All Roads Lead to Technology


According to a new survey released today by the International Parking Institute (IPI), technology, sustainability, revenue-generation, and customer service are the top trends in the parking industry and the things most parking professionals are looking for.

The 2012 Emerging Trends in Parking Survey was released at the IPI Conference & Expo in Phoenix, Ariz., this morning. It showed that cashless, electronic, and automatic payment systems join apps that provide real-time information about parking rates and availability and wireless sensing devices that help improve traffic management as the top in-demand technologies in the industry.

More than one-third of respondents said that demand for sustainable services is a top trend, and that they’re talking about energy-efficient lighting, parking space guidance systems, automatic payment process, solar panels, renewable energy technology, and systems that accommodate electric vehicles and/or encourage alternative methods of travel. Technologies that help people find parking faster take cars off the road; an estimated 30 percent of people driving around cities at any time are looking for parking, wasting fuel and emitting carbons.

Survey participants also said that convincing urban planners, local governments, and architects to include parking professionals in their early planning processes is a priority; doing that, they said, would help prevent many design problems in final projects. And when asked where parking should be included as a course of study in academic institutions, nearly half of the survey participants said schools of urban study, followed by business or public policy schools.

The full survey can be accessed on IPI’s website.

IPI Conference & Expo Buzzing with Activity


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!

On to Phoenix!

Casey Jones 4x5 (2)

I remember my first IPI Conference & Expo vividly. I was serving as a contractor to a city, and my client suggested that I attend. Up to that point I had no knowledge of what IPI was all about and why attending the conference was all that important. Quite honestly, I wasn’t all that excited to go. Being away from the office felt risky and the thought of the catch-up work I’d face on my return was a bit overwhelming. But I needed to be responsive to my client’s requests so I sucked it up and got on a plane headed for Las Vegas, not expecting much.

I could not have been more wrong about the importance of that Conference. In fact, my time there flew by. I made connections with people I continue to work with today, and that trip launched what I consider to be the most important professional association of my career.

Each year IPI’s Conference & Expo simply gets better and this year will be no different. From our world-class general session speakers to our largest-in-the-industry Expo to the chance to greet new and old friends in the halls of the Phoenix Convention Center, this is the event I look forward to all year long.

If you’ve not yet registered, it’s not too late: visit for details. If you have, I’ll see you in Phoenix. I look forward to advancing the parking profession with all of you next week!

Parking’s Beautiful Images

L. Dennis Burns

I admit it, I really like parking! When you truly get absorbed into a profession or any area of serious interest, there is no end to the dimensions and nuances you can see that are lost on others.

Not many things have captured my interest as much as parking, but the one that has is photography! Stick a camera in my hand and I can wander happily for hours and hours no matter where I am. Check out this cool image from an off the beaten path parking lot in Seattle!

I was thrilled to learn that IPI had found a way to merge two of my favorite things into a friendly competition: The Parking Professional Photo Contest! How great is that!

The categories for submissions include:

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

Every photo submitted will also be considered for the Best in Show award, which comes with a free registration to the 2013 IPI Conference & Expo in Ft. Lauderdale, and publication on the cover of a future issue of The Parking Professional. Winners of individual categories will receive Parking Matters® shirts and see their photos published in the magazine as well.

I can’t wait to see the kinds of images that will be submitted. Imagine trying to capture the essence of our profession in photographs. The possibilities are endless! I’m already searching my files for the perfect parking picture. I hope you will join me!

Want more info? Go to:

IPI Conference & Expo: There’s an App for That

Bonnie Watts

Imagine being able to plan your time at the 2012 IPI Conference & Expo down to making notes on a map of exhibitors to see, products to check out, and speakers to add to your can’t-miss list. Then, imagine slipping all of that right into your pocket so it would be with you throughout the Conference.

As the saying goes, we’ve got an app for that!

IPI’s new 2012 Conference & Expo mobile app is downloadable at no charge from the iTunes store. It puts an interactive guide to the Conference right in your iOS device, and is a terrific tool for planning before you head to Phoenix (it’s available now) or once you’re on-site.

The new app includes:

  • Schedule at a Glance.
  • Sessions, including clickable speaker email links.
  • Exhibitors, including a floor plan with space for your notes, information on their products and services, and clickable email links.
  • A link to IPI’s Twitter feed.
  • A list of IPI Conference & Expo Strategic Partners.
  • My Planner, which allows you to star sessions or exhibitors that are of particular interest and build a customized planner for the Conference.

We hope this new tool will help you make the most of your Conference experience. See you in Phoenix!

Future Mobility and Parking

George McLean Hazel, OBE

Trends in mobility are opening up a world of new opportunities for the parking industry. In the future, mobility will have to be user-focused, seamless, and valued–this is non-negotiable. The trend is being driven by socio-economic factors such as the desire for personalized services and value; technological factors such as smart phones and apps; and retailing factors, with retailers moving from selling products to selling lifestyles. This is happening all over the world. The key question for those in the parking industry is: do they want to drive this agenda or be driven? (if you’ll pardon the pun!)

A new business area is emerging–mobility management–in which a range of services is combined, integrated, and managed for individual users. There are two broad implications for parking. At the city level, parking systems will control supply and demand virtually, dynamically adjusting prices according to prescribed targets. There will also be operational savings, as much on-street equipment will not be needed because the system will know where each vehicle is and where each parking space is. The system will work on retailing principles, segmenting the market to a fine level, operating a behavioral choice model and incentivizing the customer with respect to stated objectives. Such a system could be owned and operated by the private sector or franchised by the city authority and operated by the private sector. Both business models are relevant and need to be developed. The key point is that such a system can be used to achieve commercial, economic, environmental, or social objectives, depending who controls it.

At the individual level, personalized mobility packages will be developed at various levels of complexity and offered to users. These packages will tell the user where all the available spaces are, what the prices are, give them the ability to extend the parking time remotely, and give access to other value added services such as pre-booking of spaces, booking of restaurants, etc. Customers will be incentivized through loyalty systems and offers.

Private businesses and public sector agencies in the parking industry have a choice to make in the near future. Do they want to shape, develop, design, and manage these systems, or do they want to remain operators? Both choices are valid and legitimate businesses, but the decision will have major implications for the individual business and perhaps for the city.

Technology: On-Street Star Wars

Brett Wood

Over the past 10 or so years, the parking industry has seen a revolution in technology, especially in the way we operate and manage the curb spaces in our communities. On-street meters have evolved from the mechanical devices implemented in Oklahoma City in 1935 to digital models with greater flexibility in enforcement and maintenance, through a quantum leap to today’s credit card-accepting, ATM-like machines with interfaces that allow us to pay for parking, get directions, and potentially make a cup of coffee.

Parking meters are probably the most visible of our technological advances, but there are many complimentary uses that help us manage on-street parking:

  • Handheld enforcement devices for our enforcement staff make it easier to find, enforce, and document parking violations.
  • In-space or pole mounted sensors provide us the data we need to drive our programs and know who’s parking where, when, and for how long. This data can be used to better enforce parking, set dynamic rates, and provide real-time availability to users.
  • Smartphone applications are providing the where and what to our customers in a better way, helping drivers make informed decisions about where to park before they reach their destinations and circle for blocks.
  • These same applications are finding their way to in-car navigation, helping drivers with turn-by-turn directions to available parking.

We are truly in the midst of a technological boom in the parking industry. The only question is, is this the beginning or the end? I guess we will have to wait until the IPI Conference & Expo in Phoenix, June 10-14, to find out what exciting new features and applications are in store for the parking industry.

Until then, let the force (of better on-street parking) be with you.