Tag Archives: TPP-2014-09

Utility Meets Beauty

TPP-2014-09-Utility Meets BeautyBy Wendy DeCapite

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 105 million commercial parking spaces in the U.S. As cities grow more crowded and new businesses emerge in the suburbs, the need for parking garages has increased. Despite its status as a functional necessity, the parking garage has long been viewed as a background structure.

Historically, multi-story parking garages evoked mental images of stark, cold, and dark buildings. Today, however, architects, designers, building owners, and communities want structures that combine functionality with beauty and form, bringing garages to the forefront. Cue architectural design mesh.

A traditional material with a contemporary look, architectural design mesh can help create a one-of-a-kind aesthetic while meeting the safety and security priorities that are essential to the successful operation of a parking structure. With features and benefits such as distinctive, vibrant weaves and designs, durability, and ease of maintenance, architectural mesh provides a dynamic combination of elements ideal for many parking facilities.


According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Journal, “Enclosed parking facilities present several indoor air quality problems. The most serious is the emission of high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) by cars within the parking garages. Other concerns related to enclosed garages are the presence of oil and gasoline fumes, and other contaminants such as oxides of nitrogen and smoke haze from diesel engines.”

Light, durable, and transparent, architectural design mesh provides an array of benefits for parking structures. The transparency of the mesh acts as a natural ventilation system, allowing owners or facility managers to reduce the need for costly HVAC systems (it is estimated that owners spend 10-15 percent of total annual expenses on energy resources). In turn, costs are decreased dramatically. The product’s openness allows an abundance of natural light and air to flow through the garage, permitting car emissions to be dispersed outside and improving the air quality in the space.

The stainless steel construction and diverse, variable weave patterns of mesh façades also act as an effective weather barrier, minimizing the recurring costs associated with snow and other debris removal. At the same time, the horizontal nature of the wires serves as a light shade and maintains comfortable temperatures inside the garage. Because the woven mesh solutions can be customized, architects may also elect to use the effect of the sun as a design element by creating a shimmering surface on the outer layer of the façade.

Safety and Security
Maintaining planned structural openings is possible with the use of architectural mesh. The strong, rigid, and durable construction delivers extra protection from personal injury. By incorporating full-height tensioned panels into the design of the lot, patrons are shielded from elevated voids, eliminating fall risks. Additionally, the product can be used for railings in other areas of the garage, adding an extra level of safety and protection.

Because mesh façade panels can be tensioned over the full height of the parking garage, only a solid substructure is required at the top and bottom mounting points. The different levels of a parking garage require an intermediate tube to absorb horizontal loads. The costs of this substructure and installation are significantly less than those of many framed façade materials solutions.

Manufactured to specifications unique to the structure, the material is ready to mount upon delivery to the job site. Ready-mount custom hardware helps simplify the installation process and reduce labor costs associated with fabricators and installers. Using architectural design mesh as a façade solution can improve natural ventilation in the garage, which can reduce the cost of a fire protection system.

The use of mesh not only provides a custom look detailed to the specifications of the owner but also increases the sustainability of the building. Stainless steel has an average recycled content of at least 60 percent and is 100 percent recyclable at end of use.

Once installed, stainless steel mesh façades provide extreme durability and a little-to-no maintenance schedule for low-cost upkeep. Because it uses no water, chemicals, or energy for maintenance, the product ensures diminished environmental impact. Plus, the material will be around for the entire lifespan of the facility.

The concept of a static parking façade that remains the same year after year is a thing of the past. Thanks to the design possibilities offered by the use of architectural metal mesh, exteriors that incorporate color, texture, transparency, and light are reality.

It is important to constantly examine different ways to visually enhance buildings and give them their own unique character. By weaving wires of different colors vertically or horizontally, or adding light and technology, it is possible to create something truly spectacular.

Wendy DeCapite is sales manager, architectural products, for W.S. Tyler. She can be reached at wdecapite@wstyler.com.

TPP-2014-09-Utility Meets Beauty

The Hottest New Couple In Town

TPP-2014-09-The Hottest New Couple In TownBy Vanessa Weston, CAPP

Automobiles have been around for centuries, and from their initial introduction until today, have needed their own storage: parking. Smartphones have been around since 1993 but did not become a part of consumers’ everyday lifestyle until the last decade or so. Who would ever think of these two becoming a perfect pair? They are!
Smartphones have become a leading tool to help drivers find parking spaces. College campuses and cities around the world are turning to them to help individuals locate parking spaces, pay for parking, find someone to share a ride, and decrease the chance of being ticketed, booted, or towed. The hottest couple in town is parking and the smartphone, and it’s changing the way we (and our customers) think about getting around.

Locating a Parking Space
In cities and on college campuses, one of the most agonizing everyday experiences can be the search for a vacant, legal parking space. Individuals drive around, first hunt in one place, and then hunt in another and another, putting more fuel emissions in the air just trying to find a parking space. Many times this practice leads to late arrival to class and appointments. How can the hottest new couple in town help with these particular issues?

There are companies in the parking industry that use the pair to help individuals find a parking space in real time, safely and effectively. It can also be used to improve the carbon footprint of the area. Sensors can be installed in individual parking spaces and, with the use of modern technology, detect if a parking space is vacant or occupied. This information can be communicated to the driver through a free smartphone app. By downloading the app, the driver has access to a real-time map that shows available parking, and a voice guidance system that leads the driver to a specific space.

The app can further offer information on rates and hours of required payment for sensored spaces that use meters or pay stations. Spaces can also be filtered out through the app to allow users to look for a particular type of space—excluding handicapped spaces, for example, or those too small to accommodate larger vehicles.

Lastly, the analytical parking data can help improve parking efficiency and increase revenue generated by pay stations or parking meters. Clemson University Parking and Transportation Services uses an app to guide parkers to available spaces that are available to visitors for three hours and to faculty, staff, and students for one hour. Plans are underway to use the same app to guide ADA permit holders to handicapped parking spaces that are spread across campus. This app is available for both iPhone and Android users.

Paying for a Parking Space
An individual finds a parking spot at last only to realize a pay station or parking meter has to be paid before his vehicle can legally occupy the space. Looking for loose change in all the compartments of the car to no avail, the driver learns there is a pay-by-phone option available. This option allows for a simple, secure, and convenient way to pay for parking.

