Tag Archives: TPP-2012-04-

Street Smarts

TPP-2012-04-Street SmartsBy Heather Medley and Eric Crouch

Students riding the bus to the Texas Tech campus felt and heard a thump after their vehicle stopped to pick up more passengers. Looking out the window, they saw a student sprawled on the ground with his backpack contents scattered and his cell phone in pieces on the sidewalk around him.

The student had been texting and walking, and he walked right into the side of the bus. Rattled but O.K., he picked up his things and went on his way.

Distracted driving, bicycling, and even walking have gained much attention recently because of the increased risk of crashes when people talk, text, and play games on mobile phones. More perilous still are the multi-taskers, veering and swerving on crowded streets, marching to the rhythm of their mobile devices, and blind to their surroundings. While most injuries are minor—jammed fingers and thumbs, twisted ankles, and sore pride—some can be extremely serious, and those serious consequences are on the rise.

Commuters are constantly engaged with their mobile devices, using them to talk, text, listen to music, play games, and connect with the world on the go. All of those activities make focusing on one task such as driving, walking, or bicycling seem unproductive or even boring. From awareness studies at Western Washington University (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/acp.1638/abstract) to YouTube videos of moon-walking bears, it’s clear that people notice and respond to things they can anticipate.

Increasing Awareness
To bring awareness to our campus community about cell phone use issues, we hosted events, lectures, petition drives, and more. To start, we established a committee comprised of campus and municipal departments, educators, and student and community organizations to help. Involvement from as many facets as possible was essential to reaching target groups and crafting the appropriate messages for modifying students’ behavior.

Understanding that everyone who is mobile on campus must be aware of their surroundings, our committee decided to incorporate all modes of transportation into the program: walking, biking, driving, and taking the bus. To achieve the most sustainable change on the matter, the committee decided to address education, enforcement, and engineering in a comprehensive problem-solving approach. The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness and modify any harmful habits in all four identified actions.

Everyone is a pedestrian at some point in the commute to their office, class, meetings, and the like. Most plan their routes carefully to navigate efficiently across campus, but no one plans to be the cause of an accident or the victim of negligence. An estimated 59,000 pedestrians were injured in U.S. traffic crashes in 2009, according to BeStreetSmart.net. And many campuses operate like urban areas, with many of the same opportunities and challenges they face.

To boost pedestrian awareness, we used marketing methods such as the school’s announcement system, posters, A-frame signs on sidewalks, and social media to convey our message in eye-catching ways, incorporating visual images along with short text information. QR codes that could be scanned with smart phones directed pedestrians to our campaign website, videos, and our online Street Smart Pledge.

Partnering with others helped us use our resources wisely. Contacting other local agencies that were already invested in public safety and groups that promoted walking, bike riding, and other alternative transportation modes provided great resources for our inaugural campaign.

To educate pedestrians, we involved them in fun activities including a fun run that asked participants to donate gently used running shoes to a local non-profit.

Cycling is a healthy mode of commuting and campus mobility when practiced properly. As children, most of us were given a bike, instructed to stay out of the street, and warned to stay within eye-shot of the house. As we get older, commuting and being mobile on campus by bicycle makes it hard to stay out of the street or stay near home. On-campus cycling poses a whole new set of rules, most of which riders are unaware exist or apply to them.

Partnering with local bike shops, cycling clubs, on-campus outdoor enthusiast groups, and the student activities committee helped us organize a safe ride around campus. Other ideas worked well, too: hosting training sessions about proper safety and etiquette on the road beforehand could serve the riders well. Asking students to form groups to promote bicycle safety is a plus. Finding a philanthropic cause to support with a ride encourages participation from avid cyclists who already know and follow the rules of the road.

We also took a look at intersections that posed the most danger to pedestrians and cyclists with those in charge of traffic engineering on our committee, and we asked them to examine possible solutions. Providing education about those intersections through an information blitz with posters on A-frame signs, student-to-student interactions, and email blasts to those parking and working in nearby facilities were met with a positive reaction.

Much attention has been focused in recent years on driving safety, incorporating everything from texting to alcohol consumption to drowsy driving to seat belts and more. Relating all of these concerns to campus motion awareness while engaging our target audience in a new, fresh way posed a few challenges. Other successful programs such as www.drivingskillsforlife.com served as guidance for constructing a comprehensive program without it being overwhelming.

Partnering with on-campus departments including the Student Recreation Center, Student Health, Hospitality Services, Athletics, and Campus Life, along with local and state agencies such as the Department of Public Safety and Department of Transportation, we created a night that focused on fun while incorporating education. Hosting the first “Mix it Up” event on campus at the indoor pool was a huge success. We served non-alcoholic versions of popular cocktails, hosted educational interactive stations, gave out door prizes, and more. The feedback was unanimously positive.

Guest speakers were a large component of the driver safety element. We hosted the parents of a girl who was killed while texting and driving; the Help End Auto Theft Task Force; a campus police officer trained in drunk driving prevention; and the DPS roll-over simulator that helped students feel what it was like to drive drunk and drive while texting.

Bus Riders
Because it only takes 21 days to form a habit, hosting a safety event during the beginning of classes to increase awareness about high-traffic areas around the school can help form safe habits early. During high traffic times, stationing campus leaders and student organizations in strategic areas to talk to those passing by, hand out information about safety, provide tips for campus transportation, and maybe give away coupons for a local auto mechanic helps start some of those conversations about safety that often only occur after tragedy strikes a campus. The advertising revenue from local mechanics can help pay for the cost of printing all these marketing materials!

With a local TV sports team, we hosted a challenge course that incorporated all aspects of campus transportation. Our team raced the three sportscasters to see who could run the course with the fastest time and the fewest mistakes. The challenged aired on local TV several times, promoting our week full of activities.

