Why National Heatstroke Prevention Day Should Matter to Parking Professionals

cropped2014

Another child died of heatstroke in a parked car while I was writing this blog post. 
Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.48.14 AM

Click on this link to download IPI’s Parking Safety Matters public service ad/fact sheet about preventing children from dying in hot parked cars and help get the word out! You can even customize it with your organization’s logo. Post the information on your website, tack it to office bulletin boards, print it and share with staff to increase their awareness, and distribute it on the windshields of cars parked in your garages or lots so drivers will know they cannot leave a child in a car for even a minute.

Jan Null, the nation’s leading expert on this topic who spoke at the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo in Dallas and who is working with us on this public service initiative, just updated his online statistics to 19 child deaths in hot cars this year.

There’s been an extraordinary amount of media coverage about this issue this year, and expect more today; July 31, is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Heatstroke is how most of these innocent infants, toddlers, and young children die, often within minutes because children’s bodies are more susceptible to heat. Participating organizations will post social media messages throughout the day, asking people to share the posts on Facebook and retweet using #heatstroke.

You can also help by signing a petition supported by a number of child safety groups to help gain attention for this issue and to encourage government action.

Would you ever leave your baby in a car? Most everyone says no. But the sad truth is that good parents–normal, just-like-you parents–do. It’s heartbreaking. Often one parent or caregiver thinks the child is with someone else. Sometimes it’s just a case of being distracted. Often a sleeping child is simply left behind, or a child playing in an unattended car gets trapped inside and is not found until it is too late.

Though southern states see more incidences, geography is not a valid predictor, says Null. The temperature in a closed vehicle can rise 19 degrees in just 10 minutes and skyrocket 43 degrees in an hour. Cracking the windows has little effect. Even a 72 degree day in Seattle can be deadly. See a time-collapse video illustrating how fast a car heats up here.

This isn’t just a one-day, or one-summer initiative. IPI’s Safety and Security Committee, co-chaired by Geary Robinson, Ph.D., CAPP, and Bruce Barclay, CAPP, will be developing other ways for you to be part of this important public service campaign. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Want a poster to put in elevators, or display areas? Write to me at sullivan@parking.org and I’ll send you a poster art file you can take to your local print shop. (Send me your hi-res logo and I’ll put it on the poster before I send you the art file.)

The Best Things in Life…

Rachel_Yoka 2013

Are worth waiting for, right? Sometimes you work on something for a really long time.  We have a project like that (36 months, 4 days, 17 hours and 15 minutes it took, I believe) that’s just reached the finish line: Sustainable Parking Design and Management: A Practitioner’s Handbook.

When I first entered the business world, I believed there was an immediate and direct relationship between effort and productive hours expended and a successful outcome, regardless of timeline. The faster you invested, the faster the product would be complete and it would be as good as the effort. In my years here at TimHaahs, often there were decisions I wanted us to make and projects I wanted us to start, and Tim would advise us to wait (waiting has never been my strong suit). But something special (almost always) happened in the waiting. Situations changed, additional thought was applied, and a different sort of organic evolution took place. Often, projects were improved by allowing other people to get involved or by tackling unforeseen challenges. Although it did not come naturally to me, I learned the importance of applying patience, sleeping on it, and allowing projects to grow on their own.

At long last, Sustainable Parking Design and Management: A Practitioner’s Handbook–all 188 pages of it, a joint project of IPI and NPA, is available for pre-order now, and both a hardcover and an ebook (Kindle) version will be available in just a few weeks.

This brand new book about sustainability and parking is the first of its kind. As the editor, I can say we are all very excited about it (who wouldn’t be after 36 months?). I know our authors, peer reviewers, IPI, our Board of Directors consider it a watershed moment.  This publication–a reference and technical manual for integrating sustainability into our industry–needed time to grow, to evolve, and become the very best that it could be.

Thanks so much to every person who touched the book. You have all made this one of the very best things I have had the honor and pleasure to work on.

Some projects are just worth the wait.

 

Announcing a New Green Parking Book

Shawn Conrad

We call it the “Green Book” for short, but you can now pre-order from IPI the 176-page Sustainable Parking Design and Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 9.35.32 AMManagement: A Practitioner’s Handbook as an ebook or limited-edition hardcover at pre-release discounted prices.

The idea for this book began with Tim Haahs, PE, AIA, of Timothy Haahs and Associates, Inc., long time IPI Board member and the consummate parking professional, who also sat on the National Parking Association’s (NPA) Consultants Council.  Tim envisioned this book as a joint industry project, and IPI and NPA have worked together for the past three years to bring it to publication.

More about the book, including a listing of chapters, is available at parking.org/greenbook.

I know “it takes a village” is a cliché, but this book really is the result of many talented people devoting a lot of time to the effort, no one more than book editor and IPI Board member Rachel Yoka, LEED AP BD+C, CNU-A. She deserves accolades and gratitude from everyone in the parking industry for seeing this project through.

