Tag Archives: TPP-2015-08

VEEP: Evaluating Ventilation Efficiency


tpp-2016-03-case-study-maintenance-planningBy Frank Nagle

While most, if not all, subscribers to The Parking Professional magazine are well aware of the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) campaign, it’s a safe bet they’ve never heard of Ventilation Energy Efficiency in Parking (VEEP). Consider this, then, a first step in heralding the benefits of a proposed and valuable program for parking industry members.

Much like LEEP, the the VEEP campaign would recognize and guide commercial property owners to enable commercial property owners and managers to take advantage of savings opportunities from high efficiency ventilation solutions in their parking facilities.

The Foundation
Research conducted by Nagle Energy Solutions (NES) and delivered to the U.S. Department of Energy and the LEEP Campaign organizers makes a compelling case for auditing and potentially upgrading mechanical ventilation systems in parking facilities. The information verified that along with lighting, mechanical ventilation systems are a significant source of energy consumption and operational costs for an enclosed, commercial garage.

Commercial garage owners and operators must adhere to the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) requirement to continuously ventilate their properties during occupied hours, except when they deploy sensor-based means of control. For a garage without a sensor-based system, that means up to two-thirds of its monthly or annual utility bill can be
dedicated to ventilating the garage, with the remaining one-third spent on lighting and other systems.

Several recent case studies illustrate that new and innovative ventilation-control technology is capable of reducing not only the garage ventilation system’s kilowatt- hour (kWh) consumption and peak kilowatt (kW) demand by up to 97 percent but an entire commercial property’s energy consumption by as much as 45 percent.

Case Study
To place this in real terms, consider the example of the Main Street Cupertino development, a mixed-use neighborhood in the heart of Silicon Valley with a 1,370-space garage.

Detailed calculations at the time of the garage’s construction revealed that with no means of control in place and running on a 24/7 basis, the garage ventilation system would consume approximately 527,000 kWh per year, with a correlating peak kW demand greater than 60 kW. At a utility rate of $0.205 per kWh, the developer’s annual cost to ventilate the garage would amount to slightly more than $108,000 (or $9,000 per month).

Yet with contemporary garage ventilation technology controlling continuous ventilation of the Main Street garage, annual kWh consumption was reduced by 500,559 kWh and peak kW demand by 58.59 kW. That’s a 97.4 percent savings. As a result, annual utility fees for ventilating the space have been limited to roughly $5,400—the equivalent of reducing energy costs by more than $102,500 a year (or by $8,500 per month).

Consideration is being given to aligning VEEP with the LEEP campaign, but given that it’s in the development stage, it’s too early to know in what form or manner.

IPI members attending the IPI Conference & Expo in Nashville, Tenn., in May (IPIConference.parking.org) can attend a presentation further outlining new garage ventilation technology systems that provide a smarter, more capable, and adaptable means for ventilating commercial garages.

FRANK NAGLE is president of Nagle Energy Solutions and a member of IPI’s Sustainability
Committee. He can be reached at frank@nagle-energy.com.

TPP-2016-03 VEEP: Evaluating Ventilation Efficiency


Preventative Maintenance is the Original Sustainability

preventative-maintenance-is-the-original-sustainabilityBy Mike Mitchell

As a manufacturer of protective coatings and preventive maintenance products, I might be accused by some readers of having a biased opinion. While that’s very much true, I can also make the case that protecting your existing parking facilities is the most sustainable and greenest option available.

I’m going to focus primarily on surface parking (as that is the world I live in on a daily basis), but the concept transfers well to parking structures, on-street parking, signage, etc. Let me start by putting a few facts on the table:

  • Asphalt is the single most recycled/reused material on the planet; the Federal Highway Administration says approximately 99 percent of asphalt is recycled.
  • The average cost to tear out and replace a 15-year old asphalt parking lot is $39.07 per square yard, according to the Asphalt Institute.
  • The average cost to perform preventive maintenance for 15 years on an asphalt parking lot is $23.84 per square yard, says the Asphalt Institute. In addition, the parking lot will be in good condition for years to come (as long as preventive maintenance is continued).

Certain aspects of facility management have great ROI stories. For example, replacing or retrofitting an old lighting system with an energy-efficient system can have a payback period of two years or less. Additionally, making the lighting switch is good for the environment. Similarly, garage ventilation upgrades can significantly lower your energy consumption and provide a 94 percent decrease in monthly costs. In those instances, replacing an old system is the greenest option available. But before the technological advances were made that offered those results, the systems required preventive maintenance to maintain operating efficiencies. In the ventilation example
you would change the filters, check the condition of sensors, and maintain the air handlers.

While there have been technological advances in the construction of surface lots, parking structures, signage, etc., earlier numbers from the asphalt industry show a direct savings in the maintenance of parking facilities. Very few studies have been done comparing the carbon footprint difference in maintaining vs. replacing asphalt surfaces, but one study done in the U.K. shows a 95 percent reduction in carbon footprint in the application
of preventive maintenance surface treatments. In lieu of additional studies, empirical data would seemingly confirm the U.K. study, as the energy needed to remove, manufacture, and construct a parking lot/parking structure is significantly higher.

Going back to the numbers from the Asphalt Institute for a second, the life-cycle cost savings of preventive maintenance should not be ignored. During the course of 15 years, every 400 parking spaces that are maintained provide a savings of $357,000. That $357,000 doesn’t even account for the fact that your savings will continue forward as preventive maintenance keeps your facility in good working condition. An additional consideration is
that the $357,000 in savings could be allocated for additional green projects (lighting, ticketing, smart meters, ventilation), which would double down on reducing the
carbon footprint of your facility.

Ted Mattingly, CFM, director of facilities and administration services for The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), writes, “A preventive maintenance program can help you plan away at least 75 percent of your typical problems and 90 to 95 percent of your critical component issues.” He continues, “Preventive maintenance programs are also a central factor in reducing overall energy consumption in an organization,  further emphasizing its importance as a key component in sustainable practices.”

What Ted is saying is that the systems in a facility are most efficient when they are Maintained in a way that keeps them in proper working condition. Of course, as with any program, the data should be tracked and measured to ensure you are getting the right bang for your buck.

Parking professionals should continue to put preventive maintenance at the top of their priority list. It is easy for any of us to get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations and the necessity to put out fires, but a preventive maintenance plan that is properly implemented
will have a direct impact on both your bottom line and sustainability initiatives. It is easy to overlook the boring side of your parking assets (asphalt, concrete, signage, etc.) and focus on the sexy projects (LED lights, solar, etc.), but there is a need for both in a comprehensive sustainability program.

MIKE MITCHELL is product development manager with Vance Brothers, Inc., and a member of
IPI’s Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at memitchell@vancebrothers.com.


Up for the Challenge

TPP-2015-08-Up for the ChallengeBy David Hill, MA, CAPP, CD

Those of us approaching middle age are fortunate to have seen many firsts in our lives—first computer microchip, first mobile phone, first email message, first solar-powered airplane. I remember the first man on the moon; as a kid, I was glued to the television while Neil Armstrong announced his “small step for man and giant leap for mankind.“ While Neil was actually the one dropping off the ladder, the magnitude of collective effort and the scale of the accomplishment was glorious to be part of, even for one small spectator who was allowed to stay up much too late.

We are not often called upon to contribute to such an effort. These opportunities to utterly change and irrevocably elevate the way we view ourselves, our world, and our mission only come at key moments in our history. Our environment must say to us, “Evolve and adapt or be consumed.”

