Tag Archives: TPP-2015-07

Don’t Forget the Kids

TPP-2015-07-Don't Forget the KidsBy Stasha Echols

As we hit the middle of the year and temperatures start climbing, we have vacations and cookouts and summer fun on our minds. Along with the summer fun comes the summer heat, and with the summer heat come stories of children and pets being left in hot cars.

I wonder, what are people thinking? Have you ever sat in a sauna at the gym or been in a car with no air conditioning, or even just been outside when it’s 90-plus degrees and there is no breeze? As a parent, I confess I have left my kids in the car to run into the gas station or even the grocery store, but they were big enough to open the door on their own if necessary—I’m talking 12 or 13 years old, not two or three.

Kids in Cars
Sadly, tragedies with children in cars will happen across our entire nation without discrimination or preference to demographics. Even sadder is that we expect to hear the horror stories of parents leaving their children in cars to go into work or a casino or a liquor store or even to run into the grocery store for diapers and milk. You would think light bulbs would go off in people’s heads: “Oh, I should get the baby or open the door for Fido because he has paws and can’t open the door himself.” You would think if you put the baby in the car, you’d remember to get the baby out. But on a regular basis all summer long, we will hear the stories of those who didn’t.

Planning Ahead
Good Samaritans have been praised for coming to the aid of some of these babies, probably saving their lives. We can certainly do our part in the parking industry as we go about our daily routines:

  • Be extra aware of your surroundings and who or what may be in a parked vehicle.
  • Listen for crying.
  • Look for children or pets left unattended or anything that may seem out of place.
  • Educate your maintenance, security personnel, attendants, and other employees in the facility about the seriousness of children left in vehicles. Train them to look a little closer at cars as they walk the deck or to look for signs, such as windows left partially down.
  • Call out with a smile to those entering your lot or garage with a little one in the backseat: “What a beautiful baby. Have a great day!” Offer a gentle reminder.

What would you do if you came across a crying baby locked in a car? Would you call the police, try to break the window, or just say, “It’s none of my business” and walk away? Put together a plan of action with your staff in case a situation does arise so everyone knows what to do and how to react to get a distressed child out of a locked vehicle and call for medical attention.

We also need to remember our own families as the weather heats up. I know we are consumed by work, bills, traffic, and whatever else life throws at us, and I can certainly understand how a change in routine can throw us off-kilter. I can’t imagine going through what these families have gone through. Losing a child is unthinkable to me, but to lose a child because you had too much on your mind? I can’t imagine. Yet, tragically, it happens. Even to good parents.

There have been days I have driven home on autopilot and can’t remember making any turns, yet there I am, safe and sound in my driveway. Other times I have walked into a room just to say out loud, “What did I come in here for?” I know the human brain is a complicated and tricky thing, and sometimes we cannot control all of our thoughts and memories.

That being true, plan for it. When we buckle a child into the car, let’s remember to leave a sweater, coat, lunch, or laptop bag—something—in the backseat so we’re forced to open the back door and look inside. We might also set our phone alarms to ring a few minutes after we’re scheduled to arrive at work to trigger us to check the car.
We all have many things competing for our attention. But as parking professionals, we have a unique opportunity to help parents avoid these tragedies. We can save lives.

Once we put the car in park, let’s not forget the kids.

Stasha Echols is an administrative assistant with Lanier Parking Solutions. She can be reached at sechols@lanierparking.com or 404.879.7695.

TPP-2015-07-Don’t Forget the Kids

Inspiration Galore

TPP-2015-07-Inspiration Galore

Looking for inspiration? The 16 winners of IPI’s second annual Parking Matters® Marketing & Communications Awards will get your creative juices flowing. You’ll find ideas you can adapt to your own organization that help advance the parking profession, educate audiences about the value of parking expertise, communicate about parking and transportation options and technologies, improve parking efficiencies, or otherwise communicate positive parking messages. All of these programs have one important factor in common: They worked!

Details about each of the programs, along with downloadable support materials, insights from those involved, outcomes, and lessons learned, can be found at parking.org in the awards section under the professional development tab.

Lexington Parking Authority
Food for Fines

Community food drives are a common event during the winter holiday season, but the Lexington, Ky., Parking Authority (LPA) developed a food donation program with an uncommon twist. Last November and December, LPA promoted its first “Food for Fines” canned food drive that invited citizens to pay for each of their parking meter fines, including past-due fines, with a donation of 10 cans of food. The campaign resulted in more than 6,200 cans of food that were donated to God’s Pantry Food Bank, providing more than 5,000 meals for hungry Fayette County families.
Food for Fines created a local and national media relations buzz. The program garnered more than 30 media mentions, including coverage in The Washington Post, USA Today, foodworldnews.com, and live interviews on MSNBC.

Marketing communications takeaway: Think outside the box to find ways to raise the visibility of your parking organization and serve your community.

Vancouver’s EasyPark
Retooling Brand Awareness

The City of Vancouver’s EasyPark wanted to promote its brand and what it stands for: safe, convenient parking with first-class customer service across the entire company. The idea was that parking should be a retail, rather than institutional offering, with the result that parkers would choose EasyPark whenever a choice was available, increasing traffic to the company’s lots.

EasyPark planners asked employees in each department to brainstorm ideas to increase brand awareness. From those ideas, each department formulated an independent action plan and budget in coordination with other departments as needed. The result was a coordinated effort with specific rebranding initiatives from each EasyPark department. For example, IT changed the face of EasyPark on the web and in social media, updating banners, Facebook, Twitter, and
Instagram to increase brand visibility and promote the holiday season. The newly branded EasyPark app allowed customers to find EasyPark lots. Customer Service created Customer Appreciation and Random Acts of Kindness days and introduced bright orange uniforms and even umbrellas to highlight EasyPark’s customer focus. Operations rebranded the company vehicles and decorated parking lots for the holidays. Finally, Marketing developed a radio contest that promoted EasyPark’s mobile parking app.

Evaluation was a key part of the campaign and included tracking revenues and expenditures at specific parking lots and analysis of customer complaints. The results: revenue increased 10 percent above budget with an expenditure of less than 2.5 percent of increased revenue growth, for a return on investment of 400 percent. Customer complaints dropped, and compliments dramatically increased.

Marketing communications takeaway: Involve employees in your marketing and communications programs. Engaging them in generating ideas helps create employee enthusiasm and buy-in for your programs. In addition, rebranding is most successful when it involves all company departments.

Parking Authority of
Baltimore City

For years, Baltimore allowed drivers with disability placards to park for free at metered spaces. But in some areas, abuse of the policy led to most parked vehicles displaying disability placards or disability license plates. As a result, parking for people with and without disabilities was less available and people with disabilities were often the target of thieves who stole the placards. In July 2014, the Parking Authority of Baltimore City (PABC) launched ProjectSPACE to curb abuse of disability placards and license plates and increase available parking for people with and without disabilities.

Existing parking meters were retrofitted to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, 10 percent of metered spaces were reserved for people with disabilities, and all drivers were required to pay to park. Working with the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities, PABC and a local PR firm developed a comprehensive, research-based communications strategy. Research through focus groups, individual interviews, and data review helped inform branding and the ProjectSPACE tagline: “More space for all.” A website, brochure, postcards, ads, and event giveaways reinforced the new policy and key messages, combined with a robust media relations campaign consisting of a press conference, op-eds, letters to the editor, and story placements. Community outreach before the program launch and at community meetings and events informed target audiences about the policy change. Social media outreach included online videos, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

The result was a smooth transition to the new policy. Abuse of disability placards declined even before the program’s official launch. The number of available parking spots has increased, and theft of disability placards dropped from 23 per month from 2007 to 2013 to only one in the three months after program launch.

