Parking & Mobility — December 2023

Page 1


BREAKING BOUNDARIES Stories of Innovation

IPS Group Inc. 858.404.0607

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. 919.653.6646



30 32 36 44 48

Accelerating Change

The Role of Investment in Parking’s Future By Bill Smith

Innovation in Music City

Nashville’s Pathway to Smarter Parking and Mobility Innovation By Rob Maroney, CAPP and Diana Alarcon, CAPP

Overcoming Convention

Park Omaha Implements a Parking and Mobility Ecosystem By Hannah R. Adeponu, CAPP

Compliance with Loading Zone Regulations

Using Technology to Reduce Chaos and Pollution By Marc Boher

Parking on Plastic

A New Frontier in Sustainability By Dr. Greg Hladik, Ph.D.





I HAVE ONE SON, who is now 20 years old. He

By Casey Jones, CAPP, PMP

8 INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY Navigating the Future By Jacob Larson

12 THE BUSINESS OF PARKING Critical Elements in Maximizing Your Parking Facility’s Revenue By Kevin White, CAPP, AICP

14 DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION Bridging the Gender Gap in the A/E/C Industry By Anita Gupta, SE

16 THE GREEN IMPACT Incorporating ESG Principles into Your Organization By Matthew Inman

would kill me if he knew I was telling you this, but we are all friends, right? So, when he was a little one, he loved the movie Robots. Not going to lie, I loved it too. One of the main themes of the movie has stuck with me since 2005, when I watched this movie over and over and over again (if you have raised kids, you get what I mean). One of the main characters, Bigweld, is a famous inventor and his mantra is, “See a need, fill a need.” That is what I see when I think about innovation. Seeing a need and filling a need. Working to create success from opportunity. Establishing increased value by being brave enough to embrace change. This December issue of Parking & Mobility magazine celebrates innovation by sharing stories of game-changers. Innovation, technology, or new ideas applied to parking and mobility applications that will advance the industry. See a need, fill a need. Two cities are transforming their parking and mobility services—one by building a new program, and one by moving their program into the future. ● A university that is innovating the process of paving its parking lots and improving the environment at the same time. That’s right—PAVING is helping improve the ENVIRONMENT. ● A breakdown of how better managing the curb can offer efficiency, sustainability, and improved quality of life. ● Venture capitalists see the potential of parking and mobility—and put their money behind that potential. ●

18 HR PERSPECTIVE Leading Innovation Through Trust By Maureen (Mo) McCanna, SHRM-CP

20 LEADERSHIP MOMENT The Prudent Choice By Todd W. Brosius

22 PARKING SPOTLIGHT Port of Galveston Terminal 10 Parking Facility 24 STATE & REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT Proud Members Celebrating and Serving the Industry

What do all these things have in common? Innovation. Bravely embracing change, and actively seeking a better way. It has been my extraordinary honor and pleasure to bring you the 13 issues of Parking & Mobility magazine published in 2023. In 2024, the IPMI staff will continue our quest to see a need, fill a need—providing you with the tools and resources you need to succeed. See you all in 2024!

By Patrick H. Phillips

26 ASK THE EXPERTS What innovation will have the most significant impact on parking and mobility in the next five years? 56 PARKING & MOBILITY CONSULTANTS

Melissa Rysak, editor



What Innovation Takes By Casey Jones, CAPP, PMP PUBLISHER

Shawn Conrad, CAE EDITOR


Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C



BonoTom Studio For subscription changes, contact Tina Altman, or 888.IPMI.NOW. Parking & Mobility (ISSN 0896-2324 & USPS 001436) is published monthly by the International Parking & Mobility Institute. P.O. Box 3787 Fredericksburg, VA 22402 Phone: 888.IPMI.NOW Fax: 703.566.2267 Email: Website: Send address changes promptly to: Parking & Mobility or submit online at P.O. Box 3787 Fredericksburg, VA 22402 Interactive electronic version of Parking & Mobility for members and subscribers only at parking-mobility. org/magazine. Copyright © International Parking & Mobility Institute, 2023. Statements of fact and opinion expressed in articles contained if Parking & Mobility are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent an official expression of policy or opinion on the part of officers or the members of IPMI. Manuscripts, correspondence, articles, product releases, and all contributed materials are welcomed by Parking & Mobility; however, publication is subject to editing, if deemed necessary to conform to standards of publication. The subscription rate is included in IPMI annual dues. Subscription rate for non-members of IPMI is $120 per year (U.S. currency) in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. All other countries, $150. Back issues, $10.


