About Kim Fernandez

Kim Fernandez is editor of The Parking Professional magazine.

Bridges, Gridlock, and Parking

KimFernandezJan2014

I lived in Maryland and worked in Virginia in 1998, which meant I crossed the Woodrow Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River twice a Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 10.53.17 AMday. Thanks to a progressive manager who embraced flextime even then, I was normally in the office by 7 a.m. and on my way home by 3:30 p.m. Sounds great, right? It was, until the afternoon a jumper perched on the bridge and shut it down for more than five hours, effectively–and quite unexpectedly–plunging the entire Washington, D.C. metro area into gridlock. My 25-minute commute stretched to an utterly miserable three and a half hours.

Thanks to that, I have a lot of empathy for the people in Fort Lee, N.J., who move about at what must feel like the whim of the George Washington Bridge into New York City. Even when those at the state house may or may not be mucking around with traffic there, it affects everyone who lives in town.

Guess who went proactive to get their people moving again? If you said the parking professionals in Fort Lee, you’re absolutely correct, and their system of shuttles and policies has eased traffic in and around town and boosted community spirit, making life that much easier for those they serve. Their story offers a great example of how parking departments offer much more than spaces, and it’s in the January issue of The Parking Professional.

Also in this month’s issue you’ll find a great story on how airport professionals are dealing with entirely new challenges (think food trucks vs. security and Uber vs. traditional cabs); all the new technology airports can use to their advantage; a piece on a fabulous piece of garage art in Australia that’s got everyone there talking; and how garage repairs and marketing to the community can make a big difference. And, of course, you’ll see the winners of this year’s photo contest–say cheese!

The D.C. region survived our friend on the bridge, by the way, as did he–the police eventually shot him in the leg with a beanbag, he jumped into the water and emerged unhurt, and is probably still in hiding from the wrath of thousands of commuters. My guess is that a certain deputy chief of staff in New Jersey will enjoy the same fate.

I hope you enjoy the issue–comment here or drop me a note and let me know what you think.

 

Did You Get Snapping Yet?

Kim Fernandez

The good news is that thanks to fantastic advances in cell phone technology, most of us carry a pretty impressive camera around with

“Meter All Alone,” by Felix Riverea, City of Tampa Parking Division, won in the funniest category in 2012.

“Meter All Alone,” by Felix Riverea, City of Tampa Parking Division, won in the funniest category in 2012.

us all day long. The better news is that this means it’s really easy to snap the perfect photo for The Parking Professional’s Second Annual Photo Contest and win yourself a free registration to the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo in Dallas or one of several gift certificates to shopipi.com (free parking swag!).

The bad news? You only have one more week to enter, so you need to get snapping!

Entering the contest is easy. Visit parking.org/photocontest to upload your photos in one or more categories:

  • Best overall/Best in Show
  • Beautiful
  • Funny
  • People in Parking
  • Structure/Lot
  • Nature
  • Most Offbeat or Unusual

Fill out the online form, and you’re done! Our team of judges can’t wait to see your best shots. Amateur photographers only, please.

Whip out that smartphone or grab your real camera and show us your best shots around the office, the lot or garage, the street, or your town–anything parking-related goes! Need a little inspiration? Check out last year’s winners here. But don’t wait–the contest ends Oct. 31.

I can’t wait to see your photos!

IPI Shows off Park(ing) Day Spirit

Kim Fernandez

A great time was had by all. It’s a cliche, but an appropriate way to describe IPI’s first official foray into Park(ing) Day last Friday, 100_1314when parking spots all around the world were transformed into temporary parks, cafes, libraries, and public spaces (see the August issue of The Parking Professional for more).

A spirited group of IPI staff members joined the design pros at BonoTom Studio (the folks who make The Parking Professional look so good) for lunch in a parklet on Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. Lining a space with faux grass (after paying the meter, of course) and decorating with everything from garden chairs to fanciful gnomes, we invited passers by to kick back in the sun, enjoy a cookie, and talk about parking. For their part, visitors told us about other Park(ing) Day installations they’d passed during the day and even wished us a happy Park(ing) Day as they drove past.