Through a partnership with local businesses and on-campus auxiliary departments, students were encouraged to sign a “Be Street Smart” pledge online; this unlocked coupons for free, buy-one-get-one, and percent-off deals at local establishments. Additionally, the committee gathered prizes and put on a Twitter party that asked students to participate using the hashtag #BeStreetSmart. We asked questions about all aspects of campus safety, including being a safe passenger on the campus buses. The questions were scripted but the conversation was very personable and well received. Prizes were given out at predetermined intervals for participation, correct answers, and innovative ideas. Winners were asked to pick up their prizes at our Free Car Clinic, which was hosted as part of the Be Street Smart activities, which increased participation and awareness for that event as well.

To construct our model we followed the pattern of the BeStreetSmart.net program, an annual public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign in Washington, D.C. The program is coordinated by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), and is supported by federal funds made available through state governments, and funding from some TPB member jurisdictions. Because the program is federally funded, they were happy to share their ideas and materials with us.

Eric Crouch is managing director of university services at Texas Tech University. He can be reached at eric.crouch@ttu.edu.

Heather Medley is marketing and training coordinator at Texas Tech University Parking Services. She can be reached at heather.medley@ttu.edu or 806.742.7275.

TPP-2012-04-Street Smarts

Ten Hut Present Vehicles

TPP-2012-04-Ten Hut Present VehiclesBy Don Walter

When was the last time your parking department was cheered? Last fall, hundreds of grateful University of Georgia (UGA) students lined up to have their vehicles inspected to help them get home safely for the Thanksgiving holiday. When interviewed, many of these happily smiling students actually screamed into the video camera, “We love UGA Parking Services!”

What parking customers want at a university is reserved parking next to the door of their classroom. What they usually get is parking that’s far away and too expensive. The difference between what the customer wants and what he or she actually gets is known as customer sacrifice. To be satisfied, customers must be compensated in some way for that sacrifice. At UGA, this compensation comes in the form of clean, safe, and well-organized parking areas, and friendly and helpful service. It also comes through award-winning, innovate programs such as Operation Safedrive, which provides free vehicle inspections for UGA community members before they head home for break.

Many UGA Parking Services employees are parents of college-age children. They know their children do not have the time, knowledge, or inclination to make sure their vehicles are always operating in a safe and efficient manner. Parents also know the anxiety of having children at college, often far away from home, and they especially know the worry of having relatively inexperienced vehicle operators drive home for holidays and school breaks. Operation Safedrive was born from these concerns and has been conducted for three years at UGA, right before the fall/Thanksgiving break and sometimes before spring break.

Safedrive is a free vehicle inspection event for students, faculty, and staff. Professional mechanics top off fluids (if possible), check belts/blades, pressurize tires, and do a quick visual inspection of vehicles. Those mechanics have seen everything from five pounds of pressure in tires, to no hood latch on a vehicle (the hood would have flown off at high speed), to almost no brake fluid, to a squirrel’s nest on top of the engine. “You saved my life!” writes a staff member whose inspection revealed several problems with her vehicle. “I fixed everything the same day so I could travel to Atlanta the next day. Everyone was so nice, and I couldn’t believe how quick and efficient the process was, not to mention how thorough the check was. I recommend it to every employee I know.”

A student sums it up: “I don’t drive my car that much. I wanted to make sure she was running right. I have an 11-hour drive to Philadelphia, so this is great!”

In addition to identifying immediate problems, Operation Safedrive has saved
customers money by identifying needed maintenance before the problems became magnified. Mechanics have seen pure water used as radiator fluid, cracked radiators, tires out of balance or alignment, little or very old engine oil, and extremely worn belts.

Students, faculty, and staff who participate also learn something about their vehicles. “I don’t know how to open the hood,” one student confessed to the mechanic. The mechanics become teachers to many who have never looked inside their engine compartments.

Planning and Execution
The detailed planning and execution that goes into each Operation Safedrive inspection is akin to a military operation. Many military logistics principles go into the preparation for the occasions.

The “long pole in the tent,” or the segment of the operation that holds everything up, is inflation of the tires; this takes time, manpower, and air compressors. It also took some trial and error to get going. The first year Safedrive was conducted, light duty electric air compressors were used; unfortunately, they soon broke. The second year, heavy duty electric compressors were used with long extension cords to the power source. The extension cords built up electrical impedance and melted. The third year, heavy duty electric compressors were plugged directly into the source of electricity, which finally worked. Two compressors will handle about 200 car inspections per hour (the actual rate of cars seen at UGA).

“Overkill” is another term that applies to Operation Safedrive, meaning the use of excessive force (a nuclear land mine would be a military example). For our purposes, overkill is defined as using many more employees than would probably be needed. Employees are needed to direct traffic, check turn signals and lights, hand mechanics fluids, record inspection results, inflate tires, wash windshields, spell each other on breaks, and many other duties.

About 20 employees are required to handle a flow of 200 cars per hour, so UGA uses 30 employees, just to be on the safe side. These extra bodies have proven very valuable when unforeseen circumstances develop.

Little’s Law is another logistical principle that applies to Operation Safedrive (it’s also a very powerful planning tool for the parking industry). The long-term average number of customers in a stable system L is equal to the long-term average effective arrival rate, λ, multiplied by the average time a customer spends in the system, W; or expressed algebraically: L = λW. Also algebraically, W = L/λ. So, if the customer spends 15 minutes (.25 hour) going through the inspection (W), and the arrival rate of vehicles is 200 per hour (λ), then the number of cars in the inspection lines will be 50 (L). Little’s Law is very useful for planning our staging areas, and for planning “what if” scenarios.

Finally, “never overestimate your allies” is an important military principle we apply to Safedrive. It is essential to find the most reputable mechanics available. UGA uses a combination of mechanics from University Campus Transit and Five Star Automotive, a local, long-standing, highly respected, family-run business. “My car is good to go? Great!” said a grateful young woman at one of our events. “Where I usually take the car, the mechanic always seems to find something wrong that costs me money,” she said.