T IS A COMMON MISCONCEPTION that NASA invented Velcro. Credit

properly belongs to George De Mestral—a Swiss engineer who stumbled upon the invention quite by accident. De Mestral wasn’t a materials scientist or apparel designer, but an electrical engineer who worked in a machine shop of an engineering company. His favorite hobby was hunting and upon returning one day from an outing with his dog Milka he noticed that cockleburs were stuck in his dog’s fur. Upon closer examination, he realized the burrs were shaped like tiny hooks. This inspired an idea that maybe he could create a sticky material relaying on small hooks and loops. I’d argue that De Mestral’s invention wasn’t an accident at all. He possessed an innovative mindset that allowed him to see an opportunity even if it was outside of his training and specialty. If we can all learn to spot innovative traits in others and commit to practicing these traits, we too can be more innovative. There’s a great deal of writing about what characteristics innovative people and organizations possess, but let me concentrate on just a few of the most important ones. Innovative people and organizations are driven by passion. They have idealistic motivations well beyond simply turning their innovation into profits. They want to help people or solve major problems. De Mestral immediately saw the practical application his hook and loop idea would have as a fastener for clothing, and he was driven to create and perfect his idea. It’s likely at some point that he gave up electrical engineering entirely in pursuit of the perfect hook and loop material.



ABM Industries 866.201.9935


Innovators never take anything for granted. They believe everything is possible and they challenge the status quo. They also question everything and take things apart to understand them more fully. Our Swiss friend studied Milka’s burrs under a microscope and began experimenting with cotton and soon switched to nylon because of its durability. He also found that cutting nylon a certain way created the necessary hook. Innovators don’t give up. They believe a solution exists and keep working until they find it. It took De Mestral over ten years from the time he came up with his groundbreaking idea until he finally received a patent in 1955 and even then, his product wasn’t an instant hit. Commercial success for De Mestral really accelerated in the early 1960s when NASA became a major user of the material.

These are but a few of the common traits of innovators. Others include diversity of thought, supreme confidence, creativity, and resilience. In this edition of Parking & Mobility you’ll read about several parking and mobility innovators. With each article, I encourage you to consider what characteristics led to the innovation you’re reading about. Each breakthrough highlighted here provides valuable information and insight for creating and sustaining an innovative environment and the progress that follows. ◆ CASEY JONES, CAPP, PMP, is Senior Director of Customer Success at FLASH, a member of the IPMI Board of Directors, and Co-Chair of IPMI’s Smart Transportation Task Force. He can be reached at

HIGH PERFORMANCE DOORS Hormann Fast, Reliable, Practical 800.365.3667

Fast Efficient Operation Support a Secure Facility Fast opening and closing speeds optimize traffic flow and security

Attractive - Custom Design Options Highly customizable options including custom RAL colors

BIM Available for Architects + Designers Real-time information and design support

+1 800 365 3667



Sentry Protection LLC. 800.533.6620

Fender benders cost you – and your customers. Protect your garage columns with an impact absorption system designed to take a beating: Park Sentry. Learn how they absorb impact to save you money on claims and repairs – and how they make your facility more appealing to drivers.

216.228.3200 •


Navigating the Future Interoperability in Transportation Data


By Jacob Larson

ROM CITY STREET SIGNS to the components of our smartphones, location has always

been the building block for data. A navigation app can provide turn-by-turn directions and avoid impacts on travel. Packages travel from warehouses and are delivered to doorsteps or secured lockers in dense business districts. Each information system has its own rules for data privacy, but the sharing of data is inevitable with the creation of new datasets every day. The transportation sector has long suffered from a lack of standard integration. Various modes of transportation such as buses, connected vehicles, and even electric scooters are often managed by different companies, with disparate APIs and a lack of common language. This fragmentation has created a siloed experience for customers and has hampered the industry’s ability to deliver efficient, environmentally friendly services. To address these challenges, emerging software and revolutionizing pilots have been looking to improve interoperability using data standards.

Building Blocks Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a powerful tool for understanding and visualizing spatial data, making them indispensable in various fields, from urban planning to environmental management. At the core of GIS are the building blocks of data, consisting of two primary components: spatial data and attribute data. Spatial data forms the foundation, representing geographical locations, shapes, and relationships of physical features in a smart. This includes everything from streets and buildings to natural landmarks and topographical details. By representing the physical world digitally, GIS allows for the visualization, analysis, and manipulation of spatial data, enabling us to understand a system in a geographic context. Complementing spatial data, attribute data enriches the framework by providing information about the features represented. These attributes can encompass a wide range of data, from landuse categories in urban planning to transportation characteristics like road network connectivity, traffic


flow patterns, or public transit routes. Attribute data is associated with specific geographic locations, creating a bridge between the spatial and non-spatial aspects of the dataset. The integration of both spatial and attribute data is essential for the effective utilization of GIS, as it enables users to answer complex questions, make informed decisions, and derive meaningful insights by linking the “where” with the “what” or “why.” Through the harmonious interaction of these building blocks, GIS plays a pivotal role in addressing real-world challenges, helping us better comprehend and manage the complex spatial relationships that define our transportation systems.