Marketing communications takeaway: Research is essential when developing a comprehensive communications campaign. Low-cost focus groups and one-on-one interviews allow you to understand target audience’s opinions and attitudes about sensitive policy changes, which is essential to campaign development.

Washington State
Department of Transportation
Mobile App and Smart Marketing

When tunnel construction required removing hundreds of on-street parking spaces in two of Seattle’s most-visited historic neighborhoods, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) faced a serious challenge: how to maintain business vitality and attract visitors and customers to the affected area. The answer was a partnership with the City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and businesses in the affected neighborhoods to create a program that enables drivers to find convenient, safe, and affordable parking in 2,000 off-street garage spaces at on-street rates while promoting the garages through a mobile app and smart marketing.

The first step was to arrange partnership agreements for low-cost parking with six garages in the neighborhoods affected by the on-street space removal. Next, WSDOT engaged a local agency to develop a website and mobile app (DowntownSeattleParking.com) that lists low-rate garages, displays available spaces at those garages, and provides hours, parking rates, and driving directions. An advertising and public relations campaign, developed with input from SDOT and businesses affected by the construction, reinforced the message that “there’s still plenty of parking.” The result: Garage use increased in 2014 over 2013, and the mobile app was a hit, with median monthly site visits increasing from 3,500 in the first six months of 2013 to 23,000 during the last six months. Web traffic to DowntownSeattleParking.com increased, with close to 70 businesses linking to the site from their websites.

Marketing communications takeaway: Collaboration beats going it alone. Here, engaging local businesses and other stakeholders affected by the construction helped leverage the program’s impact and the message about low-cost parking availability.

Vancouver’s EasyPark
The EasyPerks Benefit Card

Building customer loyalty is a smart strategy for any business. But Vancouver’s EasyPark went further with a strategy that not only builds customer awareness and loyalty but also increases revenues for EasyPark, its customers, local businesses, and clients. A first-of-its-kind value-added program for the Vancouver area, the EasyPerks Benefits Program offers monthly parking customers special savings through EasyPerks’ program partners, which include high-profile businesses, museums, art venues, restaurants, specialty retailers, car washes, and health and fitness organizations.

Monthly parkers who enroll in EasyPerks are given a distinctive orange and gray card and information about the program and partners. EasyPerks cards are issued to more than 7,000 monthly parkers each year, which translates into more than 16,100 potential customers (family members can use the cards). Partners offered discounts as much as 20 percent and $50 or two-for-one admissions.

Partners renew their offerings once a year. The program has exceeded expectations, with new monthly parkers eager to join the program and businesses calling to inquire about becoming partners.

Marketing communications takeaway: Find ways to differentiate your parking services from those of your competitors by offering added value. Adding value to parking services with a partnership benefits program increases customer retention and loyalty, helps grow your customer base, and is a win-win for partners.

Texas A&M University Transportation Services
Destination Aggieland

Gameday traffic snarls can take the fun out of any university football game. When Kyle Stadium capacity grew from 82,600 to 106,300 with accompanying parking and traffic pattern changes, Texas A&M University Transportation Services planners knew they needed to provide information to fans from home and visiting teams before they set out for games. The answer was Destination Aggieland, a free app that uses near real-time and static tools to give football fans tips on vehicle and pedestrian routes, traffic patterns, parking, shuttles, disability services, and weather; airport and stadium information; dining options; and FAQs—basically everything fans need to make their travel to the game more predictable.

The app was a months-long collaborative project involving hundreds of hours of meetings with university departments (Transportation Services, IT, Environmental Health and Safety, and Marketing and Communications), city and county departments, police, the chamber of commerce, and the convention and visitors bureau. Key campaign messages encouraged fans to “download before you go,” “discover what’s different,” “learn your route,” and “arrive early/stay late.” The campaign resulted in more than 24,000 app downloads, along with new records for gameday ridership on complimentary transit shuttles, 6,200 prepaid parking reservations, and congestion levels similar to or better than previous years, despite the increased number of fans.

Marketing communications takeaway: Parking apps are a powerful tool to inform customers about parking options and traffic patterns and can be enhanced with additional value-added information.

Miami Parking Authority
Virtual Parking Payment District

How do you get community buy-in when you plan to replace free parking with regulated parking to reduce gridlock? The Miami Parking Authority (MPA) faced this challenge in the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID), which experienced quadrupled parking demand and snarled traffic as a result of a redevelopment boom. The answer was a careful, flexible planning process that engaged business owners, tenants, residents, employees, BID board, Wynwood Arts District Association, and elected officials in a campaign that forged partnerships with the community, gained community acceptance of the new parking program, and positioned the MPA in a positive light.

As a result of input from its stakeholders, MPA created a virtual parking payment district using PayByPhone only. To address the diverse needs of the Wynwood audience, MPA developed a four-legged parking program that included affordable employee parking, a monthly payment component for business owners and tenants, loading zones, and spaces for the disabled. Changes were made to accommodate a few pay-and-display devices, improve traffic flow on narrow streets, and offer limited-time parking on main arteries to increase turnover. The program was promoted in English and Spanish through social media, as well as print and broadcast media. In addition, MPA staff canvassed the BID door-to-door to discuss the new parking program. Due in part to MPA’s community engagement process and partnership with the trusted BID, the program garnered widespread community acceptance.

Marketing communications takeaway: Community engagement and flexibility are essential when you ask stakeholders to make a change. It’s important to listen to the community and adjust program elements to address concerns whenever possible.

Stanford University Parking and Transportation Services
Creative Transportation Demand Management

When the construction of new teaching, research, arts, and medical facilities displaced hundreds of parking spots, Stanford University sought fresh, engaging ways to encourage drive-alone commuters to switch to alternative transportation. The result was a creative program that featured contests and a special event, rewarded existing Stanford Commute Club members, and used marketing collateral to encourage other university faculty, staff, students, and hospital commuters to abandon their single-occupancy vehicles.

Stanford Commute Club members were invited to enter a contest in which they submitted photos that showed “why I commute the way I do.” Winning photos were featured in a Commute Club calendar, poster, banner, and on the website and winners received $50 gift cards of their choice. To heighten visibility of the calendar and encourage co-workers to consider alternative transportation, the calendar was mailed to Commute Club members’ work addresses so it would be displayed at work. In addition, to celebrate the Commute Club’s 10-year anniversary, Stanford hosted a Commute Club Photo and Cupcake event. Attendees were given cupcakes and featured in a group photo that was used in a poster, outreach mail, and banners. An event raffle was held with two prize drawings for $500 and a breakfast or lunch. The campaign led to increased Commute Club membership, from 8,300 in 2012 to 9,500 in 2014, as well as increased shuttle ridership. The drive-alone rate for university employees declined to 49 percent in 2014, from 52 percent in 2012.

Marketing communications takeaway: Contests and prizes engage target audiences and can be leveraged to create marketing collateral that reinforces your messaging.

Park Cedar Rapids
Amenity Services Program

It’s every parker’s nightmare—a parked vehicle that won’t start. But if you park in a Park Cedar Rapids lot and encounter an unexpected dead battery, on-site staff will jumpstart your vehicle. This service is one of several offered through Park Cedar Rapids’ Amenity Services Program, through which onsite staff carry out basic services, such as tire fills, jumpstarts, and security escorts, at no additional cost to parking patrons, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the program offers free seasonal shuttles to help customers get from the parking facility to their destinations during cold Iowa winters. Park Cedar Rapids also partners with local businesses that have situations that require third-party intervention, such as lockouts, tire changes, and towing services.

The Amenity Services Program began in 2010 and has continued to improve and grow in popularity. Park Cedar Rapids and its shuttle transportation partner now offer customers the option to text the shuttle driver and receive an estimated arrival time at stop locations. In 2014, Park Cedar Rapids answered more than 65 amenity calls, with jumpstarts being the most requested service. The Amenity Services Program is promoted through signage, business cards, and brochures, all designed in-house. Park Cedar Rapids also uses email marketing, a short video, and social media to engage and inform customers.