Drivers pay for parking by phone either by registering through an app or calling a toll-free number. A valid credit card is usually required to use the pay-by-phone option, but some systems are beginning to offer options to add parking fees to cell phone bills or pay online via PayPal. The service provider may charge a fee per transaction to cover the cost of the service. Users will be prompted to enter a four- or five-digit location number and then input the parking time required. Once a confirmation is given that time has started, the process is complete. The vehicle will appear on handheld units used by parking enforcement officers on patrol, who will instantly know how much time was purchased and when. The user may receive text reminders when time is about to expire and opt to extend their time via phone. This app also allows the user to view recent parking locations he’s used and manage the account.

Finding a Ride
An individual may be on a college campus or in a big city without a car, but with many places to go and no way to get from point A to point B. How can our hot new couple help?

Parking vendors offer apps that let users catch a ride with friendly, everyday people in a city or on the college campus who have extra seats in their cars and a willingness to share their rides. Users can get a ride where and when it is needed. Upon requesting a ride, they can watch the driver approach in real time. The users may also send their trip information to friends so they can see when they arrive. Ridesharing via smartphone is an increasingly popular option for college students, especially those leaving for home during holiday breaks.

This app offers great way to meet people, see the area in a new way, and get to the destination safely. Payment is voluntary and made through the smartphone. The user can pay what he feels is appropriate and without worrying about holding cash.

Cornell, all drivers using the app are checked out for safety, all rides are GPS-tracked, and everyone who rides is covered by our unique $1 million insurance policy. To maintain the safety and security of the users, the vendors will conduct background checks on drivers to look for driving violations, DUI, sexual assault, and other criminal offenses. The vendor files each driver’s pertinent information, such as driver’s license number, vehicle registration, and insurance.

Avoiding a Citation
Individuals travel unfamiliar cities and college campuses every day. Because they’re driving and parking in a new area, they might take a chance on a space and hope not to receive a parking citation or worse. Signs may not be clear, and well-meaning bystanders may give incorrect information when asked. The hottest new couple can help drivers in this dilemma, too.

There is an app available to help individuals decrease their chances of being cited, towed, or booted because they did not know where to park. This app informs the user of the parking rules and regulations for cities and college campuses. The user can search by zip code within the app and view parking rules and regulations for the specific campus or municipality he’s visiting.

Combining a list of rules with the GPS function of a smartphone, the app is an educational tool that helps people know, respect, and follow the parking rules and regulations.

So there you have it. The hottest new couple in town and on campus is parking and the smartphone. Together, they’re making headlines!

Vanessa Weston, CAPP, is a program assistant at Clemson University Parking Services. She can be reached at vanrob@clemson.edu or 864.656.0867.

TPP-2014-09-The Hottest New Couple In Town

Meeting Conflicting Demands

TPP-2014-09-Meeting Conflicting DemandsBy Dave McKinney, EdH, CAPP

Customers have highly diverse expectations of those who provide parking services. Administrators of parking operations face the formidable challenge of meeting multiple customer expectations while also achieving financial business objectives. In the course of setting and achieving goals related to meeting many diverse demands, parking administrators must also set and achieve goals surrounding the critical business necessities of generating and controlling revenue and maximizing profits. At times, these goals may not always appear to be compatible.

Are they in conflict? That was the central question I recently asked in a survey sent to several hundred administrators of college and university campus parking operations across the U.S., in cooperation with the International Parking Institute (IPI). According to the results, there is at least some degree of goal conflict among campus parking administrators in public higher education.

One of the greatest challenges faced by campus parking administrators in the U.S. appears to be balancing goals related to the business side of their operations (revenue, profitability) with goals related to the service side of their operations (academic support, student recruitment/retention). I have personally experienced this dilemma during my 13 years as a senior administrator of campus parking. Many of my colleagues in campus parking express similar struggles with the perceived conflict between goals related to revenue and those related to service.

In partial fulfillment of my recently completed doctoral degree, I conducted a study of U.S. campus parking administrators that focused on this problem of goal conflict. Respondents completed a 42-item questionnaire and provided additional demographic information related to them and the institutions they serve.

The responses resulted in a goal conflict score for each respondent that indicated the level of goal conflict they perceived experiencing at their jobs as college campus parking administrators. A higher score indicated more severe goal conflict, while a lower score indicated moderate to mild goal conflict. Various statistical tests were run to note the significance of the individual and institutional demographics in relation to the goal conflict score. The results provided some interesting insight into how well campus parking administrators manage conflicting goals and diverse customer expectations and the common factors that seem to be the most significant among the best parking administrators.

Several U.S. research surveys indicate that, in many states, the percentage of public college and university budgets funded by state government appropriations has decreased for 20 years or more. In response to this decrease in state funding, institutions of higher education are turning to alternative financing sources to contribute to the bottom line, fund continued growth initiatives, and remain competitive. The traditional perception of campus parking operations as perennial cash cows makes them even more attractive as sources of revenue for cash-strapped institutions. My dissertation research indicated that campus parking administrators are experiencing intensifying expectations from their institutional executive leaders to maximize revenue and profitability within their parking operations.


On the other hand, campus parking administrators are also experiencing pressure to contribute the academic and service missions of the institutions at which they serve. Public higher education has become increasingly aggressive and competitive when it comes to recruiting new students. Institutional executive leaders and constituents expect their campus faculty and staff to pull out all the stops, so to speak, in reaching the goals of institutional enrollment management strategies.

The dilemma for campus parking administrators is that many of the revenue-generating activities of their operations are potentially perceived as a hindrance or even hostile to institutional academic and service missions and efforts to recruit and retain students. Parking ticket fines and other parking fees are often not viewed in a positive context by the constituents served by campus parking operations in higher education. Parking administrators in public higher education can potentially find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place when attempting to fulfill expectations related to both revenue and academics and service.

Although my research indicates that campus parking administrators experience goal conflict when seeking to balance these diverse goals, the study also appears to reveal that they generally resolve the conflict successfully. Overall, campus parking administrators are able to set and achieve goals related to revenue and the institutional bottom line while also setting and achieving goals related to academics and service and the recruitment/retention of students. I believe this is great news for campus parking professionals and for the parking industry as a whole.

Although more research would be needed to be conclusive, I suspect that these results could be extended to parking administrators beyond the higher education context. During my years in parking administration, I have observed the impressive ability of parking professionals in all sectors to successfully manage the diverse and sometimes conflicting expectations of their customers and constituents. Parking professionals seem to find ways to passionately and creatively deliver the highest achievable levels of customer service and satisfaction while also meeting their financial and business objectives.

My research revealed several significant factors that seem common among campus parking administrators who are the most successful at managing goal conflict and diverse customer expectations. Three are at the forefront: goal clarity, education/training/experience, and gender.