A Common Language Data standards play a critical role in achieving interoperability in the transportation sector. They ensure that information can be shared and understood

New 2024 IPMI Instructor-Led Training Announced Earn New Alliance for Parking Data Standards Certificates

Be one of the very first industry professionals to earn the new Alliance for Parking Data Standards (APDS) certificates offered by APDS and its founding partners. Take the inaugural course and market your new certificate on LinkedIn and share your new directory listing online at the IPMI and APDS websites for maximum visibility. APDS Advisor Certificate Training (Sessions 1 and 2) February 6 & 8 I

10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Designed for parking, transportation, and mobility professionals in every market segment, understand how owners, operators, and managers of parking assets can apply the APDS data specification to parking operations of all shapes and sizes.

APDS Technical Specialist Certificate Training (Sessions 1, 2, and 3) February 13 I

Limited to 20 participants.

Register today to add these valuable certificates to your resume!

Register Now!

10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Designed for those with a more technical background and responsibilities, including IT specialists, data integrators, and all industry professionals to use the APDS specifications and open-source API for integrations and applications.

Promotional pricing available through February 1.

APDS Advisor Certificate Training: $99 (regularly $295) APDS Technical Specialist Certificate Training: $149 (regularly $495)


Challenges and Considerations While the vision of an interoperable and standardized transportation system is promising, several challenges and considerations need to be addressed: Privacy and Security: As transportation systems share more data, it becomes crucial to protect user information. Robust security measures and privacy safeguards are necessary to prevent the misuse of personal data. ● Legacy Systems: Many existing transportation systems operate on outdated technology and infrastructure. Transitioning to modern, interoperable systems can be costly and challenging. ● Regulatory Barriers: Regulatory hurdles can impede the adoption of interoperable technologies and data standards. Policymakers must work in tandem with the industry to create a supportive regulatory environment. ●

by all relevant parties, from transportation providers to passengers. Common data standards allow different systems to communicate effectively, thereby enabling the seamless transfer of information and services. The use of standardized data formats, protocols, and interfaces makes it possible for transportation systems to function as a cohesive whole. One of the critical areas where data standards are making a significant impact is in the creation of ground truth data. An entire working system that has been established for years can be transformed into a system of the future. Single space locational data can be evolved to allow for different modes of transportation to all use the same geographical areas. A singleuse curb space can now be developed into a multiple-use flex zone. By building on common languages with the use of GIS, users can unload goods in the mornings, park vehicles in the afternoon, and use the same area for rideshare pickup and drop-off in the evenings. Moreover, data standards are essential for real-time information sharing. Whether it’s the current location of a streetcar (General Transit Feed Specification or GTFS), offstreet parking availability (Alliance for Parking Data Standards or APDS), work zone management (Work Zone Data Exchange or WZDx), or use of the curb (Curb Data Specifications or CDS) passengers rely on accurate, up-to-date information to plan their journeys. Data standards ensure that information can be shared across different platforms and apps, providing travelers with the latest information to make informed decisions. This not only reduces the uncertainty and stress associated with travel but also contributes to a more efficient and resilient transportation network.

Moving Forward As we set our sights on the road ahead, it becomes increasingly apparent that a future defined by seamless travel, empowered by interoperability, is not only achievable but essential. The cooperation of public and private sector stakeholders is paramount as we navigate the path toward integrated solutions and standardized data practices. Leveraging GIS as a source for data building blocks can improve user experience while fostering reduced congestion. The transportation landscape is poised for transformative change, where an interconnected network will empower passengers, optimize efficiency, and contribute to emerging technologies. With dedicated strategies and resolute commitment, we can turn the dream of frictionless travel into a reality, propelling us closer to the innovative transportation system that awaits on the horizon. ◆ JACOB LARSON is an Applications Analyst for the City of Omaha—Parking Division, and a member of IPMI’s Technology Committee and Smart Transportation Task Force. He can be reached at




PayByPhone Technologies, Inc. 877.610.2054


Critical Elements in Maximizing Your Parking Facility’s Revenue By Kevin White, CAPP, AICP