Bells and Whistles
Operation Safedrive has become a popular and appreciated program at UGA. A byproduct of Safedrive is positive publicity that enforces the image that UGA Parking Services is a caring, helpful, and concerned organization (it’s really true!). Safedrive events always find a prominent place in local newspapers and campus press.

Parents appreciate that the university cares for their children and is concerned for their safety. As one parent puts it, “If Parking Services is so caring and concerned, just think how well the rest of the university is going to treat my child.”

Safedrive has become so prized and valuable an event that other organizations want to be a part of it. UGA Food Services provides each Safedrive participant with a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich or biscuit at the restaurant’s campus location. The UGA Bookstore provides free giveaways that have included UGA logo car floor mats and license plate holders. Local businesses give away free car washes and other lagniappes. And the UGA Office of Sustainability provides free bicycle safety inspections (conducted by reputable bike shop owners) in conjunction with Safedrive. “It’s mostly routine stuff,” said a bike inspector, but like the auto mechanics, the bike inspectors found dangerous problems as well. One bike rider relates, “The more that people ride bikes around town and on campus, the better. The fact that UGA wants bike riders to be safe is important.”

There are tremendous benefits to events such as Safedrive in terms of safety, goodwill, and positive publicity. However, planning and executing a vehicle inspection program is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot that can go wrong. Good planning, decisions, and execution comes from experience. And experience come from bad planning, decisions, and execution. UGA has learned and improved each time it has conducted vehicle safety checks.

Don Walter is department head of the University of Georgia Parking Services Department. He can be reached at dwalter@uga.edu or 706.542.7303.

TPP-2012-04-Ten Hut Present Vehicles

Balancing Funding for Parking and Transit at UNC Chapel Hill

TPP-2012-04-Balancing Funding for Parking and Transit at UNC Chapel HillBy Cheryl Stout

The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill is the nation’s oldest public university. Today, it receives an A+ rating in transportation from the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, but struggles with the challenges of maintaining an expanding multi-modal transportation system.

The university had more than 28,000 students and 12,000 employees during the 2010-2011 academic year. Chapel Hill is also home to the UNC Hospitals, with more than 7,000 support personnel accommodating approximately 1 million annual visits. UNC Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for managing the university’s receipt-supported transportation and parking system.

The parking inventory consists of close to 22,000 spaces in a variety of designs and uses, including gated reserved lots; permit parking for students and university staff; on-street metered parking; park-and-ride lots for commuting students and staff; patient and visitor parking; and special event parking. UNC contributes 58 percent of the cost of local Chapel Hill Transit, which is a fare-free-at-boarding system. Free regional transit passes are provided to employees and commuting students on top of that.

Most of the university’s parking and transit services costs are funded through receipts generated from permit sales, patient/visitor parking, and transit fees generated from student fees and a departmental payroll fee. A five-year planning strategy has been adopted to incorporate university planning initiatives that require specific transportation management strategies, with input from the UNC Advisory Committee for Transportation (ACT), which has representatives from various campus constituents that include undergraduate/graduate students, student affairs, employee forum, faculty council, hospitals, medical school, athletics, and administration.

Parking permits and hourly parking spaces generate more than $16 million of the system’s approximately $22 million revenues. Additionally, the transit fee assessed to all students and university departments generates approximately $5 million that is used to help fund the transit system.

The Town of Chapel Hill recently notified the university that UNC’s portion of the transit system’s annual operating expenses were projected to increase $3.1 million in 2015 (totaling $8.5 million) to maintain existing levels of service. A signficant portion of this increase was attributed to rising fuel prices.

DPS employed the services of Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., to assist with a five-year financial plan for transportation and parking services at UNC. After gathering information on anticipated growth and costs over that time, it was determined that an additional $5.7 million would be needed. Faced with this deficit, DPS undertook the following tasks:
A review of current operations to identify possible ways to lower operating costs.
A review of parking fees and rates.
A review of current parking policies with a goal of increasing revenues.

A number of options, including LED lighting, implementation of pay stations for on- and off-street parking lots, and online permit sales were evaluated; this identified approximately $600,000 in potential annual savings.

Parking Fees and Rates
UNC implemented a sliding scale during the previous five-year plan for faculty and staff parking permits in which the fee paid is based on each employee’s salary. On-campus permits for faculty and staff range from $546 – $2,154 per year, while student permits range from $380 – $685. A survey of peer institutions found that UNC’s parking fee ranges were higher than most, but that they were comparable to large schools located in metropolitan areas. Based on this comparison, fees at other in-state universities, and local parking rates, it was clear that the university’s fees were already near the top of what the local market will pay.

Parking Policies
A number of free park-and-ride lots with high frequency bus service have been constructed off campus. These have proven to be extremely popular, with more than 95 percent occupancy at peak hours in the lots closest to campus. Chapel Hill Transit provides express bus service to these lots and offers five minute headways at peak hours. UNC pays 100 percent of that service and the cost of constructing, maintaining, and operating the lots.

After evaluation, consultation, and revisions based on campus-wide input, the following recommendations were put forth:
2011-12 Implementations: Reduce the subsidy of the transit system by parking revenues at $500,000 annually and increase student and department fees to pay for transit services to cover the projected increases. This will raise student fees an average of $14 per year and departmental fees by an average of $184 per $1 million in payroll. The student and department fee increases are expected to generate an additional $3.1 million by 2015.

2013-14: Increase the cost of daytime parking permits at an annual rate of approximately 2 percent on each scale.
2013-14: Implement a fee at the park-and-ride lots; $250 per year was recommended.
2014-15: Implement a permit program for night parking; an annual fee of $250 was recommended.
2015-16: Increase the daily maximum for visitor parking in the southwest portion of campus that serves the HealthCare system from $8 to $10.
With the implementation of these recommendations and the projected cost savings from identified efficiencies, the system will generate enough additional revenue to cover the projected five-year cost increases.