The most successful administrators appear to be those who are best able to not only set goals but to communicate and consistently clarify the rationale of those goals to their frontline staff. Previous studies conducted by other researchers found that frontline staff in higher education actually experience more intense goal conflict than their supervisors and senior administrators. This conflict is even more acute when there is uncertainty regarding which goals among multiple are most important and regarding the rationale for the goals that are set. When frontline staff receive clear communication from their supervisors about goal priorities and the ultimate purpose of the set goals, conflict becomes much more manageable. Frontline employees deliver better job performance and experience higher levels of job satisfaction when goal priorities and rationale are clearly communicated. Job performance and satisfaction are even higher when supervisors include frontline employees in the goal setting process itself, not just the goal communication and achievement process.

Another significant factor revealed in the study was the level of education and training of the survey respondents. Those surveyed were asked to indicate their highest level of education achieved, such as high school, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or graduate degree. More than 80 percent of those surveyed indicated they held higher education degrees. The research results indicated a strong relationship between the level of education among campus parking administrators and the ability to manage conflicting goals and competing customer expectations.

Closely related to this factor were years of experience on the current job and level of professional training. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed indicated they had more than 10 years of parking administration experience at their current institutions.

Overall, the combination of higher levels of education and more years of experience and training were significant. Campus parking administrators with higher levels of education, experience, and training indicated a corresponding moderation in the intensity of conflict they perceived in their work as parking administrators. More research would be needed to identify specifically how these factors result in improved management of goal conflict and customer expectations, but the study indicates that the levels of education, experience, and training are significant in campus parking administration.

A third significant factor extracted from the survey of gender. The research results indicated a significant relationship between gender and goal conflict in campus parking administration. Overall, female respondents had a better goal conflict score on the survey than males. Therefore, female parking administrators in public higher education appear to be better managers of conflicting goals and diverse customer expectations than their male colleagues.

More research is needed to consider the specific reasons for the significance of gender, but the factor of gender appears to be significant regardless of the presence or absence of the specific reasons. The survey indicated that 60 percent of campus parking administrators are males, and 40 percent are females. Based on the significance of the gender factor, the leveling of any gender imbalance in campus parking administration in public higher education will potentially result in even better management of goal conflict and diverse customer expectations.


The issue of managing goal conflict and diverse customer expectations in any organization, profession, or industry is no small matter. Much of my research was grounded in the validity and reliability of goal setting theory established by researchers and authors Edwin Locke, Gary Latham, and Cynthia Lee. Their research over several decades concludes that a failure to manage goal conflict potentially results in many negative workplace issues, including low job motivation, performance, and satisfaction. These negative issues tend to become entrenched in the workplace culture and perpetuate over time. I believe this issue is worthy of the attention of not only campus parking administrators in higher education, but all parking professionals.

I encourage my colleagues in college campus parking administration to consider the significance of these factors. First, it appears critical that we invest significant time to include our frontline staff in the goal-­setting process and to not only communicate goals and expectations but connect them to the bigger picture of the operational mission with a rationale for their achievement. It is important to declare not only what is expected but why it is expected. Second, parking administrators should invest significant time in education and training, not only for themselves but for their teams. There appears to be a direct and significant relationship between education and training and the ability of both administrators and frontline staff to manage conflicting goals and diverse customer expectations. Finally, campus parking administrators should work aggressively toward diversity and equity within the operations they manage and seek to level any gender imbalance.

This study in particular indicated the significant role that female administrators have in the ability to manage goal conflict and multiple customer expectations.

Dave McKinney, EdH, CAPP, is director of parking services at Arkansas State University. He can be reached at dmckinney@astate.edu or 870.972.2945.

TPP-2014-09-Meeting Conflicting Demands

Success On Two Wheels

TPP-2014-09-Success On Two WheelsBy Holly Parker

As a practitioner in the specialized profession of higher-ed sustainable transportation for more than 13 years, I can confidently say that I looked for the perfect bikeshare solution for a university campus for about a dozen years.

Anyone who sees bikesharing as the economical, scalable, and emission-free transportation solution it is owes a debt of gratitude to Paul DeMaio, bikeshare program manager for the City of Arlington, Va., and co-founder of MetroBike. Not only was Paul instrumental in starting a pilot bikeshare program that became the wildly successful Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., but he also came to visit me at Harvard University 12 years ago with a heavy, solid-tired bicycle from the City of Copenhagen’s ByCyklen (City Bike) program in tow. We had a brainstorming session with representatives from a few other New England universities who were also interested in leveraging emerging technology to make a fleet of bicycles accessible to would-be riders on our campuses.

We were ahead of our time. Issues of power source, data security, and simply the existence of a vendor who could supply what we endeavored to create slowed us down but did not break our will. In the absence of appropriate technology, my approach was to start small and test the interest in bikesharing—both at my previous employer and current one (Yale University)—by providing a bike for any department that wanted one and could pledge a point person who would help coordinate its maintenance and track odometer readings. A departmental bikeshare, I thought, would be just the thing to get university staff who probably hadn’t been on bicycles since childhood riding bikes for transportation—and in so doing, remember that it is also fun.

Y-Bike Debuts

Yale’s departmental bikeshare program, called Y-Bike, delivered the results I had hoped. Having equipped the bikes with odometers, we know that more than 8,000 miles were pedaled on them, and at least a little bit of culture change resulted. Comparing responses from our first commuter transportation survey in 2007 to those from the 2013 survey, we have seen a 6 percent increase in bicycle commuting—now at 11 percent!

As kiosk- or dock-based bikeshare vendors slowly materialized, the next massive hurdle to jump was funding. Even back in the early 2000s, this type of system cost a few thousand dollars per bike. This continues to be the case today. As Tom Glendening of E3Think, a consulting firm dedicated to innovative solutions for cities, states, “New York City’s program has an $8,000-per-bike set-up cost; across the Hudson River in Hoboken, a pilot bikeshare program costs less than $2,000 per bike.”

The discrepancy between New York and Hoboken is due to different technologies and equipment: smart lock vs. smart dock models. Yale and an increasing number of universities, corporate campuses, hotels, and apartment complexes are employing the smart lock system to deliver bikesharing at a fraction of the cost of the large-scale municipal systems, such as New York’s CitiBike bikeshare.

Smart Lock vs. Smart Dock
Smart lock or smart bike refers to the fact that the locking mechanism on each bike in the shared fleet travels with the bike, which allows the bike to be locked to any standard bike rack along the rider’s route, versus requiring the rider to find a system station (with an available dock) near his destination. Additional benefits include much less expensive startup costs, lower operating costs, and a smaller footprint. This is not to be understood as a criticism of smart dock systems. In fact, they generally are a good solution for a large city—when the docking stations are ubiquitous, both docking locations and the availability of open docks can be easily shown and updated on a smartphone app, and where a large staff can be deployed to redistribute bicycles that bunch up at certain locations.