Marketing communications takeaway: Producing promotional materials in-house saves money, while social media through Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms engages customers and helps keep them informed on a regular basis.

Calgary Parking Authority
Child Safety Awareness

It’s a potentially fatal combination: children left unattended in parked cars on hot days. Recognizing the risk, the Calgary Parking Authority launched its Child Safety Awareness Campaign in June 2014, reminding Calgarians to never leave a child unattended in a parked vehicle during the summer months. The inspiration for the campaign was IPI’s similar campaign, “Preventing heatstroke deaths in parked cars” on parking.org/safety.

To obtain additional support for the campaign, the parking authority approached the Calgary Police Service, Calgary Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services, all of which agreed to be involved. The campaign targeted city drivers, including the thousands of visitors to the Calgary Stampede. Using radio spots during morning, mid-day, and evening drive times for two weeks in August, social media (Facebook and Twitter), a campaign web page, and yellow and red posters and signage, the campaign reminded drivers: “NEVER leave a child in a parked car. Not even for a minute.” The campaign resulted in retweets from members of the public, businesses, government officials, and other stakeholders, as well as chatter in the community. It also set the stage for future collaboration with first responders.

Marketing communications takeaway: There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The Calgary Parking Authority based its campaign on IPI’s Parking Safety Matters initiative to prevent heatstroke deaths in parked cars but made it its own with great graphics and a local focus.

Grant Oliver Corporation
The Oliver Family

When the Grant Oliver Corporation, parking manager for the Pittsburgh International Airport, wanted to raise awareness about its new online parking reservation system, it decided on a light-hearted approach with a human face. The corporation’s ad agency created the Oliver Family, an animated mom, dad, and two kids who were designed to appeal to traveling families, college students, and the traveling public. (Future Oliver campaigns will target business travelers.) During the eight-week campaign, the Oliver family appeared in TV, radio, print, and web ads; on a mobile app; in a social media contest; and on a digital billboard. Planners conducted research to locate the best placements for maximum exposure to the target audiences. Their messaging stressed that onsite airport parking is more convenient and economical in most cases than using off-site parking vendors.

The campaign resulted in a doubling of web traffic to ­PghFrequentFlyer.com, and contest posts on Facebook reached more than 54,000 people, with page likes increasing by 3 percent. The contest received more than 500 entries.

Marketing communications takeaway: A light-hearted approach can help engage target audiences, especially if it has a human face.

Oregon Health and Science University Transportation and Parking
Communications Overhaul

How can you best present the full range of transportation options to a large number of employees, especially when you are located in a city with a cap on parking, six bus lines, CarShare, an aerial commuter tram, a university shuttle, and a robust bike program? The answer for Oregon Health and Science University (OSHU) was a communications overhaul that highlighted the options and encouraged alternative transportation to more than 14,000 employees, new hires, and visitors.

Because most customers go to the web to learn about transportation options, OHSU built an entirely new, easy-to-navigate website that featured accurate information about all campus transportation products and resources. A key element was the addition of short, easy-to-remember URL sub-sites for each transportation mode (e.g., ohsu.edu/bike). In addition, OHSU designed and launched a new employee onboarding outreach program that included transportation presentations with simple, attractive visuals and an information booth. Finally, print materials presented the full range of transportation modes, from least to most expensive with equal emphasis on each mode. All materials were designed to facilitate quick scanning with concise language and pleasing visuals.

Marketing communications takeaway: Collateral materials with attractive visuals and concise language are more likely to engage audiences and keep their attention. You don’t want to make reading your materials a chore!

UCLA Events and Transportation
Commuter Services a la Mode

Located in the most traffic-congested city in the United States, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has long sought to be part of the solution by offering sustainable transportation programs, commuter options, and parking services. But its marketing was largely ad hoc with no cohesive branding or messaging. When the Bruin Commuter Club (BCC) was launched in 2012, UCLA’s five primary alternative transportation modes (carpool, vanpool, public transit, bicycling, and walking) were brought under one umbrella. BCC’s website portal provides access to products, services, information, and special benefits to UCLA students, faculty, and staff who use alternative transportation.

Following the launch of the BCC, the time was right to repurpose and rebrand UCLA Transportation’s Be a Green Commuter blog and information portal. The rebranding effort used compelling photography and mode-specific titles to give each of the five alternative transportation options a UCLA and California feel along with a unified look and brand message. For example, the vanpool photo shows the camaraderie of vanpooling and asks, “Ever have a baby shower in a van?” In the 13 months since the launch of the new Be a Green Commuter blog, the total number of site visitors and page views has more than doubled to 21,999 and 47,528, respectively. Planners believe UCLA is positioned as a more accessible, sustainable, and progressive campus.

Marketing communications takeaway: When using photos or other images, be sure they will resonate with your audience, reflecting their age, gender, ethnicity, and other characteristics.

Seattle Department of Transportation
A Game Approach

Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) uses a performance-based parking pricing program to manage its 11,500 on-street parking and balance supply with demand. But in 2014, when SDOT lowered rates in five areas, raised rates in eight areas, implemented seasonal rates in one area, and extended paid hours into the evening in five areas, it was clearly time for an educational campaign that would inform Seattle drivers about the new parking rates and how the demand-based policy offers more reliable, convenient parking.

The campaign played on Seattle residents’ desire to be smart, savvy urban dwellers, aware of changes and strategies for parking. The message: “Play like a parking pro: Know the rules. Win the game. Parking is a game people can win!” The campaign relied on temporary signs at pay stations posted several weeks in advance of the rate changes, as well as temporary orange flags that drew attention to newly extended weekend paid parking. Radio and print ads, as well as neighborhood-specific postcards, were produced and distributed. In addition, the SDOT planners placed ads in neighborhood-specific blogs and newsletters and developed a YouTube video that was shown at local movie theaters and online. The campaign was well-received by key officials and anecdotally by the public. Complaints have also been reduced, and SDOT believes there is more parking available in crowded areas.

Marketing communications takeaway: Make it fun! Seattle’s approach to educating drivers about a complex parking rate system emphasized that finding a spot with a lower rate is a game people can win.

City of Dallas
Police Department
One Meter at a Time

Even parking meters can serve as a support for public art, transforming the visual character of the streetscape. That’s what happened in Dallas when the Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) and Dallas Police Department (DPD) partnered to implement a pilot program of temporary public meter art. Believing that public art can be inspirational and transformative, OCA, with funding from DPD, commissioned six local artists to perform “creative interventions” on existing parking meters in three areas of the city. Each artist was given at least 20 contiguous meters in a designated geographic area and paid $50 per meter. The result was eye-catching, fanciful and colorful painted meters with removable graphics, as well as some wrapping projects that had a sculptural appearance.
The project created new audiences for the artists and their work, as well as for DPD and its public parking improvements.

Marketing communications takeaway: Public art and parking can work well together, both in parking facilities and on the street. Adding public art puts a friendly face on parking facilities and engages the public with parking operations.

Winnipeg Parking Authority

Illegally parked vehicles often obstruct or delay police, fire trucks, ambulances, and other first responders. Instead of using an enforcement approach to address this public safety issue and improve compliance, the Winnipeg Parking Authority (WPA) decided to educate first with a program built around communication, education, and safety. The WPA partnered with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and Winnipeg Police Service to launch its ParkSmart program.

WPA compliance officers visited schools and events to raise awareness of the safety hazards caused by ignoring posted parking regulations. Instead of issuing citations, they distributed ParkSmart brochures or warning tickets. For example, at the many well-attended community yard sales in Winnipeg, officers distributed more than 3,000 brochures and issued 400+ warning tickets, compared with 800 warning tickets in 2010. At schools, WPA established a School Zone Safety strategy. Officers monitored student drop-offs and pick-ups, issuing brochures and warnings to help make people aware of the dangers of parking illegally. WPA has created additional brochures for snow routes, disabled permits, event information, and vehicles parked too far from the curb.