N THE WORLD OF PARKING, functioning and convenient technology, sensible policies, clear information,

and thoughtful signage and wayfinding usually mean a healthy and efficient facility, and maximized revenue. All these elements are meant to promote the customer experience. Finding and paying for parking is never going to be a favorite activity for most people, but customers that understand parking facility policies, have convenient and easy ways to pay, and have information to make informed parking decisions will be happiest. Cultivating a seamless customer experience is the most beneficial pursuit parking owners and operators can make to drive payment compliance and revenue. There are several critical components to consider in the pursuit of this goal. Theory of Operation Theory of operation refers to the overall approach for how a parking facility will operate. Planning, data collection, and performance management should be leveraged to develop and calibrate your facility’s theory of operation. Critical considerations when developing a theory of operation include: what types of users (transient, contract, hotel, validations, reserved spaces, pre-paid/events, nested, etc.) will the facility need to accommodate? How savvy are your parking users with technology? How will the facility credential, take payment, control access, and/or enforce each type of user? What should the user experience be like? How will technology be applied for each type of user? Will a third-party operator be employed to conduct the day-to-day operations of the facility, or will the parking owner operate the facility directly? What types of data will be collected and how will data be analyzed for performance management purposes? Developing a well-conceived theory of operating in the planning phase is critical, before any decisions are made on technology, policies, or signage. This exercise helps set your facility up for success and improve customer satisfaction and revenue collection. Facilities that have a misalignment between how they are designed and operated and the types of users that want to use them will create frustration and struggle to maximize revenue.

Technology Technology is closely linked with theory of operation. There are pros and cons to different types of technology approaches that must be considered, including related to capabilities, user experience, and potential revenue leakage. Some questions to consider include: What technology will be needed to accommodate the desired facility users? How should technology function and how should users interact with this technology? How will technology be maintained and supported long-term? Does physical currency (cash or coin) need to be accepted? Technology may include traditional gated parking access and revenue control systems (PARCS), pay-on-foot machines,



mobile payment, in-lane fixed LPR to facility entry/ exit, and a host of gateless, digital payment and LPRbased systems that are becoming more common in the marketplace. Depending on the facility’s size and context, technology and equipment that may be considered include digital message signage with realtime space availability counts, and automated parking guidance systems. The technology approach selected has real implications not just on user experience, but capital costs, and ongoing staffing and operations expenses. Technology and equipment decisions should be made in the planning phase after carefully weighing options. The types of users matter a lot when considering technological approaches. If your facility does heavy event parking traffic or is predominantly contract parkers, for example, specific technology approaches may make more sense.

Rates, Rules, Regulations Parking facility rates, rules, and regulations should be sensible and straightforward to maximize the parking experience and potential revenue. Owners should consider consolidating transient parking rates into a clear hourly rate structure with a daily max rate. Rates should be set by reviewing market research from other similar facilities and “tickets by rate” reporting data to identify the most common parking rate bands. Event rates should be set accordingly as well, and clearly posted. A sensible and concise rate structure reduces customer confusion and frustration, leading to customers more likely to return. To the extent possible, reserved contract and other reserved spaces should be limited in parking facilities. Reserved parking usually requires some level of enforcement (i.e., staff time) and reduces revenue potential by eliminating the ability of the parking owner to sell/utilize these spaces when the reserved parkers are not present. Reserved parking diminishes parking supply that can be oversold to contract parkers. Reserved parking that is present should be sold at a premium market price commensurate with the privileges that it offers. Where electric vehicle chargers are made available, owners and operators should charge for the use of electric vehicle charges on top of standard parking

rates to optimize revenue and ensure turnover of electric vehicle parking spaces.

Facility Wayfinding and Experience A common refrain we hear in our work is that parking customers are often confused about where to park, and what the rules and regulations are. This leads to customer frustration. Facilities should be clearly branded and signed, with branding consistent with the broader parking system. The brand should be recognizable, instilling awareness and trust among customers, who will be on the lookout around town for other branded parking facilities. Inside, the parking facility should be clean, bright, and well lit. Regular cleaning should be done to maintain the facility’s functionality and experience. The use of color, graphics, and signage can help enhance vehicle and pedestrian wayfinding and user comfort. All these steps help to promote a positive customer experience, and happy and repeat customers.

Data-Driven Management Maintaining detailed data on permit sales and leveraging on-site technology to detailed reporting on parking use behavior and finances will help calibrate and adjust parking facility rates and policies (e.g., oversell rates for permit parking) as part of datadriven performance monitoring and management of parking facilities. Perhaps your facility needs to place more emphasis on transient parking over permit parking, or vice versa. Making necessary adjustments based on data helps to pull the right levers for your parking facility.