Both smart lock and smart dock bikeshare systems provide data tracking that can enhance the program by collecting performance metrics such as number and duration of reservations, number of members, and the resulting reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Industry leaders in the smart lock bikeshare business are Social Bicycles (SoBi) and Zagster. More businesses are entering this arena as the popularity of bikesharing continues to grow, including Republic Bike, which designed the undeniably “Googly” fleet of 1,300 bikes on Google’s Mountain View, Calif., campus. On BikeShare, Gotcha, and A2B Bikeshare are working their way onto the playing field as well, potentially providing more competition for market share.

Yale chose to partner with Zagster and has 50 bikes available at 10 campus locations. Yale’s bikeshare program boasts more than 600 members and since the program’s inception, has seen an average of 18 rentals per day. The Zagster bikeshare program has also driven more than 200 faculty, staff, and students to enroll in our campus bicycle safety class. Participants receive a $20 reimbursement for their Zagster membership and a free helmet.

After the first six months of the program, Yale’s Zagster members were surveyed and indicated that 39 percent of their bikeshare trips replaced car trips. This is consistent with other results I have seen from bikeshare member surveys. This should be of interest, considering the per-space cost of a structured car parking facility, which in the New Haven market is at least $25,000 for at-grade and $100,000 for below-ground. Considering that 12 bicycles can fit in the space dedicated to a car, it seems logical that to maximize use of space, bicyclists should be encouraged and accommodated.

New Technologies
New technologies for bikesharing are appearing with some regularity, given the visibility and fascination with shared bikes worldwide. Now Skylock, Bitlock, and Lock8 offer locks that provide wireless locking/unlocking capabilities, as well as bicycle location tracking and other security and safety features to the bicycle security realm. While this may sound enticing to an institution or municipality that feels it can now simply purchase a fleet of bikes for shared use with little worry about the bikes’ whereabouts or security, keep in mind that someone still needs to create and maintain membership and scheduling software, provide customer service, manage incoming calls and registration requests, maintain and redistribute bikes, provide real-time assistance to members who have sudden maintenance issues, and track and report the aforementioned performance metrics.

It’s also worth remembering that few commercially available bicycles are robust enough for the rigors of bikesharing; consider exposure to the elements, theft and vandalism, and multiple users per day. Zagster addresses this issue by replacing its bike fleet every two years. Further, bikeshare bikes require adjustability (to fit every rider’s size), advanced security, and integrated lighting, to name a few critical features. As was true of the bikes used in Copenhagen’s ByCyclen bikeshare program, bikeshare bikes can have solid rubber tires so that there is no need to fix flats and employ drive shafts instead of chains. There’s no need to worry about bike grease on your pants! But more importantly, there are no broken, stretched, or rusted chains to maintain.

Is your city, corporate campus, or university ready to explore bikesharing? On BikeShare has a well-composed white paper titled “Bikeshare Implementation Strategies: a Comparative Guide” comparing the different types of bikeshare systems and pros and cons of each that could help you decide what kind is best for you.

Holly Parker is director of sustainable transportation systems at Yale University. She can be reached at holly.parker@yale.edu or 203.432.9245.

TPP-2014-09-Success On Two Wheels

Closing the Gap

TPP-2014-09-Closing the GapBy David Hill, CAPP

The parking industry is not new—it’s been around for 80 years, ever since that first parking meter hit the streets in Oklahoma City in 1935. The meter was invented for a specific purpose, too. To citizens’ minds, it required depression-weary Okies to pay a nickel to park their cars in an effort to annoy them just enough to move their vehicles within the allocated time period. If they didn’t pay the petty fee and move on, a punishing enforcement citation would result. Threat of the citation was the motivating force behind the cash transaction, which is still true today. In fact, many regard regulation, citations, and fine revenue as the real reason parking transactions are permitted, meters being like slot machines that run out of time for unlucky players.

Parking, then, exemplified the “hunt and capture” process. It is impossible to package and control every individual parking space or prevent a large and heavy vehicle from occupying it, so we rely on voluntary compliance reinforced by regulations that enforce time and space sharing, backed up by the threat of punishment.

The arrival of the micro computer in 1981 revolutionized the industry, providing a simple and effective platform to sort needles out of haystacks and empowering increasingly sophisticated methods of managing individual vehicles, owners, parking time, and space. As we modified our management processes, we became aware of parking system users as customers and resolved to treat them with less negativity. I remember an older colleague who used to tell me that “parkers are people, too,” in an effort to see them as willing participants in the buying and selling of parking spaces.

Our obsession with regulation and enforcement has caused us to overlook the obvious: Organizations that sell parking spaces are in the business of selling to customers, and customers are in the business of buying from vendors. Where the marketplace is working to serve the needs of both parties, there is little need for theft and punishment.

Who Are Parking Customers?
Parking customers are consumers who want to buy access to parking space. They will take it for free if offered and/or apparently uncontrolled, but the space has value to them, and they are perfectly willing to pay for the privilege of using it. They are also willing to pay more for it if the vendor adds attributes that increase its perceived value.

What do parking customers value? Those of us who park our own vehicles intuitively understand that, in order of priority, customers seek:

  • Availability. An occupied parking space has no value to them.
  • Convenience. Of the spaces available, they search out the most convenient options.
  • Safety. Of the available and convenient spaces, they assess for acceptable safety for themselves and their passengers.
  • Security. Of the available, convenient, and safe spaces, they choose a location where their vehicle and contents will be secure.
  • Confidence. Of the available, convenient, safe, and secure spaces, they choose one where they feel confident they are not causing a problem and will not incur a citation, tow, or boot.
  • Economy. After availability, convenience, safety, security, and confidence are satisfied, they assess for price.

Parking service providers often miss these value points specifically because we address so many complaints about price. Customers focus on price complaints for two reasons:

  • It is characteristic of human beings that, when recounting a story, we begin with the most recent event rather than the most important. When a customer complains about price, he is referring to the last attribute experienced rather than the first priority purchased. Thinking about it, if a customer does not find availability, convenience, safety, security, and confidence, he will not park, and therefore will not be present to complain about price. A customer who complains about price is really telling the provider that he successfully received the service today.
  • It is another characteristic of human beings that they must be taught how to apply process and value. For most of our adult generation, parking at home has almost always been free and close to the door, so it seems counterintuitive to pay for a parking space that is far away from a destination. Like small children shopping with their mothers for the first time, parking customers have to be taught that taking off the shelf is wrong and that paying for products and services is the norm.