A Watershed Moment
Such a moment has arrived for the parking industry. As we continue to integrate parking business and operational activities more deeply into Smart City or other information-based complete mobility solutions, we are forced to more clearly and sharply define our role and contribution and voice our values and accomplishments so we are not consumed. As parking professionals, if we do not raise the bar for ourselves and our organizations, it will be done by others and we will ultimately lose most of the credibility and influence we have gained during the past 30 years.

The IPI Board of Directors identified this as a challenge at the 2011 IPI Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh and set about organizing a response. As Neil Armstrong was not available, the Board established a volunteer committee to investigate and propose a program for standards accreditation of parking organizations that would be applicable in our own North American environment, as well as for other parking industry organizational environments around the world.

The Accredited Parking Organization (APO) program was envisaged to link with the renewed CAPP certification for individual accomplishment and would catalogue and codify current industry best practices so they could be taught in CAPP classes and close the loop in our professional education and recognition program. The initial committee members comprised a group of recognized and passionate deep thinkers in the industry: Dennis Burns, CAPP; Casey Jones, CAPP; Barbara Chance; Max Clark; Mike Drow, CAPP; Lee Bourque; Rachel Yoka, CAPP; and Vanessa Solesbee. David Feehan represented a solid stakeholder’s opinion, and I was asked to bring an international viewpoint (my committee members also hoped I would pay for lunch). Christine Stewart and Anne Guest joined the team in 2013.

The Board of Directors made it clear that this was to be no one-way trip to Mars. The Accreditation Committee was expected to boldly do what no one had done before: return with a product that could be rolled out to the entire industry and get it done within its five-year mission mandate.

The composition of the team was key to getting the job done. All seasoned professionals with individual skills and accomplishments in the industry, the group took some time to gel. As with any launch into the unknown, it was rather shaky and uncomfortable at times and loud and scary at others, but once we gained enough latitude to see the big picture—the key elements of practice and creativity that make our industry unique—we stabilized around a concept and means of delivery that could be equally applied to industry scope from airports to medical centers and to scale from enforcement to real estate investment, and we achieved the developmental equilibrium that allowed us to make headway.

Working as volunteers, progress was slow but hurried along as we made more opportunities to collaborate. The committee achieved several breakthroughs at last year’s IPI Conference in Dallas and moved toward a draft accreditation program concept. By summer, the draft was suitable for beta testing and several IPI stalwart organizations stepped up to the plate. The intrepid Beta Bunch—City of Missoula, Cornell University, City of Houston, University of Washington, and Miami Parking Authority—provided their time, patience, and cooperation while the committee worked through themes and theories and applied practical content to real-world best practices.

The result, which launched at the 2015 IPI Conference in June, is a combination of self-audit checklist and physical site review that ensures that each accredited organization stands in the top 30 percent of our industry; it also provides a special recognition for those in the top 5 percent. Recognition is given within the industry and is also significantly targeted at stakeholders and the general public, with the goal of educating average people to the level of facility and service quality they should expect for their parking dollar. Over time, the Accredited Parking Organization designation will raise the bar to ensure continuing relevance and growth for parking professionals around the world.

APO is a reality. The only question is are you up for the challenge? Answer that at parking.org/apo.➜

Cornell University Department of Transportation and Mail Services
Cornell University’s Department of Transportation and Mail Services provides leadership in developing and implementing comprehensive, economical, flexible, efficient, and sustainable programs to facilitate the movement of people, vehicles, mail, and packages.

Cornell is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner and encourages low-impact travel whenever possible. Transportation Services supports the university’s sustainability goals by offering and encouraging alternatives to the single-occupant vehicle through the employment of transportation demand management strategies, promotion of active transportation, and generous access to public transit.

The department recently hosted the inaugural Ivy Plus Transportation Conference (see p. 16 for more) and became the first university to achieve Green Garage Certification for the Forest Home Garage.

Miami Parking Authority

The Miami Parking Authority (MPA) manages and operates affordable and convenient parking facilities in the City of Miami. It manages more than 31,000 parking spaces and provides parking for approximately 6 million vehicles every year. MPA is one of the largest municipal parking authorities in the country and is highly regarded in the parking industry as a leader and innovator.

The authority was created in 1955 by a special act of the Florida Legislature and incorporated into the City of Miami Charter in 1968. It is a semi-autonomous agency, fully self-funded, and receives no property tax support.

MPA’s mission is to meet the community’s parking needs by working in partnership with and being responsible to internal and external customers by continually and measurably improving performance and striving for excellence in all aspects of the businss.

MPA’s planners, working closely with city officials and private developers, have built and proposed a number of developments that bring new life to neighborhoods. These developments and the revenue they generate support public safety, drive consumer and commercial traffic into business districts, enhance development programs, and add to Miami’s quality of life.

Missoula Parking Commission
The Missoula Parking Commission (MPC) is located in Missoula, Mont., a cultural hub in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West and home to the University of Montana and its 15,000 students. With a population of 80,000, Missoula is home to one of the most vibrant and diverse downtowns in the Pacific Northwest.

Since 1971, MPC has been a leader in supporting downtown Missoula’s vibrancy and securing future economic development opportunities through quality parking management. With the mission to work with government, businesses, and citizens to provide and manage parking and parking alternatives, the MPC identifies and responds to changing parking needs and opportunities. Functioning as an enterprise fund, the MPC is governed by a five-member board of directors appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council.

Under the leadership of Anne Guest for 23 years, MPC is a comprehensive parking program that includes administration, enforcement, collections, and maintenance. With 12 employees, MPC manages approximately 1,100 on-street metered spaces and 1,275 off-street parking spaces in 12 lease lots and operates three parking structures that offer both short- and long-term parking. Its jurisdiction extends beyond the central business district and includes a residential parking permit program adjacent to the University of Montana.

MPC’s Park Place parking structure received the 2014 IPI Award of Excellence for Architectural Achievement, and Parking Enforcement Officer Cyndie Winchell received the 2009 IPI Parking Staff Member of the Year Award for her outstanding service.

City of Houston Parking Management Division
The City of Houston Parking Management Division (PMD) strives to develop a superior, customer-oriented parking system, responding to the current and future needs of the citizens, visitors, employers, and property owners. Through active planning, management, community partnerships, and communication, the division collaborates with stakeholders to make parking a seamless transition to the customer’s ultimate destination. Its parking programs provide customized management plans and services unique to each urban area, business district. and neighborhood.

As a division of the administration and regulatory affairs department, PMD services and maintains more than 9,200 on-street parking spaces and 19 parking facilities. PMD partners with other city departments to create sound, data-driven regulations for all commercial and residential areas to enhance pedestrian safety, support mobility, and ensure that emergency vehicles reach their destinations.The division actively works to raise awareness of parking safety while supporting public transit initiatives.

As a solution-focused partner, PMD supports the City of Houston’s economic development goals by providing superior customer service, investing in cutting-edge technologies, and building active partnerships with diverse stakeholder groups from across Houston. Its vision is to establish a premier municipal parking organization for the greater Houston area.

University of Washington Transportation Services
Acknowledging its role as a vital first impression for visitors, employees, and students arriving at the University of Washington campus, Transportation Services (TS) is dedicated to providing customers an exceptional experience and a lasting impression of Husky hospitality. The department provides clean, safe, and convenient parking resources, as well as services that make other modes of travel to campus—transit, walking, and biking—easier and more cost-effective options for members of the UW community with varying needs.

TS is an evolving organization comprised of closely linked work groups that include shuttles, fleet, parking and parking maintenance, enforcement, sales, and commute options. All are united in a shared mission to provide innovative and sustainable transportation solutions that facilitate the educational, research, cultural, and service missions of our university.