Raising fees for parking and transit is always challenging, but is particularly so in the current economic environment and on a campus with active, engaged constituents. UNC is facing significant funding cuts from the legislature and in order to maintain the quality of its programs, increases in fees and tuition are expected. How do you sell a program that recommends increasing fees for everyone?

First, quantify the story. Throughout the project, DPS met regularly with the ACT to keep them abreast of the study and findings.

Second, engage the stakeholders and listen. Presentations of the study, findings, and recommendations were made at separate forums for students, faculty and staff, hospital advisory groups, and the public. At each meeting, DPS and Kimley-Horn presented the history behind the project and the recommendations while carefully listening to the concerns of attendees.

Third, react and respond. Based on input received in the forums, the recommendations were modified as shown below:
Reduce the planned parking deck construction on campus by 300 spaces, decreasing the debt service.

Delay the 2 percent daytime parking permit increase from 2011/12 to 2013/14.
Delay the park-and-ride permit fee from 2011/12 to 2013/14.
Delay the night parking program from 2011/12 to 2014/15.
Change student contributions to the night parking program from a permit cost to a fee-based system.

Reduce the amount of parking revenue used to subsidize the fare free program from $1.5 million to $1 million by 2015/16.
In lieu of a $250 flat fee, apply a sliding scale to the park-and-ride and night parking permits.
Eliminate first-year students (who may not have cars on campus) from the night parking fee.
Install pay and display stations in the park-and-ride lots to allow for a daily use option.

The implementation of these recommendations provides the university with a thoughtful, structured plan to fund necessary transportation and parking initiatives while ensuring that the various users have input into the planning process and that all users contribute to the system to help distribute cost.

Cheryl Stout is assistant director for parking services, department of public safety, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She can be reached at stout4@psafety.unc.edu or 919.962.7136.

TPP-2012-04-Balancing Funding for Parking and Transit at UNC Chapel Hill

Slaying the Mythical Dragon

TPP-2012-04-Slaying the Mythical DragonBy Roy Diez

A sustainable parking garage? LEED certified? Conventional wisdom said it couldn’t be done, but conventional wisdom was wrong.

Committed to completing construction projects in a manner that is as environmentally sustainable as possible, Duke University in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., made a conscious decision to attempt LEED certification for its new parking garage. “The choice to attempt LEED certification,” summarizes the original Owner’s Project Requirements statement, “promotes the University’s philosophy on sustainability to the project team and benefits the end user and the environment.”

Located in the research zone of the Duke campus and adjacent to a medical clinic, the structure’s users include students, faculty, patients, and visitors. Each targeted group has its own floors and entry/exit locations in the garage, and the seven-level, 690,000-square-foot structure offers 1,917 parking spaces.

The Duke University Research Drive Parking Garage became the first LEED-certified, single-use, stand-alone parking garage in the nation. Before this groundbreaking approach to sustainable parking design, designers had secured LEED status for garage projects only by physically linking them to traditional construction projects with occupied space or by incorporating mixed-use components (such as commercial or retail space) that feature non-parking-related green design elements that score high on the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) certification criteria.

“Accepted practice had been that a garage could not be certified because it did not have occupied space,” said Todd Lohman, P.E., managing principal for the Indianapolis office of Walker Parking Consultants. “But, we did it.” The Duke parking structure earned 31 LEED-NC 2.2 points from the USGBC.

A Ban on Garages
Duke’s garage was certified before the LEED ruling that now prohibits parking garages from LEED certification (see sidebar).

Despite the new rule interpretation, Lohman insists that parking structures can and should work to provide sustainability features.

“You can still design sustainably without submitting a score sheet,” he says. “A lot of jurisdictions, states, and municipalities are going to certification independent of USGBC. The reality is that parking garages are going to be continued to be designed and built and we should do that sustainably, whether it’s part of a LEED process or something else.”

The Duke garage offers a blueprint for designing and building environmentally-friendly parking structures. The project earned credits in all six LEED categories and even features green walls and roof systems.

The structure’s functional design takes advantage of its host topography. Level floor plates are serviced by an exterior express ramp on one side. This design, coupled with white paint on the undersides of the concrete slabs, provides enhanced light reflectivity, unobstructed internal views, and enhanced security. Beam sides and bottoms are painted to match the exterior façades. Entry/exit locations on the ground level are for students, staff, and faculty. The second level is dedicated to visitors, primarily those to an adjacent eye center, and has its own entry/exit.

Architectural precast concrete spandrel panels clad the upper-level façade of the garage. Column covers are also made of precast concrete and exterior precast panels define the edge of the roof trellis planter boxes. “Duke stone” (the university has its own stone quarry) is at the base, and terra cotta wall tiles are featured on the exterior of the lower levels and stair towers to provide a variety of textures and colors and reduce the perceived scale of the building.

Durable materials, such as precast concrete, were chosen to provide a long service life for the structure.

A total of 871 precast panels were used. Typical panels measure 30 by 7 feet. The large panel sizes allowed the structure to be enclosed quickly, which was critical to the schedule. This allowed the owner to take possession of the deck sooner. (Like the Duke project, all of the sustainable garages listed in the accompanying sidebar used precast concrete construction.)

The garage blends well with the existing campus architecture. The color of the precast wall panels and their “punched opening” rhythm matches the design of surrounding buildings. The façade provides a monolithic look at a distance, but red stone aggregate in the precast panels lends color close up. Column covers provide a vertical element and a sculptural appearance to the façades while concealing the concrete columns. Reveals in the precast give the project a more human scale and align with curtain-wall mullions and tile joints.

Planted trellis wall panels further soften the appearance at the entrances. Plants are attached to a screen that’s secured to the walls. The project also includes rooftop canopies or shade structures made of metal mesh on top of steel framing. Vines grow up wires from planters and filter into the mesh. The canopies reduce the building’s heat island effect and the attached greenery helps alleviate heat reflection and reduce daytime heating of the structure. Irrigation is provided by two on-site cisterns that collect and filter storm water from the garage’s top level. Storm water overflow is directed to bio-retention basins, treated, and infiltrated naturally.