Marketing communications takeaway: Including the logos of partner organizations in collateral materials adds credibility and helps improve the images of all partners.

TPP-2015-07-Inspiration Galore

Shining Stars

TPP-2015-07-Shining StarsBy Larry Cohen, CAPP, and Gary Means, CAPP

You’re about to meet a parking services officer with a characteristically friendly smile who is well-known for her high level of service; an excellent leader and respected supervisor who keeps his team motivated to do its best; a municipal authority whose independent status enables it to consider current and anticipated parking industry advances; and the seasoned leader of the largest parking, transportation, and fleet operations of any college campus in the country.

Sounds like the ultimate parking dream team, right? All of those examples are realities, and they’re all 2015 IPI Professional Recognition Program winners. Nominated by their peers and selected by a committee of industry professionals, this year’s winners exemplify the positive spirit, can-do attitude, and upstanding characteristics the industry sets as goals.

The Professional Recognition Program was created by IPI to acknowledge the staff who operate, maintain, and manage parking operations and the individuals who are changing the perception of parking as a career and profession. It honors those who exemplify excellence every day and who, through their actions, add “professional” to their job descriptions.

Staff Member of the Year
Cindy Ishaq
Texas A&M University

Aparking services officer IV at Texas A&M University, Cindy Ishaq is responsible for the daily operation and customer interface at the University Center Garage. Although she primarily works there, you will also find her working across departmental units to support events whenever needed. She often volunteers for additional assignments, specifically supporting campus events, where she leads a team of cashiers.

She is a team leader within Texas A&M’s Special Controlled Access Network (SCAN) unit and regularly cross-trains parking officers to work with the management system. She is quick to help new employees learn the ropes and shows patience and caring getting them up to speed. She keeps her supervisors informed of upcoming challenges, offers insight, and shares historical knowledge on the operation as a guide to making independent decisions. Cindy also serves on the university’s Employee Advisory Committee—a position she was elected to by her peers that advises university leadership about issues of importance to the staff. She is observant and can be relied upon to generate solid solutions to issues that arise.

Her duties include monitoring space availability in the garages, assisting customers and campus visitors with directions and proper operation of technology, and ensuring staffing assignments are filled. She adjusts computer counts to accommodate demand, operates and repairs gates and equipment, troubleshoots ticket equipment malfunctions, issues citations when needed, provides motorist assistance, and directs traffic.

This is far from Cindy’s first award. In 2011, she received the Texas A&M University Vice President for Administration’s Candle Award, recognizing her as a guiding light in providing excellent service in her everyday job duties. Cindy received the 2009, 2011, and 2013 AJ Jones Award, an annual department award voted on by her peers that honors the parking services officer who most exemplifies the characteristics of customer service, compassion, dependability, humility, selflessness, hard work, and dedication to the department. She received the annual department Shining Star Award, voted on by her peers in 2010, 2012, and 2014, to honor her character, work ethic, honesty, and commitment to the department. Clearly, she is revered by her coworkers for her good character, positive temperament, and winning attitude.

Cindy is well-known for her high level of service, and many customers know her by name. She does her job with dedication, excellence, and a friendly smile!

Supervisor of the Year
Clint Willis
Texas A&M University

Texas A&M Parking Facilities Projects and Maintenance Unit Project Manager Clint Willis serves as the main contact for all construction projects on campus that involve any aspect of Transportation Services. In an ever-changing campus landscape, this is virtually every renovation, construction, or modification that occurs within Texas A&M’s boundaries or the surrounding area. He reviews plans and specifications and makes recommendations for modifications to better suit the campus vision.

Clint represents the department at meetings with on- and off-campus stakeholders to schedule and successfully coordinate all work performed by contractors and others on behalf of the department. He maintains positive relations with the City of College Station and the City of Bryan, the county, the local railroad, the Texas Department of Transportation, and others involved in projects that affect campus. He is the go-to guy for questions and meets with stakeholders on a regular basis.

Additionally, he leads a team of 13 employees that provides barricades and signs for events during and outside normal work hours, such as football games and other athletic events, concerts, plays, student move-in/out, and fun runs. He leads the operation of a sign shop that produces hundreds of signs every year, supervises the installation and maintenance of bus shelters, and guarantees compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, even during maintenance and construction projects. He coordinates with the campus special events unit to ensure temporary signs and barricades for events are deployed on time and removed as needed.

Clint is responsible for all work orders involving parking lots, garages, bus shelters, and crosswalks—more than 1,000 specific work orders last year. Because many of these tasks disrupt customers’ usual parking arrangements, they are often accomplished after-hours and on weekends.

In 2011, Clint and his team, along with the special events unit, were awarded the Division of Administration’s Awards in Excellence Team Award for distinction in promoting teamwork to accomplish a common goal.

During a ramp-up of the 2014 game day program, Clint led his team in securing gravel for a 23-acre field to be improved for football parking in inclement weather conditions, and was instrumental in supervising the entire project. The university was able to provide parking for an additional 2,700 vehicles during inclement weather as a result of his efforts. The area is now being used for overflow parking for other events.

As is often the situation with large departments, decisions are made for the betterment of the department that affect teams and units. Recently, the department began a partnership to accept passes from a local transit authority on the university transit system that operates routes both on and off campus. As part of this agreement, the signage at all 123 off-campus stops was adjusted to reflect the change. This job fell to Clint and his team, but he accepted the challenge in stride and made the adjustments to make the transition seamless.

Clint’s talents as a leader and a positive role model set him apart and make him worthy of recognition. He keeps his team motivated and inspired to do its best, even when the hours are long, the weather isn’t ideal, and the tasks to be accomplished are continuous.

Parking Organization of the Year
Pittsburgh Parking Authority
Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s ability to deliver its full spectrum of services is largely the result of the distinctive organizational concept that marked its founding. For while it is charged with meeting parking needs across the city, supporting economic development and quality-of-life initiatives, and even contributing substantially to funding other city services and activities, the agency is a stand-alone entity fully responsible for paying its own way. In practice, that independence translates to the requirement to remain sufficiently financially stable to cover annual operating expenses and repair and maintenance costs while also meeting bondholder coverage ratios and debt obligations generated by large capital projects.

The Authority’s independent status enables it to consider current and anticipated parking industry advances, rank them on a scale of cost vs. benefit, and, as funding permits, implement those offering the greatest effect. The advantage of that position began to be applied just more than two years ago with the conclusion of a process considering the transfer of public parking assets to private control. The proposal was judged to be dramatically successful financially but was ultimately determined not to be in the city’s long-term interest.

Until recently, garage-based advances were not mirrored on Pittsburgh streets, where coin-operated, single-space meters remained in place, many worn and unattractive reminders of another era. Card-accepting, multi-space units managed off-street metered parking, but only a handful had been installed in curbside locations. Pittsburgh’s universal adoption of multi-space metering and its card-payment feature would have been received enthusiastically if improvements to the system ended there. But the Authority doubled down on its upgrade by being the first city in America to commit fully to a concept whose core component was pay-by license-plate technology and the many features it offers. By the end of 2015, adopted advances will include remote purchasing of additional parking time, drive-by enforcement employing plate-reading cameras, citywide coverage of pay-by-phone usage, and the introduction of dynamic pricing based on fluctuations in customer demand in locations where the concept is warranted.

The effect of these changes in the management of metered parking has been both significant and widespread. Receipts from on- and off-street spaces rose dramatically as a percentage of annual revenue totals. Card-based payments now dwarf those involving coins.