The department’s vision is to be the provider of choice for its customers and to serve as a model of excellence for our industry.

David Hill, MA, CAPP, CD, is CEO of Clayton Hill Associates and chair of IPI’s Accreditation Committee. He can be reached at david@clayton-hill.com.

TPP-2015-08-Up for the Challenge

IPI’s Parking Matters Program Turns 5

TPP-2015-08-IPI's Parking Matters Program Turns 5By Michele Ostrove

Anyone who has been in the parking industry for more than five years has witnessed some profound changes, but perhaps none more remarkable than the the way it is regarded by others. As the International Parking Institute’s (IPI’s) 2015 Emerging Trends in Parking survey recently confirmed, nearly half of the parking professionals polled feel that these past five years have seen an improvement in others’ perceptions of the industry.

It certainly is no wonder, given that some of the world’s most powerful media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and CNN, and highly influential trade media are now conveying overwhelmingly positive messages about parking. When an NPR reporter says, “The parking industry tries to make your life easier by helping drivers get in and out of spaces as conveniently as possible,” anyone who’s been around for more than a few years knows that the industry wasn’t always viewed that way.

At least some of the credit for this extraordinary turnaround goes to Parking Matters®, IPI’s ­industry-wide public relations and marketing program to improve industry perceptions, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.

By the late 2000s, the industry had long been struggling with an undeserved image problem. “When I was first being interviewed for a position with IPI, I was astonished at how complex and important parking was, yet the people working in the field got no credit for the enormous responsibility they shoulder and the expertise they need to be successful,” says IPI Executive Director Shawn Conrad, CAE, who came on board in 2008. “There was a major disconnect between the incredible work being done and the negative views people had of the industry. We hadn’t yet found a cohesive and comprehensive way to convey the expertise and all the many positive changes taking place.”

Conrad encouraged IPI’s Board members to take a leap of faith and tackle its image head-on with a multi-faceted public relations program. He tapped colleague Helen Sullivan, who developed similar successful programs for other industries, to share her experiences with IPI’s Board members and lay the groundwork for a positive parking program. “We had an enormous hill to climb,” says Conrad, “but I was confident we would be able to make inroads in changing people’s impressions.”

Parking Matters began with a document Sullivan likes to call the “Manifesto,” outlining a number of ambitious, long-term PR goals: to educate and increase awareness about the value of parking professionals among influential target audiences who could most benefit the industry, to generate positive media messages to change public perceptions, and to help those in the industry appreciate the value of their profession and attract people to the field.

“It is so rewarding to see just how much already has come to fruition,” says Sullivan, who has directed the program since its official adoption in 2010. “I’ll be the first one to acknowledge we have a long way to go, but we have accomplished a great deal of what we wanted in this first phase plus a few things we thought were pretty ‘blue sky’ at the time. It just shows that when an industry decides to harness the power of PR, great things can happen.”

Building Respect Starts from Within
One of the core elements of the Parking Matters program is to give parking professionals better tools to appreciate—and communicate—how important their own careers are. “This isn’t about making parking professionals look good. They are good; in fact, they’re fantastic,” says Sullivan. “My job’s easy. I don’t have to make things up or gloss things over—I just have to tell our story.”

Cindy Campbell, past IPI chair, now staff, was one of the visionaries behind the Parking Matters program. She understands the challenges faced in recrafting the industry’s unwarranted poor image. Campbell says the program has elevated the industry’s collective self-concept by showcasing the critical role parking plays in the bigger picture of smart transportation, sustainable progress, economic development, successful downtowns, and livable cities. “I personally respond differently now when someone asks me what I do for a living,” she says.

Influencing Target Audiences that
Directly Impact the Industry

Having made headway in positively transforming the way the parking industry views itself, the Parking Matters program has conveyed that relatively newfound self-respect to key target audiences that directly affect the bottom line of the parking profession. The goal is to increase awareness of the vital role parking and parking professionals play in transportation, economic development and revitalization, traffic flow, college and university life, hospitality, commercial and residential real estate, sport and entertainment venues, retail, security, law enforcement, and more. Increasingly, parking professionals are being recognized for their specialized expertise and called in at the earliest planning stages of construction to avoid issues that might arise later on.

The expertise and dedication of Parking Matters Committee members during the past five years has contributed greatly to the program’s success. Few people have had as close a front-row seat to the process as committee Co-Chair and former IPI Board Chair Casey Jones, CAPP.

Jones stresses that the key to effectively reaching target audiences is to first understand their individual needs and then frame the messages within the context of how industry can serve these customers. “It is all about us having a service orientation,” he says. “When we communicate to people from the vantage point of how we can better serve them—how parking expertise can address the various issues they are facing—we speak in a language that is positive, and that has helped us succeed.”

Positive Impressions Fostered by the Media
Untold numbers have been reached through affirmative articles about the parking industry placed in related trade publications, including American City and County, BOMA (Building Owners and Management Association), Building Construction & Design, Planning, Airport, Health Facilities Today, Government Buyer, Mass Transit, Public Sector Digest, College Services, and Government Technology, among others. Messages such as, “Tapping the expertise of experienced parking professionals at the earliest stages of planning any project can make all the difference” have continually reinforced the value of the profession and its forward-looking embrace of technology and sustainability.

Sullivan is thrilled to have the media turning to IPI as a resource on parking. She points out that many trade publications that never considered parking as a topic for editorial coverage are now scheduling regular features, or in the case of Airport Revenue News, ongoing parking columns.

“We’ve had our share of fun consumer-oriented stories on local radio, TV news broadcasts, and even my favorite—a three-part ‘extreme parking’ segment on The Travel Channel,” she says. “But the business media can have a much more powerful impact on the bottom line of the parking industry—opening up the eyes of hospital, airport, and university decision-­makers and city elected officials about the benefits of including parking professionals when new projects are planned.”

Helping the Public by Promoting Parking Safety
As is often the case with a business, industry, or association, there is much to be gained by embarking on public service initiatives, and finding ways to help the public has proved to be particularly rewarding for IPI. Under the umbrella of Parking Safety Matters, IPI has engaged in two public service initiatives since 2010: Preventing heatstroke among children in parked cars and parking education for teen drivers (in partnership with AAA Mid-Atlantic and the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education). A third program, on parking tips for seniors, also with AAA as a partner, is in the works. These messages are continually reinforced in press outreach and augmented by other seasonal, topical articles, such as smart parking strategies during the holidays.

These prove to be a win-win for everyone, says Sullivan—they attract media attention, delivering a wide audience and the ability to reach significant numbers of people with potentially life-saving safety measures, and they naturally showcase the parking industry in a very positive light.

Conrad feels that it goes even deeper than that. “It is our responsibility and obligation as an industry to promote the public’s safety,” he says. “The industry didn’t always see how critical that role is, and the program has given us the tools and resources to really make a difference, change the dynamic, and save lives.”

Recognizing Initiative within the Industry
In 2014, IPI inaugurated the Parking Matters Marketing & Communications Awards to recognize members who have enlightened audiences about the value of parking expertise, communicated about parking and transportation options and technologies, improved parking efficiencies, or otherwise conveyed positive parking messages that have helped advance the profession. “We wanted to shine a spotlight on organizations that are employing creative and effective measures to improve the image of parking,” says Conrad. “Productive marketing tells a story that builds a customer base, boosts revenue, and supports communications goals.”