In his book, The High Cost of Free Parking, Donald Shoup, PhD, argues for market rate-based fees because they balance supply and demand, and price can be adjusted to guarantee availability; customers vote with their wallets, and so the mechanism at work is the management of the primary value point. Shoup says the correct price will result in 85 percent occupancy of a parking facility; corollary to this is that the customer will be able to purchase a convenient, safe, and secure space at a price that guarantees 15 percent availability and that this price will satisfy his most basic need.

The Customer Experience Gap
If charging the right price can guarantee an available and convenient parking space, we must look to our own resources to convince the customer that the space is safe and secure and to give him confidence in the service provider—a sound belief that he is receiving exceptional value for the money invested. There is a bit of a sales pitch inherent in establishing confidence; the goal is to provide the customer with the information necessary to set an expectation that can then be suitably filled by delivery of the anticipated product.

A Retail Strategy
If this all sounds mysteriously like a retail strategy, that’s because it is. Retailers are professionally trained, skilled, and successful in forming our perceptions through marketing and managing our expectations. Branding, marketing, advertising, image, persuasion, and word of mouth all form our opinion of the inherent quality and value of a product and why it is good for us to purchase at the right price.

Our lives are full of managed expectations. I have Goodyear tires on my truck—is that because Goodyear tires are inherently better for me than, say, Uniroyals? I have no idea. To my mind, they are all black, round, and rubber, and they make my truck go. I purchased Goodyears because when I was looking for new tires, I remembered the logo and amusing TV commercials, and the sales associate I encountered seemed to know what he was talking about. I noted that the Goodyears were significantly more costly than the competition, but the salesman gave me four for the price of three, and it seemed like good value from a quality manufacturer. In reality, my four Goodyears still cost more than comparable brands, but Goodyear successfully formed my expectation to believe that I was getting better value for my dollar.

My son just paid about $100 for a pair of Converse All Star running shoes. I had runners like that as a kid and was glad when Nikes came out because they were much more comfortable than the primitive Converse from the 1960s. In the 2000s, though, Converse made a successful marketing bid to become cool (they were kind of geeky in the 60s) and were featured in music videos and store window displays to create that perception. Now, they have found a lucrative market. I tried them on and found they are still uncomfortable, but they appear to be inexpensive to make and retail for the same price as the comfy ones. Converse has successfully moved in to a large-margin market based on managed customer expectations.

How This Applies to Parking
Retailers have many ways of forming our expectations and perceptions of value: product scales, good better best, sidewalk sales, discount days, contests, rollbacks, loss leaders, giveaways, coupons, two-for-one deals, bundled services, volume discounts—all affect our perception of the vendor and product and lead us to make purchasing decisions that we find satisfactory, and in many cases, perhaps even exciting.

What would a retail strategy-based parking service look and feel like? How about this:

Traditional Model

  • Customer: Good morning, I would like to buy a parking permit for downtown.
  • Clerk: Yes, they cost $25 per month.
  • Customer: OK, Can I get one now?
  • Clerk: No, we don’t have any right now. You have to go on a wait list.
  • Customer: But I need one today. Is there any way I can get one?
  • Clerk: No, the wait list is 350 people.
  • Customer: Wow, when can I get one?
  • Clerk: The list doesn’t move much; I’d say about three years.
  • Customer: Three years! That’s ridiculous. How can I park in the garage downtown?
  • Clerk: You can’t, and if you try we will tag you and tow your car.
  • Customer: What? Why? How will I do my business? Do I have to park illegally?
  • Clerk: That’s not my problem; I don’t make the rules.
  • Customer: Oh, man, I hate parking. I’ll never come back here.

Retail Model

  • Customer: Good morning, I would like to buy a parking permit for downtown.
  • Clerk: Yes, we have several. Which one would you like?
    Customer: Hmmm, not sure. I have to park in the Investors Tower garage.
  • Clerk: We have four you can buy: At $25 you can get random access to the garage but you are not guaranteed a space—at the moment we are sold out of these because they are quite popular. But at $50, we can get you a guaranteed stall; at $75, we can get you a reserved spot; and at $100, we can provide rock star parking.
  • Customer: Wow, what is rock star parking?
  • Clerk: You get a free car wash and detail while you are away and a coupon book for downtown discounts, and you can park with us for two months .
  • Customer: Really? I don’t need two months, but I’d love to get my car washed. Are there any coupons for a lunch restaurant?
  • Clerk: Sure, here’s one for a free homemade hamburger at Trader Fred’s deli. That’s a good spot, and they have great pickles with the hamburger.
  • Customer: Dill pickles?
  • Clerk: Yep, garlic dills. All you can eat.
  • Customer: Geez, I love those. I’m in, sign me up. Here’s my Visa.
  • Clerk: Thanks! One rock star permit coming right up, and here’s your access card, goodie bag, and coupons.
  • Customer: Awesome.
  • Clerk: And here’s a little gift for you—a stress ball shaped like President Obama’s head. You might need that if you get caught in a traffic jam later.
  • Customer: Ha ha! You bet! Thanks!
  • Clerk: Remember, access card goes in blue side up, and you are stall 354 on the second level. Just follow the signs.
  • Customer: Will do.
  • Clerk: And if you have a problem, call or text me at this number; my name’s Connie.
  • Customer: Super, thanks, Connie, you have a great day!
  • Clerk: You too; thanks for stopping by!
  • Customer: Wow, I love parking. I’ll be back here next time!

Great examples of exceptional customer service are all around us. Moving from the traditional regulatory model to a modern retail-style model takes a little faith, a little imagination, creativity, care for people and their needs, a sense of humor, and a lot of courage, but it is always successful at changing the image of the parking provider and generating more and better revenues. And if you have a question, comment, or concern, please call or text me at 403.426.0008. My name’s Dave.

David Hill, CAPP, is CEO of Clayton Hill Associates. He can be reached at david@clayton-hill.com or 403.637.2414.

TPP-2014-09-Closing the Gap

She Said What

TPP-2014-09-She Said What

College and university campuses are high-thinking places…most of the time. When it comes to parking, reasoning goes out the window, and excuses for why this vehicle is parked illegally or that ticket should be excused reach the height of creativity.

We recently asked IPI college and university members for their best stories from the parking lot. These are our favorites.