The book’s chapter authors and peer reviewers also deserve thanks for their important contributions:

Ryan Astrup, M Arch (Prof) Assoc., AIA
Dennis Burns, CAPP
Michael Cramer
Gary Cudney
Chuck Cullen, CAPP, CPP
Matt Feagans
Vicky Gagliano, LEED AP
Casey Jones, CAPP, MPA
Erin Kueht, P.E., LEED AP BD+C
Megan Leinart, LEED AP BD+C, CNU-A
David LoCoco
Jerry Marcus
Mark Martin
Patrick D. Martin, P.E.
Shannon Sanders McDonald, AIA
Isaiah Mouw, CAPP, CPP, LEED GA
Raju Nandwana
Gary Neff
H. Dean Penny, P.E.
Gerard A. Rewolinski
Steven J. Roloff, PE, LEED AP
Brian Shaw, CAPP
Dave Sheldon, LEED AP
Michelle Wendler, AIA
Timothy T. Wendt, PE, LEED AP
Paul Wessel
Brett Wood, CAPP
Rachel Yoka, LEED AP BD+C, CNU-A
James M. Zullo, CAPP

Featured in the book are more than 20 case studies of facilities that have incorporated sustainable elements and which provide vital information and lessons learned.

IPI’s mission is to advance the parking profession. In our education and outreach efforts we focus on this triad: Technology. Customer Service. Sustainability.

This book is a milestone for our industry. I encourage you to learn from and delight in its pages.

A heads-up: The hardcover version of Sustainable Parking Design and Management: A Practitioner’s Handbook will be a limited-edition. Both the hardcover and ebook may be pre-ordered now at introductory (and IPI member discounted) prices at parking.org/greenbook.

It’s an exciting day for the parking industry!

 

 

 

 

 

Lending a Hand to Help a Peer–and the Profession

Shawn Conrad

One of the best things about being part of IPI’s wonderfully generous community is the sharing of information and learning from fellow parking professionals.

IPI recently collaborated with David McKinney, director of parking services at Arkansas State University. David is working on his doctoral dissertation on various management practices at universities and colleges. His work will be valuable to our industry and to support his efforts we asked IPI members to respond to David’s survey.

WOW did you respond! Within a short period of time after our request, David received a treasure trove of responses from his peers at academic institutions across North America and was the envy of his colleagues who commiserate about how difficult it is to get responses. (An aside: Kate Windom, our education researcher who conducted IPI’s Jobs Analysis Survey last year, was similarly bowled over by the level of response from our members.)

Once completed, David will share the results of his survey with IPI and we will share it with you. It’s a real win-win for everyone!

In the future, we’d like to help others with a quest to do academic-reviewed research for the parking industry. I know how easy it is to become survey-weary, but I hope you will continue to consider your participation an investment in advancing the parking profession and making an important contribution. It is appreciated very much. Onward, and thank you!

Investing In Parking

L. Dennis Burns

A recent project asked that we evaluate trends in the parking industry. One of the specific areas of focus was parking technology.

IPI released a very nice piece last year, 2013 Emerging Trends in Parking, based on a survey of its members. Two of the top trends noted in the report were the rapidly-expanding use of smartphones and mobile apps as both a means of pushing out information about parking and as payment options.

The report said, “Topping the list of trends in the $30 billion parking industry is the ‘move toward innovative technologies to improve parking access control and payment automation,’ cited by 59 percent of respondents. Another top trend is ‘real-time communication of pricing and availability to mobile/smartphones.’”

The second major trend related directly to the expansion of payment options:

“The second leading trend is the ‘demand for electronic (cashless) payment,’ with cities such as Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Houston, and Miami among others, incorporating pay-by-phone programs. Acclaimed as the world’s most successful of its type, the D.C. program has earned 550,000 customers and accounts for 40 percent of the city’s parking revenues. About 80 percent of the seven million transactions to date employ smart phones, with payment options that include credit cards, an online and mobile money management solution, and PayPal.”

As we began our own investigation of industry trends, a friend shared an interesting fact with me” Almost $25 million in funding has been invested in parking-focused mobile payment firms during the past 12 months:

  • Passport – $6M (December 2013)
  • Pango 6.5M (February 2014)
  • QuickPay – $5.5M (February 2014)
  • ParkMobile – $6.3M (February 2013)

These facts, combined with other significant investments by major multi-national corporations such as Xerox, 3M, etc., reinforce the fact that the importance of parking is being recognized on a broader scale than ever before.

This speaks volumes about the advancement of the parking profession and underscores the critical role parking plays in community and economic development, the importance of parking planning, the evolution of a more sustainable transportation industry, and ultimately our ability to directly enhance the parking experience of millions of parking patrons every day. It’s an exciting time to be a parking professional!

 

Are You More Prepared Than a Congressman?

Shawn Conrad

The same day New York Congressman Michael Grimm physically threatened a news reporter following President Obama’s State of the Union Address, IPI conducted its annual Media Training seminar for 35 Certified Administrator of Public Parking (CAPP) candidates. This two-day course has been offered by IPI for more than 20 years, becoming more relevant as parking grows as a popular subject with many media outlets.