“The biggest design challenge was creating an appropriate functional design and architectural character while meeting LEED requirements,” says Lohman. “It was decided very early in the design process to include planted walls. This was done to emphasize sustainability, bring green material and architectural interest into the design, and help identify the entry/exit locations. Also, the university wanted some covered parking on the top tier. The green canopies were a unique way to bring shade to this level.”

Creating a Sustainable Site
Development density, community connectivity, public transportation access, and alternative transportation LEED credits were all received by the Duke garage. The average site development density for the project and surrounding areas is 95,442 square feet per acre. The parking garage footprint was limited to be within the existing paved areas of the site. A total of 100 preferred parking spaces for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles are available, and car/van pool parking is provided for a minimum of 5.2 percent of the total parking spaces.

The site was previously developed; 50 percent or more of the site area outside the building footprint has been restored with native or adaptive planting. More than 50 percent of the site is dedicated open space. Landscaping consists of native species that require minimal or no irrigation. A total of 82 percent of the non-building area has been planted with native or adaptive species.

The project’s irrigation systems use only captured rainwater. Use of low-flow water closets and ultra-low-flow lavatories in the employee restroom reduces project potable water use by 39.2 percent.

Cutting Energy Use, Using Recycled Materials
The Duke garage is designed as an open structure to minimize the need for mechanical ventilation. Energy-efficiency measures, including reduced interior lighting power density, and reduced exterior lighting, allowed the project to achieve an energy cost savings of 29.9 percent. The project also uses energy-efficient LED lighting and daylight harvesting. Photocells are used to turn off certain light figures on the floors during the day to save energy. All light fixtures are cut-off units to reduce light pollution.

The cashier station, break room, restroom, electrical room, and elevator control rooms are mechanically heated and cooled. The conditioned floor area (1,217 square feet) is serviced by packaged rooftop heat pumps. The electric air-source heat pumps feature electric auxiliary heat that only energizes when the outdoor air temperature is less than 40 degrees.

The project complies with ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004. Ventilation is primarily based on natural open parking garage design. Fresh air intakes are included in all enclosed spaces. Programmable controls are included for lighting, HVAC, and PARCs wireless lighting control system for after-hours use, seasonal use, special events and campus-specific programs. Thermal controls are provided for the workstation and the HVAC system, and building envelopes are designed to meet ASHRAE Standard 55-2004. A thermal comfort survey was distributed.

In total, 11.8 percent of all building materials’ content, by value, was manufactured using recycled materials, and 24.3 percent of all materials, by value, was extracted, harvested, recovered, or manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. All precast concrete components were locally sourced. Reinforcement in the precast is 100 percent recycled steel. All indoor adhesive and sealant products consist of low-VOC-emitting materials. The project diverted 75.6 percent of on-site generated construction waste from landfills.

Finally, educational displays in the elevator lobbies and public tours help explain the project’s sustainable design to occupants and visitors.
Conventional wisdom is wrong—parking garages can absolutely be green. Duke’s newest structure proves it.

Roy Diez is executive vice president of JOA, Inc., a marketing/communication agency specializing in the architectural, building, and construction markets. He can be reached at roydiez@att.net or 847.515.3095.

TPP-2012-04-Slaying the Mythical Dragon

Preventative Parking

TPP-2012-04-Preventative ParkingBy Maggie McGehee and Paulo Nunes-Ueno

Seattle Children’s is a highly specialized academic medical center that serves children and youth from Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Located in a densely populated residential neighborhood in northeast Seattle, the hospital is a careful steward of its most scarce resource: land. Consequently, when it came time to expand, hospital leadership paid special attention to parking management and Transportation Demand Management (TDM). As you can imagine, we would rather build patient care facilities than employee parking lots!

As part of the hospital’s master plan, Children’s devised a comprehensive transportation plan to help lower its drive-alone rate to 30 percent by project completion, estimated to be in 2030. This robust TDM program features best in class commute benefits such as 100 percent subsidized transit passes, free bikes for staff who commit to riding to work, and daily cash incentives, called Commute Bonuses, for biking, walking, using mass transit, carpooling, or vanpooling.

Part of encouraging alternative transportation had to include discouraging driving alone to work. To do this, Children’s converted all parking transactions to daily charges. This way, the cost of drive-alone commuting is made apparent every day an employee uses his or her own car to get to work.

To manage these carrots and sticks, the hospital also implemented Commute Tools, developed by Parkio, a small Seattle-based company formerly known as Goose. Using Commute Tools, employees fill out an online commute calendar and earn $3.25 for each day of non-drive-alone commuting. This is similar to many commute calendars in use throughout the industry. Where Commute Tools takes a leap forward is in combining self-reported calendar data about alternative commutes with parking data collected by employee badge swipes at our parking gates and at readers in the shuttles that serve our off-site parking lots. This gives us three distinct rewards:

There is no way to lie. One could claim a bike commute for a particular day later this month, but if they actually drive to work, the Commute Tools will automatically convert the bike day to a drive day and charge me appropriately.
Employees receive an accurate and easy to read real-time parking charge and commute bonus statements online.

We collect a wealth of travel behavior choice data we can use to customize messages and incentives to individuals based on their specific commute behaviors, targeting our campaigns to further reduce the drive-alone rate.

Commute Bingo
In June 2011, Seattle Children’s kicked off our first targeted TDM campaign, called Bus Bingo 75. At the time, one public transit route—King County Metro bus route 75—served the hospital every 15 minutes during peak commute times. By linking Commute Calendar data with employee home address information in GIS, we were able to identify staff who lived within walking distance of a route 75 bus stop but who had always or almost always driven alone to work. These employees were invited to play Bus Bingo 75.

The game’s challenge was to take the bus or another alternative commute mode at least five times in one month, and earn an extra $100 in addition to the daily $3.25 Commute Bonus and savings on parking charges, gas, and wear and tear on cars.