The awards not only provide a vehicle for sharing positive program ideas; they are also a way to help professionals feel good about the jobs they are doing, says Conrad. “We have a terrific story to tell, and this is a great way to tell it,” he says. “But the awards have had an equally profound effect on the industry itself. When you showcase excellence and success, it breeds more excellence and success. Our members become inspired by their colleagues’ work, and that creates an exponential benefit.”

Connecting Parking to Environmental Sustainability
Perhaps the single-greatest paradigm shift for the parking industry has been toward sustainability, and many credit the Parking Matters program with helping alter people’s perspectives. The establishment of IPI’s Sustainability Committee—an idea first presented in the original Parking Matters plan—grew the association’s Framework on Sustainability for Parking Design, Management, and Operations, a continually evolving document that outlines the industry’s ambitious sustainability goals.

“As recently as five years ago, anyone who uttered ‘parking’ and ‘sustainability’ in the same sentence would have earned a good laugh,” Conrad says. Today the industry is being singled out for its progressive and proactive embrace of sustainable new technologies—largely as a result of the consistent efforts of Parking Matters.

A recent article in Government Buyer magazine is just one of many that have touted the parking industry as a model for sustainability: “Along with technological improvements, the parking industry has been revolutionized by a heightened environmental awareness, with parking professionals assuming active roles in fostering sustainability,” it said.

Sullivan says sustainability and technology have aligned to support the affirmative messages behind the Parking Matters initiative. “From the revolution in technology to the focus on sustainability, everything just coalesced to create this perfect storm,” she says. “This could never have been achieved by individual companies working alone; it takes an association to do it credibly. It’s remarkable to see the collective karma that has powered our success, and what can be achieved when an association takes matters into its own hands.”

Educating Parking Professionals for an Ever-Changing Future

One of the benefits of Parking Matters yet to be realized is the influence it will have on future generations of parking professionals. It has paved the way for unprecedented enthusiasm for pursuing a career in the industry—so much, in fact, that courses of study on parking at higher institutions of learning are now being considered. IPI is currently working with institutions that offer urban planning degrees, including MIT, to incorporate parking knowledge into the curriculum. IPI Immediate Past Chair Liliana Rambo, CAPP, has helped direct the industry’s focus on education and predicts that a complete, ­university-level parking program may be on the horizon.

“Typically, people have entered the parking profession accidentally while they were in college, and then 25 years pass by, and they see that it is so much more than they ever originally thought,” she says. “As we continue to frame the profession through Parking Matters, we can attract more professionals to pursue the field because it offers so much—whether they are into technology, community development, business, service, or whatever. Judging from the relationships we are building with academics, I expect that we will see many more coming on board to support this growing industry.”

When you combine these interrelated elements, it is clear that the picture now being painted of the parking industry is radically different from that of just a few years ago. “We’ve come very far, but still have a long way to go,” Sullivan says. “This was never designed to be a short-term program. You can’t just wave a magic wand and change perceptions overnight. But we are moving the needle in the right direction and will continue to do so.”

“To me, Parking Matters isn’t a fad, or a slogan, or a tagline,” adds Conrad. “It has become the fabric of our industry. With the help of this program, we have altered the way parking professionals think about themselves, and, ultimately, how others view the industry.”

Michele Ostrove is a writer who frequently reports on industries and trade associations with innovative programs.

TPP-2015-08-IPI’s Parking Matters Program Turns 5

Saving Lives

TPP-2015-08-Saving LivesBy Larry J. Cohen, CAPP

This is the story I never wanted to write. I have published many stories over the years but fought the urge to share my experiences on a topic we would hope to never encounter as parking professionals: dealing with a suicide from one of our garages. Part of my reasoning? I didn’t want to be known as the “parking garage suicide expert.” Can you blame me?

But that was a selfish thought, and after a lot of reflection, I believe sharing my experiences in dealing with a rash of suicides from our garage during the past two years and providing both reactive and proactive measures will make this my most important article.

If my story motivates you to put initiatives in place for suicide prevention and saves lives, there really isn’t a better one to be written.

An Iconic Site?
During the past two years, I have dealt with five suicides at one of our garages.

The Prince Street Garage (also home to my office) has become an iconic symbol in our community. Iconic is good and bad: The structure is the highest open-air facility in the downtown with a great view from the roof. The diversity of activities on the roof is like a center city square. In one typical week, a commercial was filmed, the next day we caught folks having sex in a car, the following day we found a drug user shooting up, and the next weekend had a sunbather and then a wedding party taking pictures with the beautiful city and country hills in the background.

Can your garage become an iconic site? Like many bridges and other highly visible, easily accessible locations (e.g., the Golden Gate Bridge), you may not have a choice. But how do you deal with it from a suicide prevention perspective?

Having dealt with suicides in the past at other parking programs I have overseen, the garage was never the focal point of a suicide but just the place where the suicide occurred. Several cases included individuals with terminal cancer deciding they didn’t want to go through that kind of slow painful death, so they went directly from the hospital to the garage and jumped. It’s a terrible situation, but the blame and focus were never on the garage.

I had a hard time understanding why the focus would be on the facility and not the person and what would cause them to commit such an unimaginable act. Iconic site or not, after three suicides in a two-month span, I decided that an aggressive proactive game plan was warranted.

The first action was to establish a zero-tolerance policy for anyone on the roof of the garage who wasn’t coming to/from a vehicle, regardless of his or her reasoning. Even if the reason for being on the garage is to take a picture or conduct a video shoot, permission is required.

The next step was to put in place no-trespassing signage within the guidelines of the city defiant-trespass warning. With these signs posted in place, staff and police could enforce our internal zero-tolerance policy for pedestrians on the roof.

Partners in Prevention
I put together a Suicide Summit of law enforcement, community members, board members, staff, and mental health professionals from the city, county, and state to discuss how we could best deal with the situation of suicides from the garages.

Not surprisingly, from this group was an overwhelming response in support of prevention as the best possible solution. One of the initiatives we undertook included posting suicide prevention posters with a local crisis number to call, instead of the national suicide prevention hotline. Mental health professionals felt the response would be better with a local number.

We also discussed installing a direct hotline phone strategically placed at areas on the roof. Ultimately, we decided to defer this initiative as the cost/benefit didn’t seem to make the most sense at the time.

Managers, several staff members, and I went through suicide prevention training. There are several good programs available for non-health care professionals. The one recommended to us is called QPR for “Question, Persuade, and Refer.” At the end of the three-hour session, my staff felt comfortable that if they encountered someone on the roof or over the phone, they would be able to talk to them until police were contacted and respond to the scene. To date, we have encountered several other individuals contemplating suicide and have kept them from harming themselves.

We now know how to handle a potential suicide situation, but just as important is asking how your staff, and potentially even customers, will handle a suicide scene. Are they emotionally prepared? Not to be morbid, but there are some people who can view a dead body on the sidewalk and not be affected while others will feel traumatized dealing with something no one should have to see in their lifetime. Be prepared to deal with your staff and anyone else who may encounter any aspect of a suicide and offer professional help to those in need.

Legal and Insurance
After seeking input from various legal professionals, insurance providers, and peers, I struggled for a long time with what action should be taken to stop the pattern of suicides from the garage. The issue was also debated in newspaper editorials with historical facts of incidents over the years throughout the country. But it basically boils down to “you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Half the attorneys and insurance professionals say you must do something because you have been put on notice based on the number of incidents that have occurred in a relatively short period of time. The other half say if you do something such as putting in place a physical barrier, you should do the same to the entire garage and all your other garages to ensure you keep the same level of consistency. For someone who is usually firm in his decisions, I deliberated on this issue a very long time. Your specific situation and pertinent input from key stakeholders will help you determine which direction you go.