100_1302We had a great time participating in this event, and would love to hear about your festivities. Comment below, or send your story and a photo or two of your parklet to fernandez@parking.org–we’ll publish them in a future issue of the magazine (also think about entering your Park(ing) Day photos in our contest–visit parking.org/photocontest for information).

See you on the street next year!

Parking Packs Off the Purple

Kim Fernandez

Crabcakes and football. That’s what Maryland does.202938488_ec04ba0712_o

If you set aside lacrosse and Berger Cookies, the line from “Wedding Crashers” almost got it right. True Baltimoreans generally prefer picking our own steamed crabs (malt vinegar, Old Bay, amen) over eating somebody else’s handiwork in a cake, of course, but one takes what one can get when Hollywood takes over. Our world champion Ravens reign, and it’s a purplewashed place to be. Next week, though, we’ll suffer the injustice of watching our team open the NFL season from afar, and it’s all because of parking.

Football is a bit akin to religion in parts of our fair state–Robert Irsay’s 1984 run out of town only solidified our faith–and we threw our Ravens and their Lombardi Trophy a heck of a party earlier this year. We also take Purple Fridays pretty darned seriously, donning the royal color for work and play on the last day of the work week most of the year. So why are we resigned to watching next week’s kickoff on our TVs at home?

Parking. See, when Baltimore retired the edge-of-the-city Memorial Stadium, which the Orioles and Colts shared for years, to build the decidedly downtown M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards, it made sense to put them next to each other with a giant parking lot in between. They sit just blocks from the city’s Inner Harbor and the main business and tourism district, and there aren’t a lot of spaces to spare on game days. And because the outcome of the 2013 Super Bowl wasn’t known until February, Major League Baseball unwittingly scheduled the Orioles to play at home the night of Sept. 5–the same night, as it turned out, our Ravens will kick off the NFL season.

Two sports, two stadiums full of fans, one parking lot. No go. The Orioles held their ground and refused to move or reschedule their game, the scales tipped, and the Ravens were sent to Denver for their opener, leaving many football fans more than a little irritated (I haven’t watched or tracked an Orioles game all season, but I digress).

I’ll be wearing my purple and yelling at the TV instead of tailgating on Thursday, along with thousands of my fellow Marylanders. If you ask us that day, I guarantee everyone will agree: Parking Matters®.

 

Park(ing) Goes Trendy

Kim Fernandez

Do you have a 2014 IKEA catalog on your kitchen counter (or in your recycling bin)? Does the photo on p. 30 look familiar? If it does image001-1(it’s the one you see in this post), you’re probably familiar with Park(ing) Day, which is a worldwide event that encourages the temporary transformation of parking spaces into gathering places.

IKEA took it one step farther, posting this video illustrating their parking space transformation on their website. And as you probably know, Park(ing) Day and the parklet concept (turning parking spaces into gathering places on a more permanent basis) have caught the eye of the mainstream media and the public.

It’s also been embraced by parking professionals, who see it as a great public relations activity and way to reach out to their customers via something more positive than gate tickets and citations. For one day a year, they allow community residents and business owners to take over parking spaces, either by feeding the meter as they would to park or by applying for special permits, to construct everything from small parks to cafes to mini-golf courses to art exhibitions, all in the name of social interaction in the downtown area.

Park(ing) Day 2013 will happen on Sept. 20, and organizers say they expect record numbers of cities, towns, campuses, and community organizations to participate. Whether you like the idea or not, are you ready? You can read more about it in the August issue of The Parking Professional, which offers the perspective of parking professionals in several cities that have embraced it as a celebration, along with other thoughts from those on our Ask the Experts panel. And you can see it in this year’s IKEA catalog and on their website, which strikes me as something of a milestone: the parking spot as trendy attribute.

What do you think about Park(ing) Day? Will you participate this year (visit parkingday.org to register)? Let us know in the comments.

 

Game Changers

_EST1799

Another busy day at the IPI Conference & Expo gave attendees a glimpse into the future of parking, an afternoon of business on the _EST1799Expo floor, educational sessions, and plenty of opportunity to network, network, network.

The morning kicked off with the 2013 IPI Awards of Excellence presentation, where outstanding parking facilities and operations were honored and applauded (see more on this in the June issue of The Parking Professional, arriving in your mailbox soon). This year’s awardees included garages that showcase innovative design, out-of-the-box thinking, and sustainable solutions that make sense, along with operations that have overcome tremendous challenges to serve their communities and keep people moving.