All staff who registered to play Bus Bingo 75 received a multitude of tools and encouragements to help them win, including:
A detailed Personalized Commute Plan tailored to their home address and work shift. These plans included bus trip times and stop photos, walking and biking routes, and travel time comparisons.

At least one phone call and a weekly personalized email during the contest based on how they were doing so far, encouraging them to keep reaching for the five alternative trips goal.

A list of Bus Buddies—other Seattle Children’s employees who were regular bus 75 commuters who volunteered to be contacted with questions.

An offer for a Transportation staffer to meet and commute with them the first time they tried a new mode to get to work.

Since the first round of Bus Bingo 75, we have conducted two other rounds of Commute Bingo with different target audiences. In August, all staff with 100 percent drive-alone commutes since January 2011 were invited to play, regardless of their home addresses. In October, a new bus–the 65–was rerouted to directly serve Seattle Children’s. We repeated the process from Bus Bingo 75 with staff who lived along that route and drove alone at least 90 percent of the time.

During each of these rounds, we made additional modifications to the campaign based on feedback received from prior rounds. For example, we found that no one contacted the Bus Buddies for Bus Bingo 75, so we did not recruit additional buddies for later rounds. After that first round, we also switched to offering to create Personalized Commute Plans upon request, so that we could help participants with information on modes they were interested in trying—bus, bike, or carpool—instead of spending staff time developing detailed plans for commute options the bingo player would not consider.

Bingo Outcomes
Across these three rounds of bingo, we have seen success in convincing dedicated drive-alone commuters to try alternatives. These behavior changes have continued to some extent even after the campaign—and the special incentives—ended.

In total, 1,314 staff were invited to play at least one round of bingo, 149 (11 percent) of all of the staff invited ultimately registered to play a round, and 61 percent of the staff who registered to play reached their goal of at least five alternative commutes.

These 91 winners made 564 alternative commutes during their bingo months. That meant 564 fewer drive-alone trips on the road, and 564 fewer vehicles parked in Children’s lots over the month.

Commute Calendar data since the bingo rounds ended show that winners are continuing their habits, with an 83 percent drive-alone rate in December; before the game 98 percent drove alone.

Participants who were not successful at reaching five non-drive-alone trips still had a significant reduction in drive-alone in the months following the Bingo campaign. Staff who registered to play Bingo but did not meet the five alternatives goal still showed a 97 percent drive-alone rate in December 2011 compared to a 99 percent drive-alone rate in the month before they were invited to play.

Lessons Learned
Bingo players were asked to take an exit survey after the campaign ended. Survey questions investigated which elements of the program—the Personalized Commute Plan, encouragement emails, financial incentives, or offer of commuting buddies—were most influential in convincing them to adopt alternative modes. Overwhelmingly, participants identified the monetary incentives as most influential, especially the $100 incentive, followed by the $3.25 daily Commute Bonus and savings in parking fees. The Commute Bonus and parking fees were in place before the Bingo campaign, so the $100 one-time incentive was the main thing that encouraged a major change in driving behavior—enough to convince dedicated drive-alone commuters to try new transportation modes.

Among campaign winners who met the goal of at least five alternative commute trips in one month, the drive-alone rate dropped from nearly 100 percent before they were invited to play to 56 percent during the campaign. Though their drive-alone rate increased again after the campaign ended, as a group they are still showing a drop to an 83 percent drive-alone commute rate in the most recent month of data (December 2011).

Notably, only half of the individual bingo winners returned to driving alone 100 percent of the time. The other half made a significant change in their commuting habits; about a quarter of the winners are now driving alone less than 60 percent of the time. For staff who were formerly daily drivers, this is a remarkable shift.

The guiding principle of Seattle Children’s Commute Bingo campaigns has been specifically targeting invitations, messages, and incentives to individuals based on accurate data of their actual parking behavior. The one-time, tailored incentive and communications convinced these staff to try something new, and for those who found the alternative to be a better option than driving, they have been convinced to keep at it. Bingo offers a new option in Seattle Children’s TDM toolbox for reaching dedicated drive-alone ­commuters.

Paulo Nunes-Ueno is director, transportation and sustainability at Seattle Children’s. He can be reached at Paulo.Nunes-Ueno@SeattleChildrens.org
or 206.987.5908.

Maggie McGehee is supervisor of commuter services at Seattle Children’s. She can be reached at Maggie.McGehee@SeattleChildrens.org
or 206.987.5803.

TPP-2012-04-Preventative Parking

Shooting for Three

TPP-2012-04-Shooting for ThreeBy Jeff Petry

On January 11, 2011, the University of Oregon opened the doors of its Matthew Knight Arena. The state-of-the-art $227 million, 12,500 seat arena was built next to a traditional residential, university neighborhood in Eugene, Ore. (population 150,000). The night was a success for the Oregon Ducks, as the men’s basketball team beat the University of Southern California. It was also a success for the parking and transportation team that had been planning for this moment for more than two years. This is the story how a small community rose to the challenge of a monumental campus investment through planning, preparation, and partnership. Together, they were able to score from the triple bottom line of maintaining neighborhood livability, promoting alternative modes of transportation, and supporting an important development for one of the key economic supports of the city, the University of Oregon.

Recruiting Trail
The Matthew Knight Arena is a world-class collegiate venue that hosts basketball games, concerts, tennis matches, rodeos, and monster truck rallies. The site also includes practice courts, a 370-stall underground parking garage, and a separate five-story alumni center. Across the street, the Jacqua Center for Student Athletes provides an academic learning center for student athletes. Just a few blocks to the south is the legendary Hayward Field, where world class track and field events have been held since 1921; the field was remodeled and expanded to host the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. For sports fans, students, and athletes, one word described their excitement from the spate of athletic related developments: Wow!

The nearby neighborhood had the same response, but with a very different tone. For neighbors, the scale of the changes and uncertainty were daunting. The neighborhood enjoyed the benefits of being on the edge of campus, but faced the pressures of increasing density. In general, the neighbors had supported Hayward Field and accepted the parking and transportation effects during the summer track and field events. The former basketball court had primarily affected the neighborhood to the south of campus.