Security Measures

Garages are not prisons that keep pedestrians from moving in and out freely. In many cases it is not feasible to retrofit an entire garage with fencing, whether for suicide prevention or theft. But there are cases in which this has happened. Cost is a major consideration, even though there should not be cost associated with saving lives. The reality is cost is always a consideration, especially for a small municipal authority. But this is what we faced as we worked toward eliminating the iconic landmark status of our garage as a suicide destination.

I decided to fence the top two levels of the garage. Bids came in at between $40,000 and $120,000 for the two upper levels of one garage. If you choose fencing, make sure you use small chain-link fencing that’s at least eight feet high, which prohibits someone from climbing the fence if they somehow have the strength and motivation to do so. Recent precedent for garage fencing comes directly from iconic suicide bridges that include the Golden Gate, whose authority has budgeted millions of dollars for fencing and netting.

Even with this financial commitment, someone can still jump by just moving down several levels lower. We made the commitment to do something; the caveat is that this does not eliminate the potential for suicides in the future but eliminates this happening from the roof. Suicides can happen from the second level of a garage. But this was our first step as a deterrent. Fencing in other areas can be added in the future. No matter what you do, there is no 100 percent guarantee of avoiding future suicides by installing fencing. Make sure your stakeholders are aware of that!


We explored geofencing as an alternative and/or addition to chain link fencing. Geofencing technology provides closed-circuit television camera coverage in a layout specific to your structure that provides for alerts and notifications that you specify. If someone penetrates that invisible barrier, many things can happen—a zoom-in on his or her face, to a voice coming from a loudspeaker, to bright white lights illuminating. The best example of the use of this technology is to alert operations to someone jumping a fence at a nuclear power plant. The motion triggers an alert that someone is climbing a fence. The person monitoring the system reacts by an established script on how to react. Will this system alert you to someone on the roof? Yes. Can this be a deterrent to a suicide? Maybe. But maybe it causes the individual to run and jump out of panic.

Security Patrols
With zero-tolerance for anyone on the roof, staff who drive company vehicles are directed to pass through the roof level prior to returning to the office. This provides for a level of eyes and ears within the facility on a consistent basis. At night, we park one of our logo-marked vehicles at strategic locations throughout the garage, giving anyone walking in that area the sense that personnel are nearby and inferring that they are not alone in the facility, whether late at night, early morning, or daytime.

If you were to lay a typical garage flat, the square footage would be the size of five football fields. It is simply impossible to cover all of it and be there at just the right time. The best we can do is provide physical security and give the perception that a person would be caught before being able to jump from one of our garages.

We scan police and hospital scanners. Many times, they will put out alerts that someone has left the hospital and may be heading over to the garage as they are contemplating jumping. This will give your operation a head start on a potential individual entering your facility.

Trees can be planted along the perimeter of garages to provide a deterrent against jumping from a location that does not provide an open landing area. Once again, it’s a terrible thing to think about, but in prevention of suicides from your garages, everything needs to be evaluated.

Dealing with the Press
Whether we like it or not, suicides from garages are newsworthy. The local newspaper ran multiple stories with varying story angles when we experienced this situation. One story even outlined with dashes the path from the roof to the sidewalk, and up to five television stations covered the story.

Don’t feed into the sensationalizing of a tragic event. As the spokesperson, stress as much as possible that the story on the subject include initiatives for prevention, awareness of mental health issues, and empathy. If you are not comfortable dealing with the press under these circumstances, take a media relations class; the one offered by IPI (parking.org) is excellent.

I had been alerted by our mayor to avoid reading public comments in the paper, but I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to gauge public perception and reaction. I should have listened to our mayor. Many are mean-spirited, and some even said I was responsible for the suicides because I didn’t act quickly enough to deter the next one.

I encourage you to be proactive and prepared for what may never happen, rather than improvise when the unimaginable occurs. Begin the conversation now, before emotions, stress, and the media are at your door. I hope it never happens in your facility, but I also hope you’ll learn from our experiences and be as prepared as possible.

Larry J. Cohen, CAPP is executive director of the Lancaster (Pa.) Parking Authority. He can be reached at lcohen@lancasterparkingauthority.com or 717.299.0907.

TPP-2015-08-Saving Lives

Solutions To Disabled Parking Placard Usage

TPP-2015-08-Solutions To Disabled Parking Placard UsageBy Mark Wright

The 100-foot walk from a parked car to a building entrance is nothing for most people, but it is a slow slog for someone gripping a walker or crutches and shuffling forward a few inches at a time. The trip is not especially fun in a wheelchair, either.

Drivers with mobility impairments aren’t looking for sympathy, but they want reasonable access and they don’t like being cheated out of it; hence their ire when finding parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities occupied. The odds are good that at least some of those spots are being illegally used by drivers who don’t need them.

“The value of a parking placard shouldn’t be that it is free,” says Carla Johnson, CBO, CASp, director, Mayor’s Office on Disability, San Francisco. “The true benefit is finding parking that is close to your destination.”

Besides upsetting those being cheated, such behavior by the able-bodied offends cultural norms about fairness. The typical human response to a suspected cheater—at least in most democratic societies—is a quick, heartfelt rebuke: “Hey, that’s not right. You can’t do that!”

In the U.S., parking placard abuse also subverts the intent and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was passed 25 years ago to help ensure that people with disabilities can access the same public spaces and services as everyone else. Indeed, nations around the globe have laws aimed at protecting disabled individuals in a variety of ways.

And while feeling cheated is bad enough, a driver with ambulatory limitations can feel downright violated when he or she is targeted by placard thieves. In Baltimore, Md., for example, 20 to 25 percent of disabled-parking placards were being stolen every month on average prior to recent reforms, fueling a burgeoning black market for them, according to Peter Little, executive director of the Baltimore City Parking Authority.

Moreover, how we define and communicate about placard problems requires clarity and sensitivity, notes Ken Husting, PE, senior transportation engineer in the Parking Meters Division at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. “There’s a distinction between misuse and abuse,” he says. “It’s a question of having the legal right to park in a spot versus ‘should’ they park in that spot.”

Laws themselves can further complicate the challenge, adds Johnson, who has been a member of the disability community since 1992 and has worked with disability rights laws since 1993; she joined the San Francisco Mayor’s Office in 2008.

“The current laws for disability placards have the right intention but the wrong outcome; they actually make it harder for people with disabilities to find accessible parking when and where they need it,” Johnson says.

Placard-usage difficulties—and solutions being explored and implemented—vary from city to city and state to state. (To adapt the late Tip O’Neill’s famous saying about politics: All parking is local. Likewise, disabled-parking issues.)

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that states have experimented with a variety of measures to deal with outright scofflaws. Recent examples include:
Photo ID placards (Massachusetts, New Mexico, and South Carolina).

More-detailed verification statements from physicians (Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Washington).

Placards with more prominent expiration dates (New Jersey and Washington).
Tougher penalties (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey).
Databases of disabled permit holders provided to police by motor vehicle departments.Disabilities-oriented community service for second-time offenders (Washington).

Raleigh: Everyone Pays
In North Carolina, City of Raleigh Parking Administrator Gordon Dash, CAPP, found that placard abuse and misuse was mainly a convenience issue in the city because handicapped parking on the streets was free. Many people who simply wanted to park close to work commonly used placards to snag disabled-designated spots, leaving their vehicles there all day.

“When I came in 2007 this was going on quite a bit,” says Dash. “There were no meters downtown at the time. When we put them in I started getting calls from merchants saying, ‘We have handicapped parkers parking here, so how are we going to solve that problem if they can sit there all day with impunity?’”