The room went silent after that as attendees were held rapt by Mary Smith of Walker Parking Consultants, a top expert on parking and transportation, who talked about “Game Changers.”

“Parking has changed more in the past 10 years than in my previous 28 in the industry,” she said, attributing that to changing trends in car ownership rates, growing cities, and other factors. She pointed out reasons why parking is not, as some believe, the root of urban sprawl issues, and said that while efforts to change the perception of parking through alternate uses can be good, they’re not always executed in the wisest fashion.

_EST1882Downtown garages that lease their spaces out for weddings and other events, she said, are “touted as great shared use, but it’s not appropriate to take spaces out of use for parking when they’re needed most.” Instead, uses such as farm markets during the day (when spaces aren’t in as much demand by restaurants and other businesses, can be a better use.

Smith spent some time talking about “peak cars,” which is a peak in vehicle ownership forecast to happen in the next several years, as millennial generation members (born after 1980) eschew individual car ownership in favor of car share programs and public transportation. She also talked about the next generations of technology for cars, including compressed natural gas (CNG) and driverless cars, including some that may fly.

Following her presentation, attendees enjoyed an afternoon networking and exploring new products, services, and technologies on the Expo hall floor, attending educational sessions in five tracks, and exchanging business cards, handshakes, and conversation in the halls of the convention center.

The IPI Conference & Expo wraps up today with the final Expo hours, a lunchtime presentation by marketing expert Bill Smith, and the closing event that’s sure to be fast-paced and thrilling!

 

IPI Conference & Expo Kicks Off

Kim Fernandez

Record numbers of parking professionals have made the most of their time at the IPI Conference & Expo in Fort Lauderdale, _EST1388
Florida, taking in educational sessions, doing business on the Expo hall floor, and having fun with friends around town.

Day one kicked off Sunday with the first round of education–sessions are organized into five distinct tracks–and the opening event at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Science and Discovery, where attendees mingled among fascinating and fun interactive exhibits. Also popular was the first Poster Session on the third floor of the convention center, where exhibits on parking projects and innovations offered information in a new format–this continues throughout the conference just outside the education session rooms.

Yesterday started with a touching awards ceremony that honored top professionals in the IPI Professional Recognition Program. A highlight was the presentation of the newly-named James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, Parking Professional of the Year award by two of the late association founder’s daughters to Roamy Valera, CAPP. (see the July issue of The Parking Professional for more–coming soon!).

_EST0991Following awards, speaker Scott Brusaw took the stage to talk about his Solar Roadways project, which has the potential to replace asphalt and concrete on parking lots, sidewalks, and roads with LED-equipped solar panels, generating power for businesses and communities, electric vehicle charging, and variable lighting that can be configured for lines, messages, and even instant warnings that something’s on the surface up ahead (read The Parking Professional’s cover story on Solar Roadways here). Able to melt snow and ice before they have a chance to accumulate on roads or parking lots, Solar Roadways has attracted the attention of government agencies, large companies, and parking professionals.

The concept was clearly popular with attendees, many of whom visited with Brusaw and his wife and co-inventor, Julie, at the Expo, where a piece of solar road sparked a lot of conversation.

More excitement awaits today, with a presentation by Mary Smith, Walker Parking Consultants, about the future of parking, the 2013 IPI Awards of Excellence, education sessions that include IPI’s first IGNITE session–five minutes and 20 slides for each energizing speaker–and more Expo hours and PowerPitch forums on the floor. It’s going to be a great day in Florida!

 

Super Bowl, Super Parking

Kim Fernandez

Curious about how people park for Super Bowl? We were, and turned to our friends at ParkWhiz, which helps ticketholders reserve parking for the big game, for a little insight.

According to ParkWhiz Senior Vice President, Sales, Dean Bravos:

  • The average price for a 2013 Super Bowl parking space is $135. That’s up from last year’s average price of $118.
  • Tailgaters can expect to pay $108 to $375 for reserved party spots.
  • The most expensive multi-day space the company sold this year was a multi-day RV spot, which went for $1,875. The average RV tailgating space sold for $815, and an all-week space went for a whopping $3,000.
  • Farther away is cheaper. Drivers who were willing to hoof it from 1.07 miles away for the game could reserve spots for just $38.50. And the least expensive parking space this year cost $29.