The new meters’ capacity to record detailed parking data reshaped enforcement schedules and will be central to the broad adoption of a dynamic pricing concept currently being tested. External reaction to the introduction of multi-space metering, meanwhile, tracked closely to pre-installation expectations. Less predictable was an outcome linking the system’s sleek design, operating features, and obvious investment cost of to a greater appreciation of parking as a vital public utility. But that seems to be the case. Consider public reaction to a five-year schedule of rising meter rates enacted by Pittsburgh’s City Council and the later approval of a series of annual increases in garage parking costs. Although their pocketbook impact is fully in force, response to those actions remains decidedly benign. Add statistical evidence that customer usage of metered spaces is increasingly in compliance with posted restrictions, and it is reasonable to conclude that public attitudes regarding parking services are improving.

The implications of rate hikes have been matched by the Authority’s ability to leverage their effects. A stronger financial base has increased annual spending for repairs, and maintenance ensures the continued soundness and safe operation of an aging garage network.

And it has provided flexibility to explore fiscal support to add facility upgrades to keep pace with technological advances occurring elsewhere. One grant has been obtained to install four charging stations at a downtown garage to accommodate customers with electric vehicles; another will help reduce operating costs at the authority’s largest facility by installing LED lighting throughout the structure. The organization’s reliably impressive annual financial performance has not gone unnoticed by city government. It served, in fact, as the basis for a 2014 reworking of a cooperation agreement governing revenue sharing between the two parties. As applied to Authority financial projections for 2015, payments to the city will approach $25 million—some $7 million more than the amount transferred in 2014. The authority’s management team views that sharply increased funding target as simply another performance milestone that will contribute to its organization’s stature as one of the finest in the industry.

James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP,
Parking Professional of the Year

Peter Lange
Texas A&M University, Transportation Services

As the executive director of Transportation Services at Texas A&M University, Peter Lange is responsible for providing leadership for one of the largest parking, transportation, and fleet operations on any college campus in the country. He oversees all transportation and ­parking-related functions for the university, including parking, transit, and vehicle fleet operation and maintenance. The department employs approximately 154 staff and 337 students and manages nearly 37,000 parking spaces spread throughout 138 parking lots and five parking garages.

The transit unit of the department transports an average of more than 150,000 passengers per week, on and off campus. The fleet unit leases more than 700 university-owned vehicles and operates a full maintenance facility, maintaining 1,200 vehicles and an additional 3,000 pieces of equipment. The unit also oversees fleet services for the entire A&M system. Transportation Services issues more than 40,000 student and faculty/staff parking permits each year and is responsible for the installation and maintenance of all traffic signs and markings on university streets.

The department is self-sufficient and receives income from permits, visitor parking, and violations and fines. Departments are charged for annual rental of vehicles, maintenance and repair of vehicles, fuel, and daily rental usage. The transit unit is dependent on an allocation from the student-paid University Advancement Fee and revenue from bus charters.

In addition to managing the usual day-to-day business of the department, Peter builds relationships between the Transportation Services Department and a wide variety of constituent groups, including community leaders, faculty, staff, and students. He is called upon to interact with the Cities of Bryan and College Station, Brazos County, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas A&M University System Facilities Planning and Construction Department, and Facilities Services to control effects of construction or traffic management-related work on campus and in the surrounding community. He interacts with on-campus departments to effectively manage projects and partner for the greater good of the university. Peter is recognized as an effective spokesperson regarding issues and the goals of the department, the university, and the community, and is successful in identifying and developing philanthropic, public, and constituent support for projects for the department and the university.

This year, the Professional Recognition Program Committee launched the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing individuals who have had a significant effect on the parking and transportation industry and IPI throughout their careers. For 2015, members of IPI’s Board of Directors were asked to nominate deserving individuals who epitomize the parking and transportation industry. Next year, members will be able to nominate as well.

Lifetime Achievement Awards were based on the following criteria:

  • Have served a minimum of 20 years in the parking and transportation industry.
  • Be serving in a parking and transportation position at the time the nomination is made or have retired from a parking and transportation-related position.
  • Be an active member of IPI in good standing or an individual who is retired from the parking industry after having been an IPI member.
  • Evidence of exemplary leadership as a parking and transportation leader.
  • Exemplary leadership is shown by administrative roles held, accomplishments in those roles, and recognition by peers and lay persons for significant contributions to the parking and transportation industry.
  • A record of service and leadership as a member of IPI and its affiliates. Indications of service and leadership include participation on boards, committees, task forces, publications, and presentations etc.
  • Community service.
  • Service to the profession above and beyond normal job responsibilities. This includes service to educational organizations and agencies other than IPI, as well as other significant contributions to the profession.

Larry Donoghue
Larry Donoghue Associates, Inc.

International Pioneer in Developing Parking Management Programs
A national and international pioneer in developing parking management programs, Larry Donoghue has enjoyed a parking industry career that has spanned more than 50 years. Calling himself “the oldest living parking consultant,” he has spent more than three decades in revenue-control consulting and done extensive research in revenue management. He has developed new methods of performing operational audits; cashier manuals and instructions; training in internal audit, supervisory personnel, employee conduct, and fraud detection; and programs to eliminate customer- and employee-based shrinkage. In addition, Larry has mentored and guided many industry professionals in their own parking careers.

Timothy H. Haahs
Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc.

A Visionary Promoting a Multi-modal World and Parking’s Integral Role in Community Development and Revitalization.  A visionary leader in the parking industry, Timothy H. Haahs promotes the concept of a multi-modal world in which architectural design can successfully integrate parking with community development and revitalization. Tim is an advocate for creatively integrating mixed-use and parking to better use limited space, create activity, generate foot traffic, and enhance community, believing that “parking is not about cars; it is about people.” Tim was appointed by the White House to the National Institute of Building Sciences Board of Directors. As an industry leader, he has worked to elevate the role of parking in the planning process by building awareness and integrating parking resources from the inception of a master plan.

Dorothy Harris
Assistant Deputy Manager of Aviation/
Landside Services
Denver International Airport

A Dedicated Leader in Airport Parking; Served as the IPI Conference & Expo’s Greatest Ambassador. A 27-year veteran of the parking industry, Dorothy Harris is Assistant Deputy Manager of Aviation/Landside Services at Denver International Airport. She is a past member of the IPI Board of Advisors, past Chair of its Board of Directors, and has served on its Strategic Long-Range Planning, Finance, Rules & Bylaws, Awards of Excellence, and Technology Committees. Dorothy serves as the primary IPI volunteer ambassador with the Host Committee for the annual IPI Conference & Expo, directing a strong, local volunteer base to provide a welcoming atmosphere for all attendees.

W. Douglas Holmes, CAPP
Interim Parking Manager
Borough of State College, Pa.

A Pioneer in Creating Community Within the University Parking Sector and Promoting Parking Professionalism through the CAPP Program. Doug Holmes, CAPP, recently retired as Acting Director of Transportation Services at Penn State University and is currently Interim Parking Manager at Borough of State College in Pennsylvania. He is the creator and editor of the CPARK-L parking listserv, a parking information source and clearinghouse for campus and municipal parking officials. Doug played a leading role as Chairman of the CAPP Credentialing Board in reshaping the program and making the world’s leading credential in parking even more relevant to today’s parking professionals.

Michael Swartz
Retired Managing Director, Real Estate Services, SP+

A Leader Whose Business Acumen Was Instrumental in Paving the Way for IPI to Become the Largest Parking Association in the World. Active in the parking industry for more than 30 years, Michael Swartz was Senior Vice President at SP+ Administrative Services, overseeing Standard Parking’s risk management, procurement, and corporate real estate functions. During his tenure as a director, he successfully campaigned to allow commercial operators to have Board representation. He was instrumental in developing and managing IPI’s business and financial plan as part of the association’s reorganization in 2006. His business expertise and financial acumen have played a key role in IPI’s ability to develop and expand new member programs and services.