The solution: Charge for on-street disabled parking but allow disabled parkers to pay for as many hours as they needed. It was a strategy that took time, television news reporters chasing after placard abusers, a business community willing to drive the issue forward with the city council, and political finesse to achieve.

“State law here says handicapped parking shall be unlimited,” says Dash. “Pricing is not even mentioned.”

Dash says the change eliminated almost all the abuse, except for those employees working at the state capitol.

“We’ve had no problems since 2010,” Dash says. “We saw all the immediate results in the first couple of months. We had to go zone by zone installing new meters, which took about eight months, but by that time, all the downtown core problems were gone.”

L.A. and D.C.: Considering Options

In Los Angeles, a parking stakeholder working group identified California’s disabled-parking placard law as needing reform, which prompted the mayor’s office to have the city’s department of transportation and department on disability convene a staff working group to develop specific recommendations.

“We’re looking at a world of possibilities to see what makes the most sense,” says Ken Husting, PE, senior transportation engineer in the parking meters division at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

Husting says staff is “discussing alternatives to strengthen enforcement and penalties, incorporate technology, address issuance of the placards, and remove the incentive for the misuse of placards.” Draft recommendations could be out in about six months, he says, but the process is taking longer than initially thought.

“Unfortunately, the most meaningful changes that will likely come out of the working group will need to be adopted at the state level,” Husting explains. “The recommendations on policies we do control will probably go through the commission on disability, the city council, and the mayor.”

The L.A. effort is similar in scope to the disabled-­parking review San Francisco has been going through, although San Francisco’s is much further along, Husting notes.
L.A.’s objective to remove incentives for unintended placard usage is shared by the District of Columbia. Soumya Dey, PE, director of research and technology transfer for the D.C. Department of Transportation, and his team have been hard at work for several years considering the pros and cons of various approaches to the placard usage puzzle.

“We look at it from an occupancy perspective in a few parts of the city,” says Dey. “How many placards are being used, what is the turnover rate? We are looking at those who have placards but are not turning over. We want to take away the incentive for abuse.”

Because their exploration process is ongoing, Dey and colleague Evian Patterson, citywide parking division manager, are not ready for details to be published. Parts of the mix will likely include looking at reserved spaces for people with disabilities, the amount of time that should be allowed beyond the posted time, meter heights, and fee-related changes.

“We’re working with the ADA community to see if programs are working or not and addressing the need for persons with disabilities at the curbside,” says Dey. “We have to listen and meet with the community, hear their concerns, address their concerns, and use this as a vehicle to improve the parking experience for all.”

“It’s a very sensitive issue for the millions of visitors who come here from around the world, as well as the commuters who come into the city from around the region,” adds Patterson. “The District is in a unique position in a legislative context. We rely on developing standards and rulemaking, with guidance and communication from the rest of the region.”

Patterson says they’ve been looking closely at the steps taken by nearby Arlington County, Va., and Baltimore.

Baltimore: Big Results
The rampant theft and illicit sale of placards noted earlier was just one element of a parking system in Baltimore that left on-street disabled spaces in short supply. In an attempt to create 15 to 20 percent disabled-parking space availability on the street, the city raised rates to help shift long-term parkers into garages. The move backfired.

“It actually exacerbated the abuse of placards when we raised the rates,” says Peter Little, executive director of the city’s parking authority. “There was an explosion of abuse.”

To combat the problem, the city’s parking division got together with the mayor’s commission on disabilities and developed an ambitious plan called Project Space. Its goal: Create a space for everyone.

“We started meeting with the commission four years ago,” says Little. “Then phase one launched in mid-July of last year throughout a large area downtown.”
Census data revealed that 10 percent of city residents had some type of mobility-restricting disability and would thus be eligible for a placard, so Little’s team reserved about 10 percent of on-street metered spaces for people with disabilities. They installed signs and single-space meters from IPS Group that accept credit cards and coins.

“We did not have any ordinances or laws dictating that people with disabilities should get free parking,” explains Little. “But the old crank-style meters were not ADA compliant. A state law says that if a person with a disability parks at a meter they should be able to park for double the duration of the meter, or up to four hours. So we set that for the new meters and the regular meters.”

Months prior to implementing the meter changes, the division launched a major public information campaign, led by Tiffany James, Baltimore City Parking Authority communications manager, with design and implementation support from a public relations firm. (The campaign was named one of four Best of 2015 winners of IPI’s Parking Matters® Marketing & Communications Awards.) They also briefed city and state politicians months in advance.

Prior to Project Space, says Little, 96 percent of metered spaces on select (central business district) blocks were occupied—and 72 percent of the people parked at those meters displayed a placard and stayed in those spaces for a very long time. “Now, those spaces are 77 percent occupied with availability of 23 percent—a dramatic increase.”

“We are at about 46 percent utilization of reserved metered disabled spaces, and we’d like to see that number go up as the word gets out,” says Little. “We’ve heard from people with disabilities that they are ecstatic about the on-street reserved spaces.”

He adds that Project Space has paid for itself during its first 10 months, recouping the approximately $600,000 the city invested in the initiative.
And the stolen placards? Little says theft has dropped to fewer than three per month.

Portland: Success

Calls for disabled-parking permit reform in Portland, Ore., were commonplace less than two years ago, as levels of placard use—particularly downtown—were conspicuously high.

“Free parking was not working for the disabled or for downtown businesses,” says Portland Bureau of Transportation Public Information Officer Diane Dulken. She says about one in nine vehicles parked downtown displayed a placard and tended to sit in the same space all day. That undermined the city’s goal of a healthy downtown that provided access for all.

After considerable study and citizen engagement, the city council passed a resolution in December 2013 to make a number of changes—including pay-to-park—to its disabled parking downtown and in three other areas. Those took effect July 1, 2014. Dulken says the city did ample outreach and issued warnings before starting enforcement.

As the city explained on its website: “The new program extends parking meter times for people holding Disabled Parking Placards and adds 105 reserved parking spaces for people holding these placards, including 32 specifically for wheelchair placard holders.”

Dulken says the changes improved access and freed up spaces. In fact, she says, some
of those 105 reserved spaces often go unused.

More Examples

Big cities are not the only ones to tackle disabled-parking usage issues. Hagerstown, Md., founded in 1762 and now home to about 40,000 people, requires payment at all of its meters, including those used by placard holders.

Parking professionals who responded to IPI’s recent Emerging Trends in Parking Survey said by a wide margin (62 percent) that free placards for disabled drivers should become a thing of the past. Nearly half (49 percent) said the parking industry should work more closely with state departments of motor vehicles and other agencies to make placards more difficult to obtain and use fraudulently.

Donald Shoup, PhD, recently retired from University of California, Los Angeles, has written about other jurisdictions opting to charge for disabled parking, including Arlington County, Va. He has also cited Michigan and Illinois as variations on charging all disabled-parking placard holders. Those states adopted a two-tier system based on the disabled person’s level of mobility impairment. Those with severe limitations park free, while the rest pay.

Have you addressed disabled parking abuse? Found success or encountered challenges with permits? IPI is working on this issue and wants to hear what you’ve done and your concerns, thoughts, and ideas. Please email Helen Sullivan at sullivan@parking.org and use ADA Abuse as the subject line.

Mark Wright is a freelance writer. He can be reached at mark@wrightscontent.com.

TPP-2015-08-Solutions To Disabled Parking Placard Usage

A Bright Horizon

TPP-2015-08-A Bright HorizonBy Kim Fernandez

A lot of people say I have the toughest job on campus,” says Princeton University’s director of transportation and parking services. “But I think I have the best job on campus because I get to interact with everybody.”