Bravos says that while the idea of reserved parking is a big hit with football fans, they don’t always think ahead, and his company stays busy selling spots all the way to kickoff.

For more about what Bravos and his company do to plan for Super Bowl Sunday (including security issues), check out this video by NBC News, or this video on an ABC affiliate in Louisiana.

Parking Leaders Kickstart the New Year

Kim Fernandez

The New Year’s resolution: the highlight of the holiday season or the bane of one’s existence. It can go either way. Anyone can make a January 2013 Parking Professional Coverresolution that says we’re going to drop 10 pounds or spend less time on the smartphone or read a book a week or do more yardwork, and lots of us swear that starting January 1, we’re going to work harder, treat our bodies better, and emerge 12 months later better and more successful in some way.

The real question, of course, is how you get from point A to point B. How do you lose that weight? How do you cut back on the email without sacrificing career goals? How, exactly, do you make yourself better/smarter/stronger with the same 24 hours a day you’ve always had?

Businesses are no different; nor is the parking industry. We want to be better at what we do, more efficient, more sustainable, and more successful than ever before despite financial, regulatory, and political roadblocks.

How?

Those are the questions we posed to some of the industry’s top experts in the January issue of The Parking Professional. And they answered, giving their honest evaluations of the industry as it stands and concrete advice for 2013 and beyond. Our industry leaders’ interview is a great starting point for anyone who wants to improve their department or their career this year (who doesn’t?), and we hope you find it useful.

Also in this month’s issue are the winners of our first photography contest (how often do you see a dancer on the cover of a parking magazine?), our Social Media 101 guide for parking professionals, and features on managers as coaches and cheerleaders, turning lemons into lemonade and engaging the entire community in the process, and on airport landside employees’ number-one secret weapon for dealing with difficult customers.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue!

Thanksgiving Tale-gate: “America’s Parking Lot” Now Available at Home

Kim Fernandez

You may remember Cy Ditmore–he’s one of the stars of “America’s Parking Lot,” the independent film about the infamous Dallas Cowboys Gate 6 Tailgaters. You met him back in September when the movie was featured in The Parking Professional (it was, incidentally, one of our most popular features to date judging by reader feedback).

Film director Jonny Mars let us know that the movie is available on both iTunes and video-on-demand as of yesterday (check your cable provider’s listing). Beyond what you might expect from a movie about tailgating, it tells a terrific tale and offers a terrific look at the families and neighborhoods that were formed in a stadium parking lot–Parking Matters®. And it’s the perfect companion for today’s Cowboys vs. Redskins game and tummy full of tryptophan,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last Week to Enter The Parking Professional Photo Contest

Kim Fernandez

You know how the holidays sneak up on us every year? Same with tax day–we think we’re prepared and ready, and then wham! It’s here, and we end up panicking to get everything done before the big day ends.

Consider this your seven-day warning: The Parking Professional’s first photo contest ends exactly one week from today, and you have a little more than 168 long hours to get your entry in. We’ve received a lot of fantastic entries, but we still want to see yours!

Need a little motivation? How about a free registration to the IPI Conference & Expo in beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., next May? That’s what our Best in Show winner will receive, along with having his or her photo featured on the cover of an upcoming issue of The Parking Professional. You could also spice up your wardrobe with a stylish Parking Matters® shirt or see your photo published in the magazine if you take top honors in our six main categories of pictures:

  • Beautiful
  • Funny
  • People in Parking
  • Structure/Lot
  • Nature
  • Most Offbeat or Unusual

All you need to do is take a parking-related digital photo and visit parking.org/photocontest to upload it into the contest. That’s it! Easy-peasy, but you only have one more week to join in the fun.

Hit us with your best shot! I can’t wait to see all of your entries!

 

America’s Parking Lot

Kim Fernandez

My dad took me to my first football tailgate when I was 12 or 13 years old. It was a University of Maryland vs. Clemson game, and while I don’t remember who won, the party in the parking lot is clearly etched in my brain.