Parking professionals regularly find themselves sought-out by reporters seeking input on new management approaches or technology improvements. We live in a 24/7 new cycle, and everything big (and not-so-big) is newsworthy.  Cue the misbehaving teen pop singer.

IPI’s Media Training session began with the question, “How many of you think the media is on your side?”  Not one participant raised his hand. The instructors, not surprised by this reaction, leapt at the chance to showcase all of the ways a person being interviewed can get his messages across, showing our CAPP candidates how to tell their stories when the cameras arrive. Being prepared for an interview helps you not only get your message across, but also helps alleviate any anxiety you might have before the microphone is thrust in your face.

Every time a parking professional looks into a camera, clips on a microphone, or speaks at an event covered by reporters is a chance to get an organization’s message across. When you look and act confident and provide useful information to a reporter’s questions, you serve as an effective ambassador for the parking industry.

Contrary to popular belief, most reporters are just trying to get the story accurately and on time. They aren’t out there to ask “gotcha” questions or make you look uninformed. Preparation is key.

You’ll be glad to know that just as IPI offers education modules on technology, payment systems, and sustainability at state and regional meetings, thanks to our Parking Matters® committee, we are currently developing a media training module that should be ready in the fall. We’ll all benefit from having more parking ambassadors prepared to talk about all the positives in parking.

IPI’s Media Training seminars are conducted to a growing audience ever year. My hope is that you never find yourself asked questions that don’t pertain to the subject area you originally agreed to address. But if you do, media training will give you the skills to handle it on a much more appropriate and less risky way than a certain congressman from New York.

 

 

March Madness (In a Good Way)

Bridgette Brady

March is the start of conference season for the IPI Allied State and Regional Associations and unlike your March Madness brackets, these conferences are guaranteed winners.

The Mid-South Parking and Transportation Association (MSPTA) conference will be held in Chattanooga, Tenn., March 3-5. “A popular staple for our conference has been front-line customer service training,” comments Jennifer Tougas, MSPTA president. “Oftentimes, this leads to staff coming back to work with a greater appreciation of their role in the department and a greater understanding of why Parking Matters®.

The New England Parking Council (NEPC) is back in Boston this year. The NEPC’s conference will be held in the heart of Boston’s New Innovation District at the Seaport Hotel, March 11-12. NEPC hosted 240 parking professionals in Hartford last year, and they expect more in Boston.

The Texas Parking & Transportation Association (TPTA) will hold its conference at the South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center in League City, Texas, March 24-27. About 200 parking professionals will meet for this three-day conference that includes educational sessions, a golf outing, an evening event, vendor exhibits, and roundtable discussions.

Further supporting IPI’s partnership with the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT), the Pacific Intermountain Parking and Transportation Association (PIPTA) will host its Transportation Summit in Salt Lake City with the Rocky Mountain Chapter of ACT (RMACT), April 10-11.

If you are looking for some southern hospitality, the Parking Association of Georgia’s (PAG) conference and tradeshow will focus on planning, mobility, and parking. PAG’s conference will be held at the Hilton Savannah Desoto Hotel in Savannah, Georgia, April 16-18.

If you haven’t attended an IPI Allied Association conference, you really need to. “Attending the Florida Parking Association (FPA) was a very emotional and amazing experience,” says Liliana Rambo, CAPP, chair of IPI’s Board of Directors. “The educational sessions were spectacular, the events were fun, and of course the food was delicious. Having the opportunity to talk, network and reunite with long-time friends and parking colleagues was priceless.”

For more information about your State and Regional Association, please visit http://www.parking.org/about-ipi/ipi-allied-associations

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.

 

New Year, New Address for IPI

Shawn Conrad

updated_movingIt’s 2014. And, it’s our first day in IPI’s new headquarters in Alexandria, Va.

I have a new perspective on the world, literally and figuratively.

Alexandria is minutes from Washington, D.C., accessible to three major airports and a Metro stop, and our new complex has its own bike share station. It’s easier to visit us, and I hope you will!

Being in close proximity to government agencies with whom we have increasingly close ties will be an asset to IPI and its members.

IPI’s new hometown boasts the fourth largest concentration of professional associations in the nation. Many are associations related to building, property management, urban planning, architecture, transportation, law enforcement, municipalities, universities, healthcare—the list goes on! These are groups with which we either have alliances, or want to build alliances, and the proximity will facilitate those connections.

The offices may be new, but the staff is the same, with the same dedication to serving our members. We’re looking forward to all the opportunities our new address will afford. In the meantime, please update your IPI contact information.

International Parking Institute
1330 Braddock Place, Suite 350
Alexandria, Va., 22314
571.699.3011

There may be times we’re offline during the next few days (our move has been complicated by the snow here). Rest assured, we are working hard and settling in and we look forward to hearing from you Monday morning. Thanks for your patience—look for a virtual tour of our new home in the February issue of The Parking Professional and plan a visit soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elves, Volunteers and Santa 365

Shawn Conrad

When I say 365, I’m not referring to days in the year. I’m talking about the approximate number of parking professionals who chose to volunteer and share their energy and expertise with the International Parking Institute, affiliates, or allied state and regional parking associations during the past 12 months.