Opening a new, larger basketball arena would relieve parking and transportation pressures in one neighborhood, but might add those pressures to another. The question became: how can the continuing operational issues of this large project be addressed? Construction activity can be mitigated through normal communication and enforcement methods. Eugene’s land use code, however, did not easily address continuing operational issues such as parking.

While the problem was not necessarily new, the solution was. A committee was formed with representatives from each entity to address any issues that might emerge after the occupancy permit was issued. What made the group more than just a standing committee was that it was built into the conditional use permit required for construction of the arena.

Game Plan
As part of the pending arena permit application, the Neighborhood Arena Liaison Committee (NALC) was formed in February 2008. This committee was established by the University of Oregon to help advise the arena project manager, staff, and design team on immediate construction issues and develop long-term mitigation strategies to address arena-related noise, litter, traffic, and parking. The NALC was an open committee that had dedicated representation from the Fairmount Neighbors Association (FNA) and local businesses, as well as representatives from the City of Eugene, Lane Transit District (LTD), and the university.

Ultimately, the NALC developed an Arena Impact Mitigation Agreement (Arena Agreement). It identified impacts to the local community, proposed mitigation to address the effects, and provided a forum to consider and address new issues as they arose. The Arena Agreement provided a template that allowed adjustments to be made without forcing neighbors or the university to go back through the land use process or file formal complaints with the city.

The Arena Agreement was signed in October 2008 by the city, university, and neighborhood. As part of the land use process, the Arena Agreement bound the university to complete a number of mitigation measures to help alleviate the effects of the arena on the nearby neighborhood. Some of the agreement highlights include:
Each event at the arena is classified based on projected levels of attendance and each level contains specific transportation demand management components that escalate mitigation requirements as more people are expected:
Level 1 is 0 to 4,000 attendees.
Level 2 is 4,001 to 6,500.
Level 3 is 6,501 to 9,500; athletic and university related non-athletic events.
Level 3-A is 6,501 to 9,500; non-athletic and non-university related events.
Level 4 is 9,501 or more.

Street improvements for safer and efficient vehicle and pedestrian movement.
Creation of an event parking district in the nearby neighborhood.
Litter patrol after events.
Arena hotline phone number.
Arena Monitoring Committee.

Levels 1 and 2 events have minimal effects on the neighborhood. Events sized at Level 3 and above, however, do affect the local area, and the transportation demand management plan called for additional measures:
Operate arena shuttles.
Provide 275 valet bicycle parking spaces.
Enact traffic control to protect the neighborhood.
Supply temporary garbage cans in the arena area.
Enforce enhanced regulations in the Arena Parking District.

The creation of a special Event Parking District was a compromise intended to maintain neighborhood livability while allowing the arena to host large events. The Event Parking District encompasses about 20 blocks. It allows up to two hours of parking Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Households in the district each receive two free residential parking permits (The City of Eugene is reimbursed by the university for each free permit). One-day guest permits are also free and supplied in packets of 10 permits each. In the eyes of the community, this parking district imposed very strict parking regulations that affected the day to day activities of the neighborhood. They included doubling fines during high-attendance events.

The city is expected to enforce the event parking district to maintain neighborhood livability and encourage arena attendees to park at event parking locations; it hired an additional parking enforcement officer and purchased a license plate recognition (LPR) system.

The LPR system was the solution to enforcing events that might take just more than two hours. Enforcement staff needed to quickly mark all vehicles parked in the neighborhood, focus on high-demand streets, and know exactly when to return to issue any citations. Sometimes, the window for issuing overtime violations in the district is less than 20 minutes.

The Event Parking District was also expected to be financially self-sustaining. The university was allowed to sell event parking permits to park on the street during specified events; this was limited, however, to 500 arena parking permits per event for up to 22 events per year. The on-street parking permits were also only for collegiate basketball games. All revenue from the permit sales would be remitted to the city. If event parking revenue did not cover the cost of an additional parking enforcement officer, the free residential parking permits, and sign maintenance, the university would fund the difference. If revenues exceed expenses, the city and the university would split the extra revenue equally.

Game Stats
Have the parking and traffic mitigation plans for the arena met their goals? To date, it has been viewed as successful, thanks in no small part to concessions made buy all three major entities.

As part of the agreement, a formal Arena Monitoring Committee (AMC) was formed to address issues as they arose. The AMC will continue to operate until either all members agree to not meet or the arena ceases operations. The AMC is composed of six members: two from each organization (neighborhood association, city, and university). The committee developed a set of ground rules and an operating charter, and can change the agreement as long as all six members agree.

An Arena Monitoring Report, finalized in July 2011, reviewed the major components of the agreement. In terms of the transportation modes for the sampled events, about 29 percent of the attendees arrived by transit, foot, or bike. Arena-related noise and litter in the neighborhood did not generally appear to be a problem.

The city’s parking enforcement data show that on average, 12 parking citations are issued for each Level 3 and above event. Anecdotally, it appears that event ticket prices may affect citation rates: high priced events such as an Elton John concert and Nike Slam (tennis) saw an uptick in citations. It is possible that attendees felt a $32 overtime violation was just an event parking price to park on the street in the neighborhood. Additionally, visitors from larger cities (e.g. Seattle) may not feel the city’s $16 fine (which doubles to $32 during events) is a parking deterrent.

The report also noted areas for improvement. Opening night had some small issues that were corrected quickly. In addition, a more unified communication strategy about parking was recommended for both the university and the city, and is currently being worked on.

Overall, the neighborhood has reported minimal event parking effects. That said, the blocks closest to the arena are heavily parked and the streets further away from the arena experience little to no event parking. The city has had to write relatively few parking citations, and this trend has held true over the last year. Partners in this endeavor are happy to see that the parking district is working!