Larry Cohen, CAPP, is executive director of the Lancaster, Pa., Parking Authority and co-chair of IPI’s Professional Recognition Committee. He can be reached at lcohen@lancasterparkingauthority.com.

Gary Means, CAPP, is executive director of the Lexington and Fayette County, Ky., Parking Authority and co-chair of IPI’s Professional Recognition Committee. He can be reached at gmeans@lexingtonky.gov.

TPP-2015-07-Shining Stars

Form and Function

TPP-2015-07-Form and FunctionBy Tracey Bruch, CAPP, and Anderson Moore

Lots of people don’t think “gorgeous” when they think “parking.” Members of IPI know they should because the parking lots and garages currently under construction and being renovated are often things of beauty, offering amenities and aesthetics to their communities and often serving as pieces of art unto their own.

The IPI Awards of Excellence showcase the very best in parking design, including both new facilities and those being renovated. It’s always a pleasure for our judges to sift through the entries, and always nearly impossible to pick the winners. Amazing parking facilities, it seems, are popping up all over the place, which spells great things for our industry and its customers.

We’re pleased to present this year’s winners, who received their awards at the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this month. It was a great year for parking, as these projects attest, and we can’t wait to see what’s ahead.

Category I—Best Design of a Parking Facility with Fewer than 800 Spaces
Philadelphia Zoo Centennial District Intermodal Facility
Philadelphia Zoo, Owning Agency
Philadelphia, Pa.

Project Participants:
SPG3, Architect
Pennoni Associates, Civil Engineer
Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc., Structural Engineer
Shoemaker Construction, General Contractor
The Remington Group
Time & Parking Control, Parking Vendor
Total cost: $24 million

When the Philadelphia Zoo decided to construct a new intermodal transportation center to its popular campus, no vanilla box would do. The final $24 million project benefits visitors, neighboring properties, and surrounding communities in a way that’s stunningly beautiful.

America’s oldest zoo attracts more than 1 million visitors every year, and its new Centennial District Intermodal Transportation Center includes 683 parking spaces, a plaza space that connects the garage and sidewalks to the zoo, and a colorful, animal-themed mural that faces Amtrak rail tracks. Designed with the future growth and redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood in mind, the project serves as a catalyst for revitalization while improving pedestrian safety.

The precast facility includes two-way, 90-degree parking throughout. Zoo patrons and visitors to the surrounding community can purchase parking tickets online, pay at the zoo box office, or pay via credit card at the entry/exit gates. The facility is located in the northeastern U.S., making it vulnerable to weather extremes, significant amounts of rain and snow, and exposure to road salt. The design team incorporated a number of provisions to maintain the structure’s durability, including high-strength concrete with low-water-to-cement ratios to reduce permeability; corrosion inhibitor admixture in the concrete; and hosebibs to facilitate spring washdowns of road salt carried in during winter.

Inside, a creative wayfinding system of colorful column and wall wraps feature a different animal theme on each level. Security features include cameras at each stair location and glass elevator and stair towers that provide views from the sidewalk and street. A unique design features a pedestrian ramp along the outside of the garage that caters to families with small children and strollers and offers a more convenient path from parking to the sidewalk than elevators or stairs.

Being a zoo property, the new center watches out for birds and includes stair tower glazing that incorporates patterns that keep feathered animals from flying into the glass. At present, the zoo is advocating for a passenger train stop that would re-introduce a service that served the zoo until the 1940s.

Category II—Best Design of a Parking Facility with 800 or More Spaces
American River College Parking Structure
Los Rios Community College District, Owning Agency
Sacramento, Calif.

Project Participants:
Watry Design, Inc., Architect-of-Record & Structural Engineer
Webcor Builders, Contractor
American River College
Fuhrman Leamy Land Group, Landscape Architect
Sandis, Civil Engineer
GNU, Environmental Graphics & Architectural Signage
ACCO, Mechanical Engineer
Rosendin, Electrical Engineer
Total cost: $25.9 million

American River College didn’t want its new garage to look like a garage, but instead, hoped it would tie in with its surroundings. It definitely does, blending 1,724 parking spaces with a safe passage of travel for thousands of pedestrians via a path and bridge and a grand stair that’s quickly become a campus icon. Garage artwork features college athletic stars in action on large fabric panels that relate the structure to the adjacent athletic center.

This four-bay, five-level structure features accessible parking on all floors, mostly 90-degree-parking, and interior park-on ramps. It also offers low-maintenance features, such as decks that are sloped on all levels for drainage, drought-tolerant plants, and security features that include glass-backed elevators and an interior that’s free of shear walls. A roundabout allows a significant amount of traffic to intuitively access the structure along with two other lots, and grading and landscaping guide pedestrians to their destinations. Fluorescent lighting with sensors is used throughout the structure.

Two public plazas, one at the base of the grand stair and another at the entrance to the football stadium, offer natural and vibrant gathering places for students and visitors; they also serve as natural wayfinding features. Twelve tennis courts that were displaced by structure construction were reconstructed nearby. Signage outside and inside directs drivers to parking and different destinations outside the garage.

The original design called for a deep precast concrete pile foundation, but the design/build team developed an alternate system of rammed aggregate piers that saved approximately $500,000 and three weeks of construction time. Future plans for the structure include 49,400 square feet of photovoltaic panels on the top level.

Category III—Best Design/Implementation of a Surface Parking Lot
3885 Yonge Street (Jolly Miller)
Green P+
Toronto Parking Authority, Owner & Project Manager
Toronto, Ontario Canada

Project Participants:
Councillor Jaye Robinson
York Mills Valley Association
Marton Smith Landscape Architect Inc., Landscape Architect
Mopal Construction, Contractor
Parks, Forestry and Recreation, City of Toronto
Total cost: $706,000

Originally opened in 1997 as a 262-space surface parking lot, the Toronto Parking Authority’s (TPA’s) Carpark #414 was recently redeveloped into a 129-space parking facility combined with a new municipal public park. Although the project meant losing some parking spaces, the redevelopment resulted in a net gain of an environmentally rehabilitated public green space while still maintaining an important parking facility.

The new Jolly Miller Park, named after the iconic Jolly Miller Tavern, features a miller’s cottage ruin that reflects the milling heritage of Hogg’s Hollow and the cottages that once surrounded the West Don River. Renovation of the parking lot meant environmental, maintenance, and technology upgrades that benefit users and the community.

Two pay-and-display machines with online credit card and cash payment systems were installed, along with a plethora of high-efficiency safety lighting with sensors and electrical panels that can accommodate electric vehicle chargers later on. In addition, the property is regularly patrolled by security personnel. The lot incorporates a continuous loop design with 90-degree spaces and ingress and egress lanes separated by a curbed island.

Central to the redevelopment is the cottage, which consists of a number of seatwalls designed to look like the ruins of a miller’s cottage; it was built with locally sourced stone and reclaimed lumber. The paving and plant material palette visually connects the parkland to the parking facility while canopy trees shade parking and pedestrian areas. All plant materials were chosen for drought and salt tolerance, and native species were used whenever possible.

Non-illuminated signage directs drivers from adjacent streets. A continuous raised pedestrian connection connects the city sidewalk with the park, and accessible trail connections link the park with a municipal trail network.
Surface materials include locally sourced natural flagstone and high-albedo pavers. A bioswale manages stormwater runoff. The tree planting layout was designed to reduce urban heat island effect, and the completed project has been met with praise from the local community.

Category IV—Innovation in a Parking Operation or Program
City of Las Vegas Parking Services
City of Las Vegas, Owning Agency
Las Vegas, Nev.