Behind every successful IPI program, there are numerous “elves” oiling the machine, delivering the goods, and doing so with bells on!

This is very top of mind because I just re-read my advance copy of the 2013 IPI Year in Review which will accompany your January issue of The Parking Professional. As the year comes to a close, it’s a satisfying exercise to recap highlights of the past twelve months and see how much we accomplished. As, IPI Chair Liliana Rambo, CAPP, coined it: “A stellar year – thanks to so many.”

We were fortunate to have many talented individuals make such a positive difference by working on a committee, writing an article for The Parking Professional or the Parking Matters® Blogbeing the elvebehind the 2013 IPIConference & Expo, participating in webinars, sharing ideas during ShopTalks,and contributing in countless other ways to advance the parking profession.

This season, we hear a great deal about spirit and generosity, but I have found this to be an industry where those attributes are year round in abundance. On behalf of all of us at IPI, our deepest gratitude and very best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a healthy, prosperous new year.

Tea and Parking: What’s the Deal?

JC Porter, Parking and Transportation, Bronco Snapshot, cq

Success boils down to how you treat your customers and employees. I had the opportunity to read The Parking Professional’s Goldman Coverinterview with bestselling author, CEO, and green advocate Seth Goldman in the December issue (coming to your mailbox soon), and found it very insightful. Without giving away all the details of the interview, I want to discuss a few themes Goldman talks about and how they apply to parking.

The first thing he addresses is having a mission that employees at all levels can understand and get behind. Often, mission statements are written by leaders who are not out doing the job on a day-to-day basis and may not have the vision of what a frontline job could be. Getting employees’ buy-in on mission requires their involvement from the ground up. We have to give them the responsibility that will allow them to make decisions that go along with the mission, and empower them to make decisions that translate to top-notch customer service.

Goldman’s second piece of advice is to think like a customer, to ensure the services they want and need are being provided. Most times, we like to tell our customers what they want or need instead of listening to them.

Finally, he advises treating everyone equally so no one feels like an outsider in the corporate environment. This, he says, translates to parking pretty easily: cyclists tend to be relegated to the corner or an area that is under-utilized when bike storage is provided at all. Instead, create spaces that are well thought-out and will help encourage cycling. Consider bike storage that is secure, covered, and close to the front door; lockers and showers; and having a vending machine that dispenses tubes, batteries, or other bicycle-related items to allow quick fix before the ride home. The return on investment for these services will be high; bike infrastructure is inexpensive and employees who bike to work are in better health and less stressed when arriving to work than those who commute by car.

I hope you’ll take time to read the interview with Seth Goldman in the December issue of The Parking Professional. Finding your mission can be as easy as looking toward your employees and customers, and not just looking at the bottom line.

 

 

Thanksgiving: Parking Family

Liliana_Rambo-Pink_suit

This is the time of the year many of us take a moment to examine the things we have accomplished during the past 11 months and either celebrate or reinvigorate ourselves with new energy to finish those pending projects in the last four weeks of the calendar year. But it is also a time for traditions; it is a time to come together with loved ones, families, colleagues, and friends, share food and fun, and be thankful.

As I prepare for a Thanksgiving get-together at my house with my two daughters, family, and friends, I am making notes of all the things that I will be thankful for, including those we sometimes we take for granted: the cooking of the turkey, for example!

This year, I am thankful for my health and for the ability to be able to enjoy life with my girls.

I am thankful that Briana was accepted to the university of her choice and that Diana keeps excelling at volleyball.

I am thankful to have crossed completing a Tough Mudder event off my bucket list. But I am more thankful for the friendships and camaraderie formed with other parking peeps during the event.

I give thanks for a job that provides as many challenges as rewards, and for the opportunity to work with a very talented and fun group of people.

I am also very thankful for having the great fortune to belong to an organization such as IPI, where I have been able to grow as an individual and in the professional arena. I feel extremely blessed to call some of the people I have met through this organization not just colleagues, but BFFs.

I am thankful for the people who work for IPI and the many accomplishments they have helped us achieve in the parking and transportation industry worldwide. The list of accomplishments over the last year is exhausting, and many of these accomplishments could not have been realized without volunteers. The real magic of IPI is the number and caliber of volunteers who give back to their profession by offering their talents, time, and expertise on our board, committees, councils, and task forces. Words can’t express the gratitude I feel and owe to all our volunteers–my heartfelt thank you goes to all of you.

We all know that it takes a team to make it happen, and we have a very strong team! More than 400 people answered our biannual call for volunteers, and they are the ones helping us move the needle and IPI forward. We have made great progress in developing the international arena in the parking profession by providing services and programs to parking professionals in North America, Europe, Brazil, Mexico, and other parts of South America, and we will keep expanding on this effort.