Season Reflections
The Event Parking District provided an additional benefit to the neighborhood by virtually eliminating employee and student parking there. The neighborhood’s residential parking program, with two-hour parking limitations during the work week, had grown block face by block face over the last 20 years. There were still many patches of unregulated/free parking that campus faculty, staff, and students used for their daily parking needs. When all the streets became regulated and enforcement began, decades of parking behavior changed. From the neighborhood’s perspective, there was less cruising for parking on their streets and fewer vehicles parked in their neighborhood.

The development of the arena and the arena parking district represent profound changes in the community. The neighborhood’s day to day experience has changed with the enhanced parking regulations and the new developments next door. The city is expected to maintain enforcement services and assist with traffic mitigation measures. The University of Oregon has a new enterprise to manage, while maintaining a good relationship with the neighborhood and managing constraints spelled out in the Arena Agreement. Ultimately, the new arena allowed the city, the university, and the neighborhood to find a way, through sometime difficult conversations, to come together, develop a plan, and function as a community team.

Jeff Petry is the parking services manager for the City of Eugene, Ore. He can be reached at jeff.t.petry@ci.eugene.or.us or 541.682.5729.

TPP-2012-04-Shooting for Three

Get Er’ Done

TPP-2012-04-Get ‘Er DoneBy Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR

It’s hard to believe but already one-third of 2012 is in our rearview mirror. If you are like me and many others, you went into this year with some high hopes and possibly some new resolutions that you believed could help you have a better year if you could execute them appropriately. In essence, each of us is striving to get ‘er done. Now, the question is: where are you with regard to those resolutions and how do you either get back on track or remain on the path?

The key to this lies in identifying what motivates us and using that to fuel the engine that will allow us to achieve the success we desire. What is motivation and how can we use it? I’m glad you asked! Look at motivation as a function of willingness and ability. I believe if a person has willingness, they are more than halfway to plotting a course to achieve the success they desire. This is because if we like something (i.e. we are willing), we are more apt to put forth the time and energy necessary to make it a reality. However, if we do not like something, we tend to do the opposite by procrastinating, delaying, or avoiding the task. On the job, these are things we must do but find mundane and boring.

The other side of motivation is ability, which can be defined as a natural or acquired skill or talent. There are some people (I am not one) who possess natural ability. Most of us fall into the category of having acquired a specific ability or talent through repeated practice, whether educationally, professionally, or in other areas. A person who is willing but does not have ability can be helped and, in fact, these are the people I generally look forward to working with.

Here are a few tactics I offer as a way of increasing your motivation and perhaps that of the people around you:
Surround yourself with positive people and don’t be afraid to ask for their help. One caveat: these positive people should also be realistic in their ability to assess situations.

Understand and communicate to yourself the consequences of your actions or inaction and, if need be, write them down so you have a visual record to go along with the one in your head.

To further your motivation and that of the people around you, recognize and reward as appropriate when you have achieved significant milestones toward goals.

Don’t try to be all things to all people and remember, “no” is a valid response that you will both receive and need to be comfortable giving.
Communicate early and often, and begin your day with positive self-talk.
Always share. Share credit, accept responsibility, and stay focused on your role in the bigger picture.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but by using these tactics and understanding where you are with regard to willingness and ability, you can be well on your way to geting ‘er done!

Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR is the founder and principal of the mpr group. He can be reached at jrhodes@mprgroup.info or 773.548.8037.

TPP-2012-04-Get ‘Er Done

Campus Cycle Program Makes a Difference

TPP-2012-04-Campus Cycle Program Makes a DifferenceBy JC Porter, CAPP

Boise State University launched the Cycle Learning Center (CLC) on the main campus last August, just in time for the 2011 fall semester. The CLC is a collaborative program funded through a 50/50 partnership between Boise State University’s Transportation and Parking Services and Health and Wellness Services. The core objectives of this collaboration are to promote sustainable transportation options within the campus community, to serve as an information and education resource for the available sustainable transportation options, and to highlight the individual health and well-being afforded to those who use these options. In the first four months of operations, the CLC received a tremendous response from the campus community and exceeded performance expectations.

A key value that one learns in kindergarten is taking root at many universities: working together. A full-time professional staff member and a cadre of talented part-time student employees comprise the CLC workforce. Employees are responsible for delivering retail sales support, repair services, bicycle barn management, and delivery of educational programs and resources. Student participation at the CLC provides an opportunity for creativity and innovation as well. CLC student employees have developed several ingenious programs, including a mobile bicycle repair service and a bicycle corral/valet service used during large campus events. The use of a largely student workforce also engages a peer-to-peer approach toward developing sustainable and healthy transportation habits to last a lifetime. As the CLC grows and becomes self-supported, the intent is to be able to allocate a portion of the revenue to fund student scholarships and alternative transportation initiatives.

Data reflects that Boise State University is still largely a single occupant vehicle-oriented community. However, this semester’s Transportation Mode Survey revealed that bicycling rose to the second most common form of transportation among campus commuters after the launch of CLC. The success of the program, both in levels of participation and fiscal performance, within a community still primarily centered on single occupant vehicle commuters establishes its adaptability and viability as part of other organizations’ comprehensive transportation plans.

Programs such as CLC help reduce vehicle emissions, provide healthy living opportunities for participants, and promote cooperation and unity among branches of larger organizations. Fewer cars on campus not only provides environmental benefits, but also cuts commuter fuel costs and offers more visitor parking on campus without building additional facilities. As our society becomes more health conscious, interest and demand will continue to increase for such resources as CLC. Within a large organization such as a university, sharing knowledge between departments offers myriad benefits, including increased productivity and efficiency through the reduction of duplicate services. Just like the lesson we learned in kindergarten, we all stand to benefit as individuals when we work together.

JC Porter, CAPP, is assistant director of transportation and parking at Boise State University and a member of IPI’s Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at jcporter@boisestate.edu or 208.426.2457.

TPP-2012-04-Campus Cycle Program Makes a Difference