We had a situation where a driver decided to park in someone else’s 24-hour-reserved stall. The stall owner complained, and the offending vehicle was towed. When the vehicle owner came in looking for her car, she was told it was towed because it was parked in a 24-hour-reserved spot whose rightful user had complained. The vehicle owner then burst into tears and shouted, “But I was only parked for four hours!”
Emily Ellis
Operations Manager,
Parking Services
University of Alberta

Not Quite Right
An enforcer called wanting someone to come to our electric charging spaces. When I arrived, there was a Honda Civic parked in an EV-only space. The problem the enforcer had was that the car looked plugged in. The student owner of the car had opened the hood, placed the charging cable inside, and closed it back up. Because he couldn’t close the hood all the way, I could see the car had a gas motor and nothing was actually plugged in. The car was issued a citation for being a non-EV in an EV-only space.
Andrew van der Hoek
Parking Services System Analyst
University of San Diego

X-Ray Vision
Graduation day: There was a steady flow of cars in two parking lots. General parking turned left, and handicapped parking went past the general lot and went straight.

A lady pulled up beyond general parking without a handicapped symbol on her plate or a hangtag on her rearview mirror. She started honking and waving for me to move out of her way so she could access the ADA lot. I walked around to her window and told her she had to display a hangtag or have a marked license plate to enter that lot. She opened her glovebox and furiously produced an ADA hangtag, which she slammed onto her mirror.
I apologized for not seeing the hangtag in the glovebox and let her proceed.
Kim Dickey
Parking Supervisor
Prairie View A&M University

Marital Bliss
A professor of some 20 years didn’t regularly check his automated pay stub for automatic deductions: health benefits, taxes, and optional parking fees. He caught the green bug several years ago and stopped parking on campus but ignored parking reminders and notices; he also never filed the form to stop his pre-tax deductions for a parking permit.

Several years later, he met his true love and got married. His new wife began wondering why there were so many deductions from his check and realized he was still paying for parking. After more than six years of paying for no good reason, he reluctantly submitted a request for a refund of more than $10,000.

Unfortunately, because the mistake was his, his restitution was considerably less than he requested. But grateful for any consideration for his costly blunder and not wanting to re-file taxes for seven years, he thanked me for always treating him as a special customer and listening to his stories.
Lesson: You never really know how valuable good customer services is (in this case, $8,000).
David C. Jost, CAPP
Parking Services Director
Drexel University

Hard to Say Goodbye
A student received a citation for parking in a space reserved for the handicapped without a handicap placard. He called the office and told us he was taking his grandmother out to lunch and said she couldn’t walk very far so he parked with her and forgot to hang her placard from his mirror. He then gave us her placard number.
We ran the number through the DMV and learned his grandmother had died four years prior.
Denise Petrella
Administrative Assistant, Parking Services
University of Delaware

Creative, But…
One day several years ago, I was walking across campus and noticed a woman struggling to move a barricade, caution tape, and a traffic cone out of a parking space. Her vehicle was idling in the drive aisle, waiting for access to the coveted close-in space.

I approached her and proceeded to lecture her about not disrupting a construction zone and the fact that her actions were clearly against university parking regulations. She politely interrupted me to explain that she’d placed the items in the space an hour earlier when she left for lunch.

Stunned, I stammered something about being impressed with her resourcefulness and hurried off without giving her my name or position. To this day, I wonder if investing in traffic cones might just be the cheapest way to obtain a reserved parking space.
Lance Broeking
Director of Parking and Transportation
University of Kentucky

It’s Complicated
This car ended up on the stairs when its driver thought that would be the fastest way to exit a parking lot.
Andrew Stewart, CAPP
Superintendent, Parking and Transportation Services
University of California, Riverside

Slight Misunderstanding
A young man came into the office with a ticket he wanted to appeal. He had parked in the space reserved for the university president. He explained that the president had given him permission to use the space while he traveled to China.

We continued asking questions and found the source of the confusion: It turned out his fraternity president had offered the young man his space.
Carol Forester
Parking Specialist
Missouri State University

Buy a Watch
The holder of an evening parking permit (valid between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.) found his vehicle booted for displaying an altered daily pass. This is the actual conversation that followed:

Me: You weren’t immobilized for anything having to do with your valid evening permit. You were immobilized for displaying an altered daily pass (a date of “16” had been looped around on top and changed to “18”). Whether you personally did the altering or not, someone did to defraud the university and you were the one displaying it, so you’re responsible.

Him: I can have [multiple witnesses] contact you to confirm I was off campus all day. I’m never here during the day—that’s why I have an evening permit.

Me: You’re never here during the day?

Him: No. I had to make special arrangements to come here today just to talk to you.

Me: So I understand your point, you’re saying the entire reason you have an evening permit and the reason you’re arguing that this citation is invalid is because that’s the only time of day you’re ever on campus and you had a valid permit for that time frame?

Him: Yes, exactly! I have other obligations during the day. I can’t be here; it’s not possible.”

Me: If that’s the case, why would a daily pass, altered or not, be displayed on your dashboard? Or even be in your car?[long, silent pause]

Him: I don’t know. I have to go.

David Donovan
Associate Director, Operations
USC Transportation

Being in the Washington, D.C. area, we have hosted many presidential visits and are used to working with the Secret Service to close off lots, roads, or parking decks as needed for security.

During one visit, we had a parking deck closed; it was adjacent to where the president, vice president, and several Cabinet members were speaking. Well, a university employee was upset he couldn’t park in the deck that day and questioned our staff about it, asking who could give him permission. We told him it wasn’t up to us but that if the gentleman over there in the suit with the gun (gesturing to a Secret Service agent) said it was OK to park, it was OK with us.

The employee just shook his head and left, yelling that the ­President should stay in the city and leave us alone.
Josh Cantor
Director, Parking and Transportation
George Mason University

Forsooth, She Hath Prevailed
This is an actual appeal we received from a student. Our campus had just been named one of the safest in the nation, and she based her appeal on that recognition:

I call upon your attention today to request an appeal of the ticket issued to I, ******* *****, on the night of Dec. 5, 2011. This scarlet letter of the asphalt plains was issued under the pretense that I had parked in the wrong area, and as I would like to applaud your parking enforcement staff on their diligence and keen eye for a awry vehicle, I would also like to inform the Services of Parking and Transportation that I indeed did park in the correct area, for my decision protected my safety.

On said night, I was traveling to meet my colleagues in the library in order to collaborate on the nature of organic chemistry. It was the first time I had ever tried to park within the confines of the library parking lot, and the anxiety of it all was tremendous. After winding in and out of the aisles for what was the equivalent of 30 minutes, I came to the conclusion that I was not the aggressive driver needed to obtain a coveted spot. I weighed my options and realized my only alternative would be to park at Russell Union and walk. However, I quickly aborted this notion when I considered the fact that I would not be leaving the library before the new day, and I feared for my security. I am but a petite 5’6″ 115 lb. girl who could easily be targeted by a deviant lurking through the night.