I could go on and on listing accomplishments, but I’ll close by expressing my most sincere gratitude to all of you and how privileged I feel to be the chair of such a vibrant and active community–one dedicated to advancing the parking profession.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving Day while I prepare to cook my first turkey!

 

 

Heads Up! Safety and Kudos in Montgomery County, Md.

Helen Sullivan
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett at parking lot safety press conference yesterday.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett at parking lot safety press conference yesterday.

Heads Up in Parking Lots is a campaign launched this week by Montgomery County, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C.  I had the privilege of attending their press conference, held in the parking lot of a market in beautiful downtown Rockville. Why launch a safety campaign focused on parking lots?

According to County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett, who spoke passionately at the event:

  • Nearly one-third of pedestrian collisions in Montgomery County occur in parking lots and garages.
  • There’s been a 50 percent increase in parking lot and garage collisions over the past five years, with 300 people injured.
  • One-third of those injuries have been severe

Leggett says collisions spike during the November and December holidays, particularly around 7 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m.

The Heads Up campaign is largely a collaboration between government, property owners, and retailers. As Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said, law officials have limited authority in retail parking lots, so enforcement is not part of their toolbox. Manger says 80 percent of parking lot collisions are the driver’s fault.

Many of the Heads Up campaign’s safety messages are reflected in numerous posters, signs, bus backs, and tip sheets that are available at montgomerycountymd.gov/walk. Similar messages are reflected in IPI’s annual holiday parking safety news release.

I was happy to meet one of our own at the press conference–Rick Siebert, CAPP, public section chief, Montgomery County Department of Transportation–and honored that during the press conference a shout-out was given to the International Parking Institute.

My relationship with Montgomery County started when I was developing copy and researching statistics for our “How to Park: A Must Read Manual for Teen Drivers” (produced in collaboration with AAA Mid-Atlantic Safety and Education, also at yesterday’s event). There are very few available statistics about pedestrian collisions in parking lots except for those from Montgomery County, which has tracked them for many years. Kudos to this proactive, safety-minded county and my delightful contact there, Public Information Officer Esther Bowring.

Esther and I are planning to knock on some doors at various insurance company groups to see if we can inspire more research and data gathering in this important area. If you have statistics to share, please do, and consider finding ways to communicate safety in your own communities. Thousands of people injured in parking lots and garages each year does not seem like a good thing for anybody. Let’s work together to see a dramatic reduction in those occurrences in Montgomery County–and beyond.

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!

Are You Ready to “Ignite” and Inspire?

Henry Wallmeyer

“The facilitators did an excellent job of presenting the material.”

“Excellent presentation!”

“Great overview and inspiration.”

“Good information. Fun Time”

“He’s a very knowledgeable presenter with a lot of good relevant experience.”

“This was the best class yet!!”

“This is the best presentation I have been to, maybe ever!”

This is just a sampling of what attendees told us about the sessions and speakers at the 2013 IPI Conference & Expo in Fort Lauderdale. Wouldn’t you like the above to be said about you? It can!

To receive these and perhaps even greater compliments, submit your idea for a presentation and become a speaker at the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo in Dallas, June 1-4. If you are an experienced and articulate individual willing to share your expertise and real-world practices, it’s easy to submit a presentation proposal—we especially want those that illustrate case studies, illuminate important issues, demonstrate how-to knowledge, and increase the professionalism of attendees.

We introduced the Ignite: Parking session in Fort Lauderdale: eight individuals presented for five minutes each using 20 slides that automatically advanced every 15 seconds. Because of the packed room and immensely positive feedback, we are expanding to three sessions in 2014: Ignite: Technology, Ignite: Sustainability, and Ignite: Parking.

An Ignite session is a unique opportunity for you to deliver valuable information in a fun and entertaining way, and we’re looking for engaging, high-energy, multi-tasking, industry professionals to lead the way.

Whether you shine in a traditional 60-minute session or an Ignite session, being a speaker at the IPI Conference & Expo can be an extremely rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. Click here for more information and to submit your presentation.

We look forward to receiving your submission by the October 1, 2013 deadline.

Copybooks for All

Rachael Yoka

My kids started school a week ago (finally). It is of note that they resurfaced and re-striped the parking lot over the summer. This caused a certain amount of chaos, but it was a wise investment that will improve conditions in the long run. This post isn’t actually about that, though.

My kids have classes in history, english, math, and more. I am to provide a copybook for each distinct subject–a separate, individual copybook where my son and daughter will write useful information and things worth remembering about each subject.

Sadly, most of the time this is the case. Interdisciplinary explanations, connections, and impacts from one related subject to another (history and social studies, for example) go largely unexplained and unexplored at the elementary level, which I would argue is the best time to teach about those connections. Language and math and history and art and politics cannot be cleanly separated, and to do so leaves our kids at a disadvantage.

In the “real” world, do we operate differently?

Planners plan walkable (or drivable) cities.
Architects design green buildings and contractors build them.
Engineers create complete, green streets.
Parking and transportation professionals plan and operate assets to access said cities, buildings, and streets.