Filmmaker Jonny Mars went to his first pro football tailgate party as an adult, five years ago, after betting a friend that watching a Dallas Cowboys game at home was a better experience than going to a game in person. He figured there would be food and beer and lots of yelling, but what he didn’t expect to find was a community there among the pickup trucks and tents and trailers. And he certainly never thought his life would be flipped upside-down outside Cowboys Stadium, but that’s exactly what happened.

Mars spent the next four years making a movie called “America’s Parking Lot,” about the Gate 6 Tailgaters in Dallas–possibly the most rabid group of fans the Cowboys enjoy–and how they were nearly torn apart when the team moved to a new stadium, a new ticket pricing structure, and a new parking lot. He and I started talking several months ago, and even having spent much of my work time immersed in parking for more than a year, his film and those fans’ story kind of blew me away.

In the September issue of The Parking Professional, you’ll meet tailgate ringleader Cy Ditmore, who’s featured in the film, and hear his thoughts on football and tailgates and parking. He talks about the family he gained when he started hanging out on the asphalt before football games, and he means it quite literally; the men and women he parties with have become as dear to his heart as his own blood relatives.

The movie is scheduled to appear on most cable systems’ video on demand menus starting November 22, sharing the importance of that parking lot with much of America. I hope you’ll spend some time with our story, get to know Jonny and Cy a little bit, and then make a date with your television to watch the film.

It’s much more than a party out there. It’s a neighborhood, and shows why, in a very grassroots sense, Parking Matters®.

IPI Conference & Expo Out with a Bang

Casey Jones on His HorseARVE Error: no video ID

 

A live rodeo in an outdoor arena, complete with performances by good-natured parking professionals, authentic Tex-Mex dinner, and spectacular fireworks display closed out the 2012 IPI Conference & Expo in Phoenix with fun and friends.


IPI Chair Casey Jones kicked things off with an appearance on horseback in the middle of the ring at the Corona Ranch, before some unsuspecting Conference attendees were called out to wrangle calves, milk goats, and have some good old-fashioned Phoenix fun before their friends in the audience.

After a dinner together, attendees were invited outside for a surprise fireworks display that was met with much applause, before bidding goodnight with promises to meet again in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., May 19-22 for next year’s Conference & Expo.

Before all of that, it was another productive day at the Phoenix Convention Center…

Summit Explores How TDM Compliments Parking

A crowd gathered at the IPI Conference & Expo Wednesday morning to learn how parking professionals can integrate transportation demand management (TDM) strategies into their programs to help achieve mobility goals, during the Summit on TDM: Transportation Tools to Support Parking Program Effectiveness.

The one-day symposium, co-sponsored by IPI and the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT), provided participants with a lot of practical, actionable information and case studies. The event was co-chaired by ACT president Brian Shaw, director of business services at The University of Pennsylvania, and Josh Kavanagh, director of transportation at the University of Washington.

In “Show Me the Money: The Business Case for TDM,” UrbanTrans North America president Joddie Gray, AICP, shared vital tips on transportation program funding. She noted that it’s important to create a strategic business plan, based on a clear picture of future transportation demand and desired transportation system performance.

Brian Shaw took to the podium to deliver “Setting the Stage: How Public Policy Can Create a Favorable Environment for Your TDM program.” Shaw explained how transportation programs are funded and how parking operations can be at the table to get their share of federal and other public resources.

Other speakers addressed “Getting What You’re Paying For: Metrics for TDM Programs,” “Building Your Operating Plan: Picking the Right Tools for the Job,” and other topics. The Summit’s afternoon panel discussions gathered the collective expertise of several speakers to field questions and provide guidance on implementing a variety of TDM strategies, in “An Operating Manual for Your TDM Tools.”

Media Crash Course: Speaking Parking Matters®

Wednesday’s general session brought Nick Calderone, owner of Reel Stories, and Phoenix CBS 5 News Anchor Sean McLaughlin to the General Session stage for a robust discussion on talking with the media.

“Nobody knows the information better than you,” said Calderone. “You’re in control.” He encouraged participants to remember going into a media interview that the reporter sought them out for their specific knowledge–”You are the smartest person in the room.”