Parking is definitely a people business as far as Jackson is concerned, and that focus is what will set the tone for her term as chair of IPI’s Board of Directors; after all, it’s served her well throughout her long career in the industry. “I meet everyone—campus visitors to parents and students to faculty and staff to our invited dignitaries,” she explains. “I get to interact with all of those people and work with our planning teams to make things happen. That’s what’s exciting. That kind of pulse keeps me in this business.”

Jackson’s parking career started at Rutgers University in 1988, when she began working as assistant director for administration of University Parking Services. From there, she was promoted to director of parking and transportation—becoming the first person in the newly-­created position—and worked in that capacity until 1994, when she left to become meetings director for IPI. She eventually became the association’s executive director.

After 10 years at IPI, Jackson returned to the parking industry, working at Princeton University, which she says she’s loved ever since, but she remained an active, hands-on member of IPI and was shortly elected to the Board of Directors.
Jackson was installed as Board chair at the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas and says she’s looking forward to two years of hard work, steady progress, and more growth for the world’s largest parking association, relying on her years of customer service experience to keep IPI on a steady track.

Progress and Goals
“I like to think about what IPI can be doing for its members,” Jackson says of her time on the Board. “As a member, I think about what I think my colleagues are looking for and need for their organization. It’s been great to see how we have grown and how the international piece of our work has taken off, especially during the last few years.

“It’s very exciting,” she continues. “As members, there are so many different departments within organizations around the world that do what we do. We should all be learning from each other. It’s great that we have so many programs that let us do that, while offering networking opportunities for our members.”

The industry, she says, has come a long way since her first days at Rutgers. “When I started in the late 1980s, all parking people did was just think about parking cars,” she says. “For women especially, parking wasn’t a career path. A lot of women were in second jobs—assistant directors, managers, seconds in operations—but we weren’t directors. That’s changed.”

The perception of the industry has changed, too, and Jackson couldn’t be happier about that. “I’ve watched us go from an industry striving for recognition and information and education, to one that’s creating and relaunching the CAPP program, launching onsite training programs, offering online learning, and reaching out to people around the country and the world, making sure everybody knows parking is a profession—a proud profession,” she says.

“We have so many resources,” she continues. “If you’re not aware of something, IPI is here to help you with that. Thanks to the Parking Matters® program, people come to us for quotes and information. It wasn’t always like that—we used to have to really scrounge for statistics and facts. We learned from people who’d been in the industry, or we learned from trial and error. We tried something; if it didn’t work, we tried something else. That’s how we knew what we knew—we couldn’t pick up a book and learn much about parking.”

IPI, she says, carved a niche for itself years ago that continues to serve it—and the industry—well. “There was very limited talk about parking in municipalities, hospitals, colleges, and airports,” she says. “IMPC/IPI was the organization where people were dealing with parking in a different way. We started providing information for people and coursework and really developing education and a knowledge base, and that’s what made industry members feel they had the backing to pull up and claim that seat at the table we talk about.”

More recent programs, she says, have solidified that both for parking professionals and people in other industries, who now expect to see parking play a role in all sorts of business and project development decisions.

“IPI helped do that for people who had been in the business for a long time,” she says. “We gained respect from our colleagues and felt as though we had a right to a seat at the table and that we should be asking for that seat. And now people are asking us to come sit down instead of the other way around.”

Moving Forward
Recently developed education programs, both in-person and online, have continued making huge strides in advancing the industry, says Jackson, and one of her goals is to ensure those efforts keep growing.

“The big one is for frontline people and focuses on customer service,” she says. “That’s the standard; everyone wants their people to deliver exceptional customer service.” She points out that it’s not as simple as the old customer-is-always-right philosophy; violating parking rules has significant consequences for other drivers, cities, and institutions.

“We’re helping find the balance between educating the public about what they should and shouldn’t be doing and letting them know the consequences of what they do. We need our employees to feel like they have the information and the tools to give
customers the right information.”

That, she says, marks a change from the way parking enforcement officers used to work. “People are listening to us,” she says. “In the past five or six years, we’ve all tried to empower our employees more. On the parking side, we empower our enforcement staff to go out and do the right thing, and we try to give them the recognition they deserve.”

All of that is of personal interest to Jackson and will be a continuing priority during her term as IPI chair. “I want to stay involved in the professional-level side of what IPI does,” she says. “I’m still very interested in training seminars and Conference programming and so on. I definitely see that outreach continuing.”

Another priority is ensuring that members and industry professionals continue to be informed about all IPI offers. Getting the word out, she says, is critical. “We’ll continue to work on the initiatives we’ve started, and I want to make sure members take advantage of all IPI has to offer,” she says.

That includes research. “I want people to know IPI is the source for parking information,” she explains. “I want people to say their information came from IPI—that we are the source.” That will involve further building IPI’s library of information in ways members, especially those new to the industry, can easily access
and use.

“We have this new generation of directors coming in who aren’t coming in from the school of hard knocks,” says Jackson. “They’re coming in with finance, business, and economic development backgrounds, backgrounds many directors didn’t have way back when. Our professionals have a different education level than they did 20 or 30 years ago, and it’s important for people coming from other industries to learn this industry even though they might not have worked from the bottom up. They need to understand permits and events, enforcement, TDM, and customer service. You don’t only have to know the business side of parking but understand the functional side too. IPI is the source for that.”

Sustainability will also play a big role in the next few years, she says, as it will in the rest of the world. “We’re trying to get people to think about alternative modes,” says Jackson. “If you live in a downtown, you might not have a car. You might rely on public transportation or a bike or a carshare option. In the last five to 10 years, all of that has integrated and weaved its way into the transportation-parking marriage.”

Jackson says she’s excited for her term as IPI chair and ready to hit the ground running and she’s looking forward to putting her unique background and perspective to work on a new level. “We as a group of people represent an important industry,” she says. “We are gaining that recognition. Parking really matters.”

TPP-2015-08-A Bright Horizon

What’s Love Got to Do with It

TPP-2015-08-What’s Love Got to Do with ItBy Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR

I once heard someone say that people long for the good old days and that for our children, these are the good old days. It’s true—most of us remember with great fondness our childhoods and the things we did to make those times special.

Recently, I flew to Baltimore. As I handed my boarding pass to the gate agent, I was greeted with, “Hello, Mr. Rhodes.” This is not unusual as I am a very frequent flier who typically visits between 25 and 30 states a year, and my name is clearly printed on my boarding pass. However, what happened next amazed me.

The gate agent, whom I didn’t recall meeting before, said, “Thanks for the human resources class and have a nice day.” This really caught me off guard as it has been at least a decade since I regularly instructed a college-level course. As I wobbled down the jetway stunned by the comment I had just received, I asked the forward galley flight attendant if he could help me by identifying the gate agent and where I might have been an instructor for him.

I sat impatiently trying to figure out where I knew the gate agent from and hoping the forward galley flight attendant would provide me with a clue. After what seemed like forever, the flight attendant returned and told me that the individual’s name was Brandon and that I taught him at Governors State University outside of Chicago. He went on to say that Brandon told him he was always impressed with my presentation and demeanor and the way I engaged the students in the class; I made him and others feel like we were equals.

For Professionals

Wow! What a compliment. I have always said that your personal brand should and must speak for you before you even open your mouth and linger long after you have left the room. Even so, having someone remember me that well after 14 years is incredible, even for my expectations. Here is what I have taken away from that experience that leverages your personal brand and leadership:

Be consistent, gracious, and appreciative. We all have issues that could cause us to shut down physically and emotionally. However, other people face the same things. We should never let our personal issues (except in extreme cases) interfere with our ability to connect with others.