Few organizations, courses, or programs address not only these honorable endeavors, but also the complex relationships, synergies, and conflicts among them. Sustainability and smart growth can serve as that umbrella concept, but what more can we do?

To IPI’s credit, through its Parking Matters® program and other industry outreach efforts and alliances, inroads are being made so related professions take a more holistic approach that includes parking.

But we have much ground to cover. We do what we learn early in life.  We have learned to silo these “subjects.” I would rather be under the colorful umbrella that captures the nuances and relationships of the subjects we learn, and the work we do.

I, for one, would support a change in that paradigm, from Kindergarten all the way up to CAPP!

 

It’s a Global (Parking) Village in Dublin This Week

Shawn Conrad

I’m in Dublin, Ireland, at the European Parking Congress. It’s only just started, but a highlight this morning was a meeting of the Global Parking Associations Leadership Summit (GPALS). IPI sowed the seeds for this group to provide a forum for parking associations around the globe to share information and work collaboratively for the advancement of the parking industry. The group first met at the 2012 IPI Conference & Expo in Phoenix, and is now 17 associations strong and growing! Learn more at parking.org/gpals.

At this week’s meeting, which was attended by representatives from 15 countries, we shared and discussed the results of GPALS’ global parking trends report, which is the group’s first collaborative project. Based on an adaptation of IPI’s annual Emerging Trends in Parking survey, data was collected from the members of parking associations from Australia, Norway, Finland, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, and the U.S. Parking professionals from these countries, as well as from Denmark, Belgium, Serbia, Austria, France, Hungary and Slovakia, participated in the survey.

Survey results focus on the top parking trends as they relate to technology improvements, operations, sustainability, politics, and economic factors that will affect how we regard and manage parking. It also asked respondents to assess whether perceptions about parking were changing for the better or the worse in their countries.

Results from the GPALS survey will be published by each participating parking association next week, and will be featured in the October issue of The Parking Professional. Be sure to look for them when the magazine hits your mailbox next month.

Here in Ireland, there’s a very warm feeling toward the remarkable and unselfish collaborative spirit provided by all of the parking associations. There is much we can learn from each other if we provide pathways for sharing. GPALS is paving the way.

 

Cheer, Cheer

Henry Wallmeyer

This is one of my favorite times of the year and not just because being outside is once again enjoyable thanks to the cooler weather and the kids are back in school. It is because fall marks the start of college football season.

Les Niedbalski and Henry Wallmeyer

Les Niedbalski and Henry Wallmeyer

I grew up in a house where Saturdays and vacations revolved around Notre Dame football. Our family vacations weren’t to Disney World, but South Bend, Ind., to watch Notre Dame football games. I’m not complaining, mind you, just stating a fact.

Last weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to pass on the tradition as my wife and I loaded our two little ones, ages seven and five, into the family truckster (think the Griswolds) and made the 11-hour trip (Google Maps didn’t take into account the fact that we had kids with us when it said it was nine hours) from Alexandria, Va., to South Bend for the kids’ first home Notre Dame football game.

It was wonderful to show the kids the campus and all the things that make it a special place to not just watch a football game, but experience a football weekend. Things such as multiple trips to the bookstore and seeing the likes of Dick Vitale and Ara Parseghian signing their books in the lobby; saying prayers at the Grotto and attending Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart; seeing famous landmarks such as the Golden Dome and Touchdown Jesus up close and personal; and running down the tunnel of Notre Dame Stadium just as the players do.

But the thing that isn’t on any guide of must-sees is the one that I got a tremendous amount of joy from, and that was meeting  Les Niedbalski, operations coordinator, parking/traffic, at the University of Notre Dame, and IPI member. One of the main reasons I have continued my career working for associations is our members–I enjoy working with, learning from, helping, and interacting with all of them.

With my family in tow, I stopped by Les’ office on Friday afternoon. We exchanged pleasantries, talked about the upcoming game, discussed how things have changed over the years including fields once used for parking that have grown buildings, and got to know each other. It was a great chance for me to meet a member face-to-face after many phone calls and emails, and for my children to meet the person in charge of parking. The highlight from the meeting was when Les gave me a Notre Dame Parking Services hat and made me an honorary member of his team. I wore the hat proudly the next day at the game, hoping someone would ask me a question about parking (or even try to complain) so I could help them.

Associations are all about community. I encourage you to take advantage of our parking community whenever you can by reaching out to parking professionals when you’re traveling or in your own town. And now, I need to take up the IPI members from the University of Alabama on their invitation to visit for a football game. Apparently, they think they do it right down there.

The ADA Parking Conversation

Doug Holmes

It started back in March when I noticed a string of messages on the CPARK-L e-discussion list about parking for those covered under Fotolia_49835773_Sthe Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The conversation first focused on “free” disabled parking, and then moved on to “tiered” disabled parking, before moving on to parking for disabled vets, ADA parking at special events, enforcement of ADA parking spaces including misuse of ADA tags/placards, and then most recently to special parking for pregnant women.