I reflected on GSU’s reputation of being one of the safest schools in the nation and reasoned that it would be selfish of me to put myself in a position that could alter such prestige. It was then that I made the decision to take a staff’s allotted parking spot. I was proud as I entered through the library’s doors that I had prevented what could’ve been a devastating ordeal for my beloved university, only to return later, discouraged.

I disobeyed my school, a first for me. I had never once acquired such an ugly notice, yet there it was—my first ticket. I am contrite over my actions and pray that you will sympathize with my situation, and grant leniency in my sentencing. Thank you.
Decision: Appeal approved.
Kristi Bryant
Director, Parking and Transportation
Georgia Southern University

Sorry, Sir
One of the first things I did when I came to Cal Poly Pomona was develop a list of all the VIP staff—the president, vice president, etc., so I would know who they were when we met.

My first interaction with the president was memorable. One afternoon, my phone rang and I saw his name appear on the incoming call panel. Apparently, one of our parking officers had issued him a citation, and he was calling to ask if I would dismiss it. (For the record, his permit was still in the glove box after the car had been run through a wash.)

As a new employee who serves at the pleasure of the president, this was not the introduction I wanted! I quickly apologized and assured him that we would dismiss the citation right away. I then notified all my parking staff to make sure the president’s car was not ticketed again. We entered his license plate number into our handheld ticket writers so any ticket issued to it would be rejected by the system.

This new procedure worked very well until one year later when the President got a new car and was cited again! You can imagine my embarrassment when he showed up at our front counter, displayed his parking permit, and jokingly pounded his fist on the table, demanding that the citation be reversed.

President Ortiz and I have developed a strong, friendly working relationship over the past four years, but, I will never forget our introduction. On his retirement, we plan to present him with a gold-plated parking citation!
Michael P. Biagi
Director, Parking and Transportation Services
Cal Poly Pomona

It Stands to Reason
A student was given a citation for parking in a fire lane. She entered an appeal stating that the reason she had parked in the fire lane was to run upstairs to her room to get something. She said that she should not have received a citation because she was not going to be in the fire lane long and besides, no building was going to catch fire because everyone was attending the Clemson football game.
Dan Hofmann, CAPP
Director, Parking and Transportation Services
Clemson University

TPP-2014-09-She Said What

What Parking can Learn from Red Light Camera Enforcement

TPP-2014-09-What Parking can Learn from Red Light Camera EnforcementBy Leonard T. Bier, JD, CAPP

What can on-street municipal parking enforcement learn from red light camera traffic violation enforcement? Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have approved some form of red light camera enforcement that captures the license plate numbers of vehicles that drive through amber lights and reach the other side of the intersection after the light turns red. Most states argue that automated red light enforcement at selected intersections with higher than average auto collision rates reduces the number of accidents that occurred there.

Data analysis seems to support the premise that accidents have been reduced significantly at red light camera intersections with cameras. Accident types have changed from head-on and T-bone collisions with fatal or severe consequences to rear-end accidents with noticeably less bodily injury, as people stop short at intersections when the light changes to avoid receiving a ticket.

To get the various state legislatures to approve the concept of automated license plate photo enforcement of red light violations, most states decriminalized the issuance of the traffic summons and the adjudication process to dispute violations.

The first step in decriminalizing the traffic offense allowed the violation notice to be mailed via ordinary mail after a sworn police officer reviewed the online photo documentation and certified that a traffic violation occurred. Mailing a red light summons instead of personally serving the driver of the vehicle or using registered mail return receipt requested—a costly and time-intensive process—lowers the cost and increases the efficiency of summons issuance.

The automated red light camera violation in almost all states carries no motor vehicle points. Adjudication of the red light violation is handled administratively in many states and not in the municipal court. Drivers receive photo documentation of their driving offense and may contest a red light camera violation by sending in a letter defense or scheduling a hearing for a specific date and time with a hearing officer who has the power to dismiss the violation with no municipal prosecutor or judge required (this is not true in all states, but most).

Shouldn’t the same decriminalization procedure for automated red light traffic enforcement and adjudication be available for municipal parking violations? If a municipality uses mobile license plate recognition (LPR) to enforce residential permit parking or time limits by electronically chalking tires, shouldn’t a parking enforcement officer be allowed to download the images of the parking violations at the end of his shift and process the violations the same way as red light camera traffic offenses? Why should a motorist who has received a parking violation notice need to take the time to go to municipal court for adjudication?

Some states allow administrative adjudication of parking offenses but only in their most populated cities. New York City and Philadelphia have administrative adjudication of parking offenses. The New York state statute allows any city in the state with a population of more than 300,000 to establish a system for the administrative adjudication of parking violations. However, New York City, which includes the five boroughs of Manhattan, is the only city in the state with a population that large. The other three cities that have administrative adjudication of parking violations—Yonkers, Rochester, and Buffalo—have smaller populations.
These cities, as well as the counties of Suffolk and Nassau, were granted parking offense administrative adjudication by special acts of the state Legislature.

Technologies such as static and vehicle-mounted or handheld LPR cameras, embedded road sensors, advanced roadside meters, and dashboard GPS are making automated parking violation enforcement a reality. These technologies, like red light camera enforcement, produce supporting documentary evidence of the parking violation. Existing technology enables parking tickets to be paid at multi-space meters that are outfitted with alpha numeric keypads and/or barcode readers and online, rather than by mail or at a municipal court violations window.

Leonard T. Bier, JD, CAPP, is the principal of Bier Associates. He can be reached at lenbier@optonline.net or 732.828.8864.

TPP-2014-09-What Parking can Learn from Red Light Camera Enforcement

Five Ways to Go Green at Your Garage for Free

TPP-2014-09-Five Ways to Go Green at Your Garage for FreeBy Isaiah Mouw, CAPP

One of the core principles of sustainability is the triple bottom line. You’ve heard it before: people, profit, and planet. Too often, profit can be undervalued. Spending money without regard for return on investment (ROI) is not truly sustainable in the long term.

Funds (from revenue, government grants, private capital, or tax dollars) should be allocated to sustainability measures, technologies, and product choices that enhance all aspects of the triple bottom line when possible. Buying “green” for the marketing value alone can take funds away from measures and programs with considerable effect. And while ROI may be difficult to calculate in pure dollars and cents, it can be gauged in longer-term ways, such as economic development, or a ripple effect in your organization, such as brand loyalty and customer retention.