The two presented their “Bes and Don’ts” for media interviews, encouraging parking professionals to be prepared, honest, passionate, expressive, accurate, and calm. “Everybody can tell if you’re not telling the truth,” said McLaughin. When faced with a reporter, they said, don’t lie, mislead, be evasive or defensive, speculate, or deny. And no matter what, don’t say “no comment.”

“Get that out of your brain,” said Calderone.

We Have Winners!

The last day of the IPI Expo meant lots of excitement on the floor as raffles were conducted and prizes were given away. Cheryl Woodward and Debra Wooden each won $500 in IPI’s Expo-Opoly game. After that, it was time to announce the year’s Best in Show exhibitor booths. Winners are:

  • Best in Show, 100-300 square feet
    •    First place: Eco Lights
    •    Second Place: Garage Juice Bar
    •    Third Place: Streetline
  • Best in Show, 400-600 square feet: Magnetic Autocontrol
  • Best in Show, 800-1200 square feet: Amano Mcgann
  • Best in Show, People’s Choice: Magnetic Autocontrol

Congratulations!

Media Coverage

The IPI Conference & Expo generated lots of press coverage, as reporters and cameras descended on the show floor to see all the latest in parking technology, products, services, and trends. A few highlights:

  • KPNX-TV the NBC affiliate in Phoenix featured a live morning interview with Casey Jones and reporter Jaclyn Schultz, complete with a smart parking meter and sensing device to show.
  • KNXV-TV the ABC affiliate in Phoenix featured an interview with IPI Chair Casey Jones.
  • KPHO –TV the CBS affiliate in Phoenix sent anchor Sean McLaughlin for a report for the 10 oclock news, but had so much fun he couldn’t tear himself away and stayed for more than an hour.
  • Sean Holstege, reporter for the Arizona Republic newspaper, toured the floor with Casey Jones and Immediate Past Chair Cindy Campbell, asking in-depth and probing questions about all the new technology.
  • Cindy Campbell was interviewed for Phoenix news radio station KTAR.
  • Casey Jones will be the guest on the radio program Business for Breakfast on MoneyRadio 1510.
  • Finally, the New York Times sent a videographer to the Expo.

IPI Conference & Expo Buzzing with Activity

parking-expo-learning-lab

The 2012 IPI Conference & Expo kicked off over the weekend with the 19th Annual CAPP Classic Golf Tournament, a reception for international and first-time attendees, an in-depth Learning Lab, the Sunsational Phoenix Meet & Mingle Reception, CAPP graduation, and educational sessions in five specialized tracks. It was a busy two days in Phoenix!

Learning Lab Goes In-Depth

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP; Barbara Chance, Ph.D. and Josh Kavanagh, CAPP spent Sunday morning facilitating small-group discussions that focused on downtown, privatization, and university issues, before delving into case studies that were designed to be informative and challenging:

  • The downtown group focused on the strategic planning process that Fort Collins, Colo., used to explore the possibility of adopting paid parking, and reviewed the nine recommendations in the city’s plan.
  • The university discussion centered on a fictitious campus that experienced an 8 percent population increase that created parking supply-and-demand issues.
  • The privatization group had the perspectives of two parking pros from U.S. municipalities contrasting with two private sector property specialists from Lima, Peru. All found themselves struggling to balance short-term revenue pressures with long-term market realities.

Participants applauded the Learning Lab’s format, process, and topic mix, and said they valued the opportunity for quality networking.

 

Global Parking Association Summit Meeting

IPI Chair Casey Jones, CAPP, told participants at the first IPI Global Parking Association Summit Meeting how proud he was that they traveled from points around the globe to gather together and talk about parking and their individual associations.

Leaders from parking associations in Spain, Canada, Norway, Brazil, Great Britain, and the U.S. met for several hours Sunday afternoon, discussing the various challenges faced by the parking profession in their individual countries, and the ways the industry was similar around the world. The invitation-only event was especially appropriate this year, said Jones, as the IPI Conference & Expo hosted parking professionals from 25 different countries.

After friendly discussion about their associations and the nuances of each country’s parking industry, the group settled in to talk about Parking Matters®, and the friendships that were forged over the conference table. Follow-up events are anticipated.