Total cost: Less than $4 million

The City of Las Vegas’ Parking Services Division almost didn’t exist after a recession hit and a concession RFP was issued that offered up the entire parking system for purchase to the highest bidder in 2010. Today, the parking operation is an essential part of the city’s government and is known for its innovative operation, entrepreneurial spirit, and can-do philosophy.

Parking Services transformed from a disjointed operation that used obsolete technology with employees spread out though five different city departments into a well-run organization under the Department of Economic and Urban Development. It is responsible for all existing parking assets, development of new assets, third-party contracts, special event coordination, and private development consulting and negotiation.

All city meters were replaced and upgraded in 2013, and a new online RV permit program was launched that permanently solved a decades-old controversy and eliminated all complaints in that area. Another new program established advance scheduling and offers ­real-time occupancy of designated food truck spaces using parking meter data and a custom mobile app.

The division now has 13 different integrated pieces of software enabled, including meters, PARCs, citation issuance, license plate recognition, billing, collections, DMV interfaces with three states, and accounting.
On the operations side, the division took a huge risk by expanding its responsibilities to include staffing and traffic control for events. The city was in danger of defaulting on a 99-year parking agreement guaranteeing The
Smith Center for the Performing Arts a minimum of 1,200 parking spaces for every event. It was short by about 100 spaces. The division stepped up and offered to become parking operator until the additional 100 spaces were available. The division staffed more than 150 events in the first year, converting streets into parking lots, reversing traffic flow on public streets to speed up load-in and load-out rates, and directing traffic in both the parking lots and on the streets. Appreciation for these efforts went viral and spread, and the division began filing requests for help on all fronts. Currently, it is the largest third-party parking operator in the Las Vegas Valley.

The division also has what may be the most comprehensive database of parking facilities and data of any municipality. It hand-counted every parking space in the downtown area, down to the spaces striped at gas stations. Each parking facility has information such as owner, use, rates, availability to the public, contact information, etc. The data were converted to a GIS map with several layers and are available to the public, developers, real estate brokers, and others for use in analysis. The division continues to maintain that database to ensure accurate information.

Category V—Best Parking Facility Rehabilitation or Restoration
Helix on Main Parking Structure

Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority, Owning Agency
Lexington, Ky.

Project Participants:
RAM Construction Services, Restoration General Contractor
Scheidt & Bachmann USA, Parking Vendor
Pohl Rosa Pohl Architecture + Design, Design Architect
Vincent Lighting Systems, Design Consultant
Randy Walker Electric, Contractor
National Lighting Services, Contractor
ProCLAD, Contractor
Image360, Environmental Graphics & Architectural Signage
Walter P Moore, Structural Engineer-of-Record
Total cost: $4 million

Historic buildings are often repaired to preserve them for future generations. However, not much attention has been paid to renovate and revitalize historic garages to make them part of the next generation.

Helix Parking Structure, a 40-year-old structure located between two government buildings in Lexington, Ky., was experiencing serious distress and deterioration. Options included demolishing it, replacing it, or repairing it. An analytical engineering study and subsequent action plan that involved multiple government bodies led to a renovation project that incorporated significant structural and waterproofing repairs, lighting upgrades, signage enhancement, PARCS replacement, and exterior revitalization.

The garage remained open during early repair phases and was closed later on; drivers were directed to temporary parking elsewhere. Constant communication, including weekly production meetings and regular conference calls, kept everyone involved on track with construction quality, project schedule, and work coordination. An engineer conducted routine site visits, and the garage’s owner engaged an independent lab for materials testing.

Two repair options were designed for the slab helix ramp, and non-typical repair solutions were designed to repair concrete beams without reducing headroom. New PARCS included the addition of real-time space availability information on LED counters outside garage entrances, and a single exit “choke point” was converted to three lanes without a cashier booth, taking what was a long queue down to nothing. New signs and graphics significantly enhanced the user experience.

Outside, waterproofing coatings, a stainless steel panel system, and programmable LED lights transformed the garage into a dynamic element of the downtown fabric. Energy-efficient fluorescent lighting with daylight and motion sensors helped improve visibility and resulted in energy savings of nearly 50 percent. ADA spaces were respired in a new layout that created a safer and more friendly user environment. Finally, a major operational upgrade was implementing 24/7 operations, offering more reliable service to customers and a revenue increase.

Category VI—Award for New Sustainable Parking & Transportation Facilities Excellence
Parking Garage Enhanced/Sustainable LED Lighting

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Owning Agency
Washington, D.C.

Project Partcipants:
Rachel Healy, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Principal Sustainability Advisor
Total cost: $20 million, entirely funded by cost savings from sustainability

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) established targets for reducing energy use per vehicle mile by 15 percent by 2025 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent per vehicle mile by 2025. This project replaced ­WMATA-owned-and-maintained high-pressure sodium light fixtures with new enhanced energy-efficient LED light fixtures with centralized lighting controls.

In 2014, Metro awarded a performance-based contract that resulted in the replacement of more than 13,000 high-pressure sodium lights in its 24 parking garages; Philips Lighting replaced that lighting with LED options that create a brighter environment, use less electricity, and cost less. They respond to the environment by automatically becoming brighter or dimmer in response to motion or ambient lighting.

This was WMATA’s first major initiative toward achieving its goals, and the contract is funded entirely through guaranteed energy savings of 68 percent, or $1.5 million per year at current energy pricing. WMATA received more than $20 million in lighting equipment and technology and 10 years of operational maintenance at no cost, through an innovative procurement strategy to fund sustainable projects from ­project-generated savings.

This project will save WMATA more than 15M KWh in energy per year, reducing carbon emissions by the equivalent of 140 tanker trucks of gasoline annually. With improved lighting, modernized equipment, routine maintenance, and a nearly 0 percent outage rate, the customer experience has been improved, supporting efforts to improve the transit experience and maximize regional mobility and transit ridership. The project has been instrumental in illustrating how WMATA can control energy and that sustainable investments are a great way to affect the agency’s operating costs while reducing exposure to energy cost increases. It has paved the way for more contracts to come, and WMATA has already identified several opportunities to build on its precedent to drive cost savings through sustainability. As an ancillary benefit, the performance of existing security cameras is improving as a result of the higher-quality light.

Category VII—Award for Architectural Achievement
Oklahoma City Arts District Garage
Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority, Owning Agency
Oklahoma City, Ok.

Project Participants:
TAP Architecture, Architect-of-Record & Architect
Desman Associates, Structural Engineer-of-Record
Zahl-Ford, Structural Engineer
Cardinal Engineering, Civil Engineer-of-Record
Alvine Engineering, Mechanical Engineer & Electrical Engineer-of-Record
Flintco, General Contractor
TEC, Traffic Engineer
Total cost: $22.5 million

Situated in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Arts District, this new 10-story, mixed-use parking facility provides convenience and flexibility to its users throughout the day and night. The garage provides 837 new parking spaces to the downtown and relieves parking pressure for transient and monthly parkers. Its central location provides easy access to many cultural amenities and local businesses.

The garage blends parking with approximately 20,000 square feet of office and retail in a highly pedestrian environment while complementing the architectural character of the Arts District. The garage utilizes a long span, cast-in-place, post-tensioned concrete structure with a minimum number of joints and non-­exposed metals. To obtain longer service life, the design team implemented additional corrosion protection measures not normally found in parking structures. The design of these protection systems is based on performance and life cycle cost-benefit analysis and features the use of separation/isolation joints, performance-based concrete, epoxy-coated reinforcement, totally encapsulated extruded mono-strand tendons, a Silane sealer on the parking deck, a traffic-­bearing membrane, and a washdown system for each floor.