Sustainable choices don’t always cost more. Case in point: The White House Office of Management and Budget noted in a June 2012 report that energy efficiency investments during the previous four years are expected to save as much as $18 billion in energy costs over their life cycle. I doubt we can save your organization $18 billion, but there are five ways to go green at your garage for free.

1. Parking Information Applications
Walk down any aisle at the IPI Conference & Expo and you’ll probably find a company wanting to put your parking facility location and information on a website or app. Do it. They can probably take the information from your website anyway, so work with them to direct patrons to your facility. Take it a step further by having them integrate with your parking access and revenue control system to provide real-time parking availability for your facilities. It’s green because it helps eliminate cruising for parking, cutting back on fuel costs, emissions, and wasted time.

2. Pay-by-Cell
Most of the major pay-by-cell applications don’t cost your organization a thing. Providers charge a small user fee (usually between $0.25 and $0.35) to the customer. Most companies generally pay for signage to promote use (providing advertising for them and increasing adoption of their product). This technology decreases driving to locate parking and reduces labor and operational costs to service meters. (Remember that time you didn’t have any change so you drove around looking for the cheapest parking garage that took credit cards?)

3. Lighting Upgrades
Lighting for free? One critical sustainable initiative that balances the triple bottom line is the smart lighting upgrade. Smart lighting that uses energy-efficient light bulbs with smart lighting technologies, such as daylight harvesting, light timers, and light sensors, save considerable energy and money. Several companies in the current market will upgrade your lighting for free. The catch is that they get to keep the resulting savings from energy efficiency (your utility bills). They compare lighting bills before and after the upgrade and keep the savings each month. It doesn’t cost a thing, and it helps the environment. That said, the potential payback period to recoup your investment for a lighting upgrade can be as short as two years depending on the fixtures, utility rates, and technology selected. Beyond that, you then reap the long-term rewards.

4. Parking Reservation Systems
Parking reservation providers generally charge users a convenience fee or keep a percentage of parking transactions. The latter does take away some of your profit, but keep in mind that many people who reserve a parking space often don’t show up to claim it. This allows oversell of parking inventory. These systems prevent people from cruising and emitting pollutants and reduce traffic congestion.

5. Find a Sponsor
Consider what business would like to market to your patrons. Garage patrons are, in a sense, a captive audience from entering the garage until leaving for their destinations and again on the return trip. This is why many area businesses, local restaurants, and entertainment destinations are apt to sponsor sustainable programs, such as bike parking or bike share, mass transit, charging for electric vehicles, recycling, or a pocket park adjacent to the garage. Signage at selected areas and in elevator and stair towers offer advertising opportunities.

Implement the triple bottom line approach in each business and buying decision you make. With a little creativity, achieving the triple bottom line need not have any monetary cost to you at all and will have terrific payback for people, planet, and profit.

Isaiah Mouw, CAPP, is vice president with Republic Parking System and a member of IPI’s Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at imouw@republicparking.com or 423.260.2768.

TPP-2014-09-Five Ways to Go Green at Your Garage for Free

Planning a Rehabilitation Project

TPP-2014-09-Planning a Rehabilitation ProjectBy John M. Porter, PE

You took the first step to evaluate the condition of your parking garage by hiring a specialist to perform an assessment. The condition assessment report identified the extent of deterioration and distress, rehabilitation alternatives, and estimated construction costs. Although you’ve been budgeting for this rehabilitation project, the reality of implementation seems daunting.

There will be disturbances to building occupants and customers, loss of parking and revenue, noise, odors, dust, and additional staff to manage parking during the project. Collaboration between the owner and consultant during the design phase can help reduce the disturbances that will inevitably occur.

Parking garage rehabilitation can be a disruptive and costly undertaking, but it is necessary to extend the useful life of your structure, repair damaged building components, and reduce the rate of deterioration. In concrete garages, for example, rehabilitation typically includes removal of deteriorated concrete, strengthening damaged members, applying protective coatings on exposed reinforcing steel, and reconstructing structural members with specialty concrete repair materials. Concrete demolition often requires loud pneumatic equipment that can disturb customers, neighbors, and tenants.

Specifying work hours during low-occupancy times is an easy first step to reduce the effect on facility users. This will also help reduce costly construction shutdowns and rescheduling as a result of noise complaints. Other methods, such as hydrodemolition and installing acoustic barriers, can be effective ways to reduce noise and should be evaluated during the design phase. Once a strategy is finalized to reduce potential disturbances, it should be clearly identified in the construction documents and included in the contractor’s bids.

Consider Customers
Corrosion mitigation measures protect the structure and are commonly used to reduce the rate of deterioration. While some of these mitigation measures have little effect on customers, others, such as certain sealers and coatings, can have strong odors that may disturb building occupants. The project team should evaluate materials and other options to reduce potential odors that can result in occupant complaints and costly project shutdowns by local authorities.

Sealing doors that lead to occupied spaces, running fans and ventilation, sealing local air intake systems, and performing work during weekends are a few ways to reduce potential odor issues but also increase the cost of construction. Including these measures as part of the construction documents will help reduce change orders, potential shutdowns, and delays.

Prior to construction, the contractor should prepare a dust, odor, fume, and air quality control and monitoring plan for the team’s review. This plan may also need to be submitted with the building permit application.

Construction phasing requires consideration during the design process. It is most cost-effective to perform work in large phases, but can you really sacrifice hundreds of parking spaces? On the other hand, if work zones become too small, the project schedule and costs increase substantially due to the inefficiency of mobilizing and demobilizing many small phases.

Defining appropriately sized phases will help balance the loss of parking, construction costs, and duration of owner/user inconvenience. Construction documents should include phasing plans or specify the maximum number of spaces that can be closed to parking to accommodate the work. The contractor should be required to develop phasing and traffic control plans that meet these parameters for review and approval by the owner. Documents can also allow the contractor to propose alternative parking exclusion limits for consideration by the owner, as long as the base bid includes the specified parking exclusion and the alternatives clearly identify the cost and schedule effects.

The contractor should develop a schedule consistent with the agreed-to phasing to allow adequate time to notify customers of the upcoming construction project and prepare for loss of parking.

Rehabilitation projects can be costly and disruptive, but with proper planning during the design phase, the effect on tenants and customers can be managed. Through collaboration between owner and consultant during the design phase, a successful project can be planned, designed, and bid in a way that achieves a cost-effective project with minimal disruption.

John M. Porter, PE, is senior project manager with Simpson, Gumpertz, & Heger, and a member of IPI’s Consultants Committee. He can be reached at jmporter@sgh.com or 781.907.9000.

TPP-2014-09-Planning a Rehabilitation Project