We frequently see articles or presentations about calculating the number of ADA spaces required, ADA space dimensions, or appropriate signage. Less frequently are discussions about the political fallout from creating, enforcing, placing, or relocating ADA spaces. There are so many facets to the issue that it continues to require considerable thought. After all, we are dealing with the well-being of our society.

There is no single law that covers ADA implementation. In addition to federal ADA statutes, there are building codes, state laws, and even institutional permutations that tell parking professionals how to provide reasonable access. One such issue concerns fees: ADA does not address fee structure per se. However, many cities do proscribe fees or the lack thereof. Additionally, in some cases, institutions such as hospitals or universities create their own application within the general framework of ADA. In short, it can be a very complicated matter to address adequately.

This coming Wednesday, August 21, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, IPI will host a look at some of these issues via a webinar you can attend from your desk. This is a panel presentation by former IPI Chair Linda Kauffman, former executive director of parking for the city of Allentown, Pa.; Teresa Trussel, director of transportation for Ohio University; and Bill Kavanagh, director of parking planning and design for the Harman Group.

I will be the moderator of the panel and I truly believe it will pose an interesting look at some ADA issues. I am also thoroughly convinced that it will stimulate even more questions and may lead to some of you to do some of your own research and help further the knowledge and capabilities of the parking profession.

Visit parking.org/webinars to register. Come join us for an hour!

 

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.

 

Saving Lives of Children in Parked Cars

Helen Sullivan

The parking industry is in a unique position to save the lives of a few children this year. We can also prevent devastation and wheresbaby_4cheartbreak for parents who unintentionally forget their children in parked cars, where escalating temperatures can cause heatstroke (hyperthermia) and death in a matter of minutes. Yes, minutes.

When the outside temperature is 80 degrees the inside temperature of a car, even with a window cracked open, can heat to 99 degrees within 10 minutes; 109 degrees in 20 minutes, 114 degrees in 30 minutes, and 123 degrees within an hour. Children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than those of adults. This is illustrated in a video produced by the General Motors Company that can be viewed under the vehicle heating tab on the website of Jan Null, a geophysics professor at San Francisco University who has researched and documented heatstroke among children in parked cars.

IPI issued a news release, “Parked Car Alert: International Parking Institute  Warns of Child Deaths in Summer Heat,” to media outlets last week, and sent our allied state and regional parking associations a localized news release so they can assist in this public service effort.

Every year, more than 20 children die in hot parked cars in the U.S. alone. State laws vary. In some, parents are sent to jail for murder, leaving behind spouses, other children, and shattered families.

Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning column on this topic in 2010. “Fatal Distraction:  Forgetting a Child in the Back Seat of a Car is a Horrifying Mistake. Is it a Crime?”  The column will be painful to read, but I hope you will. Weingarten provides the details, both personal and legal, of numerous cases where children died from heatstroke after being unintentionally left in cars.  Weingarten admits to very nearly leaving his own child in a parked car once–the only thing that saved his baby was a sound from the backseat just before he exited the vehicle. If not for that, Weingarten laments that he, too, would have left his child to die in the car.

How many children have died in your state this year? You can find out here.

Tomorrow, July 31 is National Heat Stroke Prevention Day, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Null’s website and SafeKids Worldwide provide good advice, including:

  • Never leave a child alone in a car, even if you think it’s “only for a minute.”
  • Remember that you are traveling with a child by placing an item you need such as a purse or cellphone in the backseat.
  • Consider placing a large stuffed animal in the car seat when it is not in use, and moving it to the front seat as a reminder a child is in the back.
  • If you see an unattended child in a parked vehicle, call 9-1-1 to bring assistance from a local police or fire department that can open the car while parents are located. If the child is in distress due to heat, find a way to get the child out immediately and spray the child with cool water.

Those who manage or own parking facilities may be able to do more than the average citizen by finding ways to post remembers for patrons.  NHTSA offers ways to become involved in their campaign, “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock” along with an informative, downloadable pdf.

NHTSA is asking people to tweet and post on Facebook every hour on the hour between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on July 31 using the hash tag #heatstroke. We will be joining in that effort at #IntlParkingInst and on IPI’s Facebook page.

This is a perfect time for all of us to be alert to children (and pets, too) left unattended in parked cars, and to share the message with others that in these cases every minute counts.

Food Truck Webinar Today

Henry Wallmeyer

My first experience with a food truck, or “roach coach” as it was affectionately known, was as a high schooler working a summer job at DSC05203 a junkyard in Richmond, Va. At precisely 10:30 every morning, the break whistle would sound and we’d head to the food truck waiting at the entrance with the latest in in prepackaged sandwiches, chips, and snacks. It was by no means a culinary treat, but it was a welcome break in the day. Fast forward 25 years and food trucks have progressed from that pickup with insulated diamond-pattern doors covering a refrigerator case to the most interesting-looking fully-functional kitchens on wheels, serving the most diverse food available.

