets, good for roadway and curb congestion, and good for the environment.

San Francisco has long embraced car sharing as a policy-positive tool, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has elevated car sharing as a mode choice to prioritize and facilitate as part of its strategic planning and operations. In addition to extending reserved parking permit fee discounts to qualified vehicle sharing organizations (VSO’s) at the 19 city-owned garages, the SFMTA administers an on-street car share parking permit program, stationing shared vehicles right at the curb, making them visible and available to all.

In 2017, following a large-scale pilot program, the On-Street Shared Vehicle Permit Program grants permits to VSOs, establishing clearly marked curbside parking spaces for dedicated shared vehicle use. Monthly permit fees range from $20-$130, depending on the section of the city in which a permitted space is located; permittees are also obliged to gather and share utilization data with the agency, and while shared vehicles parked in designated on-street spaces are exempt from street cleaning enforcement, permittees must maintain parking spaces as clean as if they’d been swept by a street cleaner.

Convenient vehicle sharing helps give people the flexibility to sell their car or forego buying one. One of the key findings in the pilot program evaluation was that the average on-street shared vehicle in San Francisco is used by 19 different people each month, with some shared on-street vehicles used by 30 or 40 or 60 different neighbors. Beyond saving users money and time, this sort of space utilization can really help to squeeze the most out of finite and contested curb.

For more information on the program, visit the SFMTA website:  sfmta.com/vehiclesharing.

Andy Thornley is a senior administrative analyst in the Parking & Curb Management section of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

ParkHouston App, Powered by ParkMobile, Unveils Spanish-Language Version

ParkHouston App, Powered by ParkMobile, Unveils Spanish-Language Version


The Spanish translations are available when a ParkHouston user updates their device settings to Spanish.

HOUSTON, TX – January 26, 2022 – ParkMobile announced an enhancement to the City of Houston’s ParkHouston app that will give users access to view the app in Spanish. This new feature makes the app more accessible for ParkHouston’s Spanish-speaking users as the city continues to make parking easy and convenient.

“Houston es la ciudad más diversa del país, por lo que ofrecer una versión en español de la aplicación es muy importante para la ciudad de Houston”, dice Tina Paez, Directora de Administración y Asuntos Regulatorios. “ParkHouston quiere que los pagos de estacionamiento sean lo más conveniente  posible para todos los residentes de Houston y visitantes de nuestra comunidad”.

“Houston is the most diverse city in the country, so offering a Spanish version of the app is very important to the City of Houston,” says Tina Paez, Director of Administration and Regulatory Affairs. “ParkHouston wants parking payments to be as convenient as possible for all Houstonians and visitors to our community.”

ParkMobile and the City of Houston have been in partnership for more than a decade, and the ParkHouston app launched in 2017. Since then, ParkHouston has seen more than 300,000 lifetime users, resulting in more than three million transactions.

The ParkHouston app, powered by ParkMobile, is free to download on both iPhone and Android devices. To view the app in Spanish, a user must change their default language to Spanish (United States) in their phone settings. From there, users can use the app to pay for parking or reserve parking in advance, just as they would on the English version of the app.

“The City of Houston has been an incredible partner of ours since 2011, so we’re thrilled to further our partnership with the addition of Spanish capabilities for the ParkHouston app,” says Jeff Perkins, CEO of ParkMobile. “Providing the option for Spanish in the ParkHouston app is just another way Houston is using innovative technology to create a better experience for all.”

About ParkMobile

ParkMobile, LLC is the leading provider of smart parking and mobility solutions in North America, providing a contactless way for millions of people to easily find, reserve, and pay for parking on their mobile device. The company’s technology is used in thousands of locations across the country, including 8 of the top 10 cities as well as college campuses, airports, and stadiums. People can use ParkMobile solutions to quickly pay for on-street and off-street parking without having to use a meter or kiosk. Additionally, ParkMobile offers parking reservations at stadium venues for concerts and sporting events. Reservations are also available in metro area garages, allowing people to drive into the city without having to worry about finding parking. ParkMobile has been named to the Inc. 5000, Deloitte Fast 500, Smart Cities Connect “Smart 50,” and the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Top Workplaces. Additionally, the company won the 2020 Stevie Awards for Achievement in Product Innovation and the 2019 Stevie Awards for Most Innovative Tech Company and Best Travel App. For more information, visit ParkMobile.io or @ParkMobile on Twitter.

About ParkHouston

ParkHouston’s mission is to provide safe and convenient parking for Houston residents and visitors.  We support economic development by providing superior customer service, investing in cutting-edge technologies, and actively collaborating with stakeholders. As a solution-focused division of the Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department, we service and maintain over 9,500 parking spaces across the City. ParkHouston also works to create more sustainable communities by reducing congestion and supporting alternative modes of transportation.

ParkMobile Contact: Mark Lister, SVP of Marketing, mark.lister@parkmobile.io

ParkHouston Contact: Cory Stottlemyer, Public Information Officer, cory.stottlemyer@houstontx.gov