Evenly accept compliments and complaints. Each has the ability to add to your personal brand and your potential to be seen as a leader. We are never as good or bad as someone might make us out to be, so balance is essential.

Create value for others. This creates value for you and enhances your ability to lead. Brandon, by virtue of recognizing me and being comfortable enough to share that with me, offered a valuable gift: a level of verification that things upon which I speak are tangible. In the next few days, I will again be traveling. As I depart from my home base in Chicago, I will be looking for Brandon so I can return the kindness and consideration he showed me.
This leads me to an essential point as it relates to your personal brand and your ability to lead: Always say thank you. Brandon, even if you never read this article, I want to thank you for helping me feel good about what I tried to do for you 14 years ago and what you did for me 14 years later.

What’s love got to do with it? As you contemplate developing and displaying your personal brand and standing as a leader, love has everything to do with how you think of yourself, what people see in you, and how they connect with you. It’s just like Og Mandino said: “Do all things with love.”

Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR, is founder and principal of the mpr group and author of BRAND: YOU Personal Branding for Success in Life and Business. He can be reached at jrhodes@mprgroup.info or 773.548.8037.

TPP-2015-08-What’s Love Got to Do with It

Green Garage Certification More Than Recognition

TPP-2015-08-Green Garage Certification More Than RecognitionBy Trevyr Meade

The recognition of the world’s first Certified Green Garages at the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo was a statement to our patrons and communities that parking will play a key role in the sustainability movement.

Green Garage Certification offers a menu of 48 elements garages can deploy to increase efficiency and lower environmental impact. Each element highlights an opportunity for increased sustainability through smart construction practices, alternative mobility programming, efficient technologies, or low-impact operations. Garages achieve certification by employing the elements that best fit their operations.

Since the launch of certification in June 2014, 29 facilities have registered. As professionals at each of these properties work toward certification, they’ve come to realize that the program offers much more than recognition for sustainability achievements. Whether highlighting new patron amenities, educating frontline staff, or providing a platform for standard operating procedures, Green Garage Certification has emerged as a tool for organizational improvement.

Creative Solutions
Bank of America Plaza, a Brookfield Properties Certified Green Garage in Los Angeles, deployed a rideshare/carshare package developed by Enterprise to earn credit toward the facility’s Green Garage Certification. “I’m now evaluating the opportunity to bring this offering to a number of locations throughout the U.S.,” says Laura Longsworth, Brookfield’s vice president of national parking operations. “I’ve come to realize that it is not just a sustainability initiative but a valuable tenant amenity.”

Green Garage Certification has also ignited an awareness for sustainability within the industry. Canopy Airport Parking, another of the seven certified garages announced at the 2015 IPI Conference & Expo, was designed to incorporate technologies that promote sustainability through improved efficiencies and clean energy generation. The certification process has helped the operations staff at Canopy and other locations become more familiar with the effects of these green technologies. “Going through Green Garage Certification has brought these technologies into focus,” explains Charles Billera, general manager at Canopy Airport Parking. “I now have a greater understanding of how they benefit Canopy’s triple bottom line.”


Others have found the Green Garage Standard to be a useful tool for standardizing garage operating procedures. After going through the certification process for the Forest Home Garage, Cornell University Transportation Services is embracing the program for making decisions campus wide. “We didn’t have a manual for garage operations,” says Bartt Smith, facilities coordinator. “The Green Garage Standard now acts as our playbook.”
These emerging trends are a testament to the ­industry-driven process that created Green Garage Certification. “The program was developed by our industry for our industry,” explains Green Parking Council Executive Director Paul Wessell. “The ripples beyond facility recognition show that we’ve established a program that meets our business needs in a socially responsible manner.”

As more parking professionals become familiar with Green Garage Certification, the program will create positive change not just for high performers but industrywide.

“Working through the process gave me more familiarity with a number of sustainability initiatives that can be worked into future projects whether or not the owner is seeking certification,” says Eric Haggett of DESMAN, who was instrumental in the certification of Cornell’s Forest Home Garage. “This program is already beginning to reshape the market.”

For information on Green Garage Certification, visit greenparkingcouncil.org/certified-green-garages.

Trevyr Meade is a program manager with the Green Parking Council. He can be reached at trevyr@greenparkingcouncil.org.

TPP-2015-08-Green Garage Certification More Than Recognition

No Decal, No Hang Tag, No Problem

TPP-2015-08-No Decal, No Hang Tag, No ProblemBy Vicky Gagliano, LEED AP

I remember those days during college when I waited in line for more than an hour at the parking office/trailer to pay for and pick up a parking decal. They gave me a plastic card with suction cups that I could use to display the decal without permanently affixing it to my windshield. Of course, within two weeks of Florida heat, it must have fallen off a dozen times until I found that perfect spot where the dashboard would hold it in place even if the suction cups failed.

My destiny to end up in the parking industry still unknown at that time, parking enforcement officers provided my first lessons in parking. I learned that a ticket cost $15 if I parked outside my zone regardless if the lot was 50 feet or a mile from my classroom. Of course, why pay a ticket and walk a mile when I could just walk 50 feet? I also knew where they stored towed vehicles and how the appeals process worked. No, they didn’t waive the citation because I was at the infirmary and my roommate parked my car for me. I paid my ticket(s) and graduated. While getting my master’s degree at another university, I learned more tricks that furthered my education in parking.
I physically stood in line to drop/add college courses, my daily activities were not documented on Facebook from my smartphone (thank goodness), and I couldn’t buy a digital parking permit from the comfort of my living room at 11 p.m. the night before classes started.

Digital Permitting Emerges
Today, universities are realizing the benefits of digital permitting (electronic or paperless permitting). While a digital permit system can be applied in multiple types of paid parking operations, the demographics of most university users typically make for an easy transition and implementation. Students quickly accept the use of digital permits.

Even better, from a financial standpoint, a digital permitting operation will often provide a short payback period and yield a positive return on investment within one to three years, depending on the size of the system. The financial advantages are primarily thanks to the fact that office staff can be allocated to other tasks when permit issuance is completely conducted online and physical decals and hang tags are not mailed or handed out at a central location. Likewise, enforcement staff can more quickly scan and verify valid permits via a license plate recognition (LPR) camera mounted on their vehicles, leading to higher compliance due to a greater probability of citation issuance for violators. In addition, officers are now able to print the citations while inside their vehicles or golf carts, which reduces the number of face-to-face conflicts.

Digital permits close many of the loopholes that existed with decals and hang tags—the same ones I once used. In addition, legitimate issues with multiple vehicles or a new car can be quickly managed online at any time, day or night, and most students are comfortable with the system.

Faculty and staff, while slightly less savvy, also enjoy the benefits of driving any household vehicle without needing to move a hang tag or stop by the parking office to obtain a temporary permit. In fact, issuance of almost all temporary permits is eliminated.

For employees who retire, find other employment, or are terminated, permits can be easily marked as no longer valid, and payroll deductions can be turned off without the need for the employee to make an additional trip to the parking office.

The same system is capable of fully automating the collection and payment of visitor and vendor permits by identifying paid vehicles using the license plate number.
I’m a proud member of Generation X who knows how to use a rotary phone but also embraces technology and how it can allow for more a more efficient parking operation.

Vicky Gagliano, LEED AP, is a senior parking specialist with Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc. She can be reached at vgagliano@timhaahs.com.

TPP-2015-08-No Decal, No Hang Tag, No Problem