The building’s design is influenced by neighboring historic buildings in the Arts District, including the City of Oklahoma City Municipal Building, Oklahoma County Courthouse, and the Civic Center Music Hall, which feature art deco architectural details, including vertical ornamental metal grilles. Vertical glass panels on the garage mimic the significant vertical panels on these three historic buildings. Additionally, the brightly colored laminated glass on these panels pay homage to the iconic art glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly located in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s atrium.

The garage features LED lighting for brightness and energy efficiency, creating a safe and welcoming environment for its users. Exterior lighting is used to highlight the unique character of each building material: concrete, metal fabric, granite, and glass.

The brightly colored laminated glass featured in the vertical glass panels of the garage serves as a visual cue to users and helps identify the various parking levels. Design of signage and wayfinding systems throughout the garage, including the elevator lobbies and stair towers, is influenced by the colored glass panels. The garage features a public art installation (“Discussion about the Weather”) in the pedestrian concourse.

The Arts District Parking Garage is critical to sustaining business growth downtown. Current public and private parking systems are full to the point that existing companies aren’t able to grow and expand their workforces. Furthermore, the parking facility is designed for a future three-story residential building to be added above the garage. The Level 10 parking area is designed to function as nested residential parking after the residential building is added. This new parking garage could be considered an important economic development tool for Downtown Oklahoma City.

Tracey Bruch, CAPP, is manager, municipal assets with SP+ South Division and co-chair of IPI’s Awards of Excellence Committee. She can be reached at tbruch@spplus.com.

Anderson Moore is vice president of operations with Duncan Solutions, Inc., and co-chair of IPI’s Awards of Excellence Committee. He can be reached at amoore@duncansolutions.com.

TPP-2015-07-Form and Function

National Guidelines A Green Idea

TPP-2015-07-National Guidelines A Green IdeaBy Paul Wessel

I was struck when reading “In Sickness and In Health,” Christina Onesirosan Martinez’s April Parking Matters® Blog (blog.parking.org) post, that Britain’s Department of Health had issued comprehensive parking guidelines.

It’s hard to imagine the U.S. National Institutes of Health or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services doing such a thing, but the premier British health agency issued a 60-page document—the ruggedly titled “Health Technical Memorandum 07-03—NHS (National Health Service) car-parking management: environment and sustainability.”

It turns out to be an extraordinary publication addressing how much parking matters to successfully delivering health care services, while pointing to the importance of “sustainable transport.” Finding that 90 percent of its visitors had trouble either finding a space or finding their way around a health care facility garage, the Department of Health recognized:

Worry, concern, and unnecessary stress should be removed wherever possible. Measures to assist with this include:

  • Maintaining safety throughout the NHS site.
  • Avoiding any confusing messages and signage.
  • Giving detailed information relating to parking, including where to park and how much it will cost to park.
  • Listening to feedback.
  • —Implementing measures in NHS car parks that can remove worry, concern, and stress for patients and visitors.

Sustainable transport measures are also discussed in detail to highlight the methods that NHS organizations can implement to reduce dependency on single-­occupancy cars and car-park demand, which is often at, or over, maximum capacity.

As most of us know, Britain has a national health care system born out of the devastation of World War II. The U.K’s Department of Health has jurisdiction over the NHS. Maybe given that for almost 70 years it’s been running a vertically integrated health system for 64 million citizens, it makes sense that the department would have both the desire and ability to focus on the relationship of parking to health care.

What it produced is a guidance tool that identifies “best practice in car-park management and sustainable transport in order to improve the patient and visitor experience and support staff on their journeys to and from work.” The report depicts “a number of measures that have been used by NHS organizations to reduce the demand on parking and promote better use of car-parks on NHS sites,” breaking them down into three categories: sustainable transport; car park management; and car park equipment.

Among the recommendations:

Management matters: “Car-park management plays a crucial part in the successful running of an NHS organisation. Without the appropriate car-park management, the patient and visitor experience will be poor.”

Planning matters: “Sites are encouraged to produce travel plans outlining measures to reduce reliance on the car as a means of getting to work and instead promotes healthier and more environmentally-friendly methods such as cycling or walking.”

Partnerships matter: “Generally speaking, car-parks that demonstrate best practice, whether in the NHS or in other organisations, are those where the lead organisation managing the car-park has formed partnerships with other companies that work in the parking industry, such as trade bodies and operators.”

Pricing to market matters: “Only 30 percent of NHS organisations have carried out a revenue impact assessment on parking charges following on from surveys carried out.”

Integration with transit matters: “Liaison between NHS organizations and public transport providers is recommended to ensure that appropriate services are provided.”

One of the primary tenets of sustainability is the recognition that we are all connected, that our actions have ripple effects far beyond us. This awareness, demonstrated clearly by NHS, will be good for people and the planet.

Paul Wessel is executive director of the Green Parking Council. He can be reached at paul@greenparkingcouncil.org.

TPP-2015-07-National Guidelines A Green Idea

Autonomous Vehicles and Parking

TPP-2015-07-Autonomous Vehicles and ParkingBy Mike Robertson

Slightly more than 100 years ago, our daily transportation mode began to shift from horsepower (the literal kind) to the internal combustion engine, ultimately providing us with the freedom to travel in a way that could not have been imagined. Self-driving vehicles (or autonomous vehicles) have the potential to spur a similar transformation in the (maybe not-too-distant) future.

Those currently touting these vehicles promise reduced traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, increased safety, and increased independence for those who cannot legally operate a vehicle (e.g., legally blind). However, the transition to fully self-driving cars is expected to be gradual as increasingly proficient systems assume responsibility for various functions over time.

As our society attempts to move toward autonomous vehicles, we need to start thinking about how the autonomous vehicle may affect our clients’ infrastructure, current and future investments, and parking operations in the next five, 10, and even 50 years. I know some people want to dismiss the idea of autonomous vehicles being ubiquitous in the next few years, but as parking professionals, we need to consider and plan for the effects of autonomous vehicles. This is especially true for those of us who plan for and design parking structures that will still be in use in 30, 40, or 50 years.

Looking into the Crystal Ball

  • What do parking professionals need to consider?
  • Will we have nesting areas to separate human drivers from autonomous vehicles?
  • Will the use of autonomous vehicles decrease the need for parking spaces close to a destination?
  • Will parking structures require more intensive technology infrastructures?
  • If autonomous vehicles drop off passengers at their destinations, will future parking be located farther from the city core?
  • Should we contemplate designing parking structures for future conversion to other land uses as demand actually decreases?
  • What services will the autonomous vehicle require (electric chargers, etc.)? Will these charges be plug-in, wireless inductive, or some other technology?
  • Will there need to be staging/drop-off areas in or around the parking structure so passengers can unload before the vehicle parks itself?
  • If a garage is completely used by autonomous vehicles, should elevators and stairwells be eliminated from the design? What about lighting levels?
  • Can the stall width be smaller for autonomous vehicles?
  • What payment technologies will be used to allow transient autonomous vehicles to utilize any garage or surface lot without needing to pull a ticket or use a pay station?

I am certain some of our challenges will not even be evident until after autonomous vehicles are more prevalent in our lives.

Let’s Be Leaders
As with any major transportation shift, there will be many debates, conflicting opinions, and challenges created by the complexity, utility, security, and reliability inherent in such a major shift. Also, it is very likely that the reality of these four issues will extend the actual implementation of certain types of autonomous vehicles. However, as the debate continues we must begin the process of trying to separate reality from hype and start the planning process. We cannot afford to wait until autonomous vehicles are more common to start planning for their arrival. As industry leaders, now is the best time to pull together to envision and plan for the future of parking. Let us claim our seat at the table and demonstrate that we are the thought leaders for the future of parking.

Mike Robertson is managing principal of Walker Parking Consultants/Walker Restoration Consultants and a member of IPI’s Consultants Committee. He can be reached at mike.robertson@walkerparking.com.

TPP-2015-07-Autonomous Vehicles and Parking