CAPP Graduation

Sunday night, 13 parking professionals graduated from the Certified Administrator of Public Parking (CAPP) program, earning their certifications before a crowd of their peers after two rigorous years of study.
The newest CAPP-certified professionals are:

Ross L. Allanson, CAPP, Ampco System Parking

Pamela Corbin, CAPP, City of Orlando, Florida

Gordon G. Dash, CAPP, City of Raleigh, North Carolina

Michael Drow, CAPP, Standard Parking Corporation

James Horski, CAPP, Ampco System Parking

Natasha Labi, CAPP, Parking Company of America

Jeffrey A. LaGesse, CAPP, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Amy K. Orr, CAPP, College of Charleston.

Danette L. Perry, CAPP, City of Berkeley, California Transportation

Krishna D. Singh, CAPP, University of Central Florida

Gregory J. Stormberg, CAPP, Parkmobile USA, Inc.

Paul N. Whetzel, CAPP, Charleston County Government

Sandra L. Ziegler, CAPP, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Today at the Conference & Expo

Today will be another busy one for IPI Conference & Expo attendees. Things kick off with a keynote presentation by Britta Gross, director, global energy systems and infrastructure commercialization, General Motors, followed by the grand opening of the Expo. Another round of educational sessions promise to inspire and inform, and a reception on the Expo Hall floor rounds out the day. Check back here tomorrow for highlights!

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

IPI Expo

As the song says, my bags are packed and I’m ready to go–it’s time for the 2012 IPI Conference & Expo!

Whether you’re joining us for the world’s largest parking event or not (and I hope you are!), it’ll be worth checking back here every day next week. We’ll be posting all the news from Phoenix right here on the Parking Matters® Blog, and this is the place to read about what’s already happened and what’s coming up at the Conference & Expo. If you haven’t already, this is a great time to subscribe to the blog–just fill in your email address in that “Subscribe to Posts” box to the right, and our updates will arrive in your email automatically.

You can also keep up with us on Twitter: follow @IntlParkingInst and the hashtag #IPIconference. Because you’re already reading the blog, I’ll give you a little inside scoop: we’ll be giving away some great prizes to people who retweet our Conference updates next week. It’s worth the follow!

Finally, keep an eye out for our newly-appointed Conference Ambassadors, wearing these buttons in Phoenix:

These friendly volunteers have stepped up to answer questions, direct attendees to events and resources, and help orient our newest members and guests to everything going on. They’ll kick things off at the Welcome and Orientation for First Time and International Attendees at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 10 in the Convention Center North Hall B-E Foyer (by IPI Registration), and then stick around to help out for the rest of the Conference.

I hope you’ll join us in Phoenix, and keep up with us here if you can’t make it this year. It’s going to be a fantastic IPI Conference & Expo!

College Parking Makes the Grade

In much of the country (sorry, Colorado), birds are singing and flowers are blooming and spring has definitely sprung. April brings with it a renewed freshness as we break out of our winter doldrums, sweep out the proverbial cobwebs, open up the windows, and let a little newness in.

April means The Parking Professional focuses on colleges and universities, and there are lots of fresh ideas in this month’s issue.

We kick things off with “Shooting for Three,” which looks at how a university, a neighborhood, and a city balanced their triple bottom line when a new 12,400-seat athletic complex opened on campus. Far from shrinking from the challenge, parking professionals at the University of Oregon put their heads together and figured out how to make the new center and its crowds work for everyone.

The magazine next looks at how the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill balanced its funding when expenses went up recently. Innovative ideas helped keep the spreadsheet healthy without placing undue burden on any one group.

One of my favorite stories from the issue is about Operation Safedrive [PDF], which provides free vehicle safety inspections to students and faculty at the University of Georgia–you won’t believe how far that’s gone in good public relations for the parking services department there. Similarly, you’ll read the story of Texas Tech’s new motion awareness program that helps keep everyone–drivers and pedestrians–a little bit safer.

The magazine also features stories about Duke University’s LEED-certified garage, and how Seattle Children’s hospital used solid data and a little fun and games to proactively push TDM, with great results.

I hope you’ll enjoy the April issue of The Parking Professional. Let us know what you think!