Food trucks are even showing up now the big and small screens. The Great Food Truck Race is a reality television series on the Food Network featuring competing food trucks. The competitors are teams of talented cooks who have dreamed up unique food concepts and want to turn their dreams into a reality, which is to operate a food truck business. (Season four begins August 18.)

On the ABC TV show Happy Endings (which, sadly, was cancelled, but that is for another blog) after Dave Rose was left at the altar by his fiancée, he followed his dreams of quitting his office job and became self-employed with his own food truck business: Steak Me Home Tonight.

Want proof food trucks have really arrived? They have their own association. The DC Food Trucks Association (DCFTA) is a group of nearly 50 Washington, D.C., food truck owner-operators who seek to sustain the wellbeing of our industry, foster a sense of community, and work in partnership with the District of Columbia to improve food truck regulations.

Food trucks have come a long way, but have they come too far too fast? The prevalence of food trucks is forcing parking departments to find unique ways to balance the needs of restaurants, citizens, and entrepreneurs in what many have deemed the downtown food truck wars. For many, it’s a big challenge.

You read about how different cities are facing the food truck challenge in The Parking Professional’s May cover story. Today, IPI is hosting a webinar to further explore the Food Truck Wars. Brandy Stanley, MBA, parking services manager, City of Las Vegas; Gary Means, CAPP, executive director, Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority; and Mike Estey, parking operations & traffic manager, City of Seattle, will show you what these cities are doing to tackle the challenges that food trucks pose. Register here to see and take away examples of ordinances, pilot programs, and next steps in this battle.

Food trucks don’t just mean Lance crackers and automat-style tuna sandwiches anymore. But what does mobile gourmet mean for your parking operation? I hope you’ll join us today for a great conversation on just that.

Continuing the Success

Bridgette Brady

Phew! I’m still reeling from the incredible experience of the 2013 IPI Conference & Expo in Ft. Lauderdale. From the general sessions to the Expo hall, my staff and I brought back so much to our operations.

State and regional associations were also well represented in Fort Lauderdale and several indicated they would bring the successes of the conference home with them to their annual conferences. If you were unable to make it to Fort Lauderdale, try to attend one of these–several are listed on IPI’s Calendar of Events and in the calendar in every issue of The Parking Professional. Here are a few that are coming up:

  • Members of the Pacific Intermountain Parking and Transportation Association (PIPTA) have already talked about bringing some of the success back to their conference, July 14-16 in Eugene, Ore. The list was so long that some of the programs will need to be deferred until next year.
  • The Carolinas Parking Association conference, September 25-27 in Sunset Beach, N.C., will focus on connectivity involving intermodal travel with parking as the connector.
  • The Pennsylvania Parking Association heads back to the City of Brotherly Love October 2-4. The educational sessions that highlight case studies, bring how-to knowledge, and increase the professional level of attendees are particularly valued.
  • New to the calendar, the Wisconsin Parking Association set the dates for their conference, November 3-4 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc. There will be a strong focus on bringing information about emergent technology to their attendees.
  • The California Public Parking Association is hosting their 30th anniversary conference November 6-8 in Monterey, Calif. Congratulations to all of the volunteers that have made 30 years of regional industry representation happen!

Mark your calendar for the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo, June 1-4 in Dallas, but check out your nearest state or regional association event, too. You won’t regret it!

 

Action Item: Parking Trend-spotting Survey Time

Helen Sullivan

“Trends, like horses, are easier to ride in the direction they are going.” shutterstock_113788327
John Naisbitt
, futurist, author of Megatrends

Understanding trends can make you smart, make you money, and make you successful.

I urge you to take five minutes to participate in IPI’s third annual Emerging Trends in Parking Survey. There are only 10 questions, plus a few at the end for demographics. I think you’re going to enjoy the new questions we’ve added this year, which help identify cities that are progressive when it comes to parking.

In addition to capturing overarching trends that are affecting the parking industry, there are questions related to trends specific to parking and sustainability. There’s also a provocative new question this year about the bad parking and driving habits parking professionals find most frustrating.

This is a nationally projectable, quantitative study developed and analyzed by marketing researchers that helps us benchmark and monitor parking industry trends. It also creates an opportunity for IPI to generate positive publicity that helps bring greater awareness for the important role parking has in terms of urban mobility, life on this planet, etc.

Your thoughtful answers to open-ended questions on the survey, such as “What’s the next big thing in parking?,” have been the seeds for IPI programming ideas, articles in The Parking Professional, and educational sessions at the IPI Conference & Expo. We listen!

We also use the results to guide the Parking Matters® program. One question asks you to weigh in on what group is most important for us to reach with our messages about the value of parking expertise. The collective wisdom shared in previous surveys to this question alone have been instrumental in targeting our efforts for maximum efficiency.

Ten questions – less than 10 minutes. Please weigh in. Your opinion counts. We’ll be releasing results in conjunction with the upcoming IPI Conference & Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., May 19-22.

Please take the survey now, or by the Wed April 17 cut-off date. The survey is open to all parking professionals, but  IPI members in particular have a track record for incredible response rates to this type of survey, and that is appreciated beyond measure.