Conclusion With deliberate planning and performance management, and careful consideration of customer needs and experience, parking facilities can be used efficiently and maximize revenue potential. ◆ KEVIN WHITE, CAPP, AICP, is a Parking and Mobility Consultant with Walker Consultants, and Co-Chair of the IPMI Planning, Design, and Construction Committee. He can be reached at




Bridging the Gender Gap in the A/E/C Industry By Anita Gupta, SE


ESPITE BEING THE sixth largest employment sector in the U.S., women represent

only 17% of registered architects and 13% of engineers. Representation is even lower in the construction industry, with women comprising only 11% of the workforce. While these numbers are improving, we still have a lot of work to do to create gender parity and empower more women to pursue architecture, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) careers, and it’s important that we do the work to make it happen.

From one perspective, many studies, including one by McKinsey + Company, show that gender diverse companies can generate 25% more profitability compared to companies that are not. But from another, even more important perspective, diversity is vital to creating more inclusive designs, including parking facilities. If we want to design parking that serves communities, we need to reflect the communities who use them when we create them. What can we do to close the gender gap? While women face many systemic barriers to our industry, one step to narrowing the gap involves creating more awareness among students about what A/E/C careers really look like and what opportunities are out there. This is something I didn’t have when I was in school and is something I have heard echoed by other women. Without resources, and with so few women role models to look up to, many women never give A/E/C careers a second thought.


For many women, seeing is believing. Studies have shown that women are more likely to choose a science and engineering career if they have a female teacher, and while women have played significant roles in A/E/C and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, many of their accomplishments remain unsung and removed from the spotlight. For example, despite being California’s first—and for 20 years the only—licensed female structural engineer, I’d never heard the name Ruth Gordon Schnapps until I began to explore the role of women in my field. She not only had several notable projects throughout San Francisco, but she was also a staunch activist for gender equality. Yet I knew nothing about her. When women do not see themselves represented in certain roles, they are often discouraged from pursuing them. Therefore, when I became chair of Watry Design’s Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) committee, one of the goals we established was doing community outreach. We partnered with organizations such as Architecture for Communities Los Angeles to participate in Design by Diversity, a day dedicated to connecting A/E/C professionals to students of all ages, raising awareness in our profession and encouraging diversity. We also partnered with The Tech Interactive in San Jose, California, to celebrate STEM inclusion through their Pave It Forward luncheon, which brought in prominent women in STEM to speak to young women and nonbinary students and created awareness about STEM pathways in Silicon Valley. Beyond these organizations, we have encouraged our designers to connect with local high schools such as Notre Dame High School and Venice High School

in California to speak to students about what it’s like to work in the design industry, and what an A/E/C career looks like. Fun games like building towers out of gumdrops and toothpicks or showing virtual reality walk throughs of projects have given us impactful ways to inspire students while introducing architectural and engineering concepts. As a female structural engineer, I have the opportunity to show young women that they can have a career like mine. When I engage with students, I can introduce them to my field and show it to them through the eyes of a woman. My experiences are different from men, and theirs will be too. By sharing my experiences and giving them someone to reach out to if they have questions or want to learn more, I can be a resource of both information and encouragement.

I’ve been very fortunate in my career to work with people who support and advocate for gender equality in our industry, and I feel it’s my duty to advocate and pave the way for more women to take the same journey. If I can engage with just one student, just one, who hears about my experiences and decides they want to be a structural engineer, it’s worth the hard work. ◆ ANITA GUPTA, SE, is Associate Principal for Watry Design, Inc. She can be reached at

Walker Consultants

We’re the parking and mobility firm that puts you first. 800.860.1579

At Walker Consultants, we strive to out-perform our peers and build lasting relationships with our clients. As a 100% employeeowned company, your success is our success, too. Wondering how much parking you need? How to provide access by foot, bike, or transit? Our planning consultants can help. Our parking design services lead the industry and cover every detail from structural design to daily operations. Our restoration experts are dedicated to extending the life of your structure. Our asset management plans let you budget for maintenance and can save you money in the long run. No matter your challenge, you can trust the experts at Walker Consultants to put you first. Get in touch today to learn how.




Incorporating ESG Principles into Your Organization By Matthew Inman

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead, Anthropologist


OW, MORE THAN EVER, the communities and campuses we work in are yearning for

change. Maybe it’s a change in how we impact on our environment. Perhaps it’s a change in how we view and interact with each other. Possibly it’s an improvement in the accountability and transparency of the organizations that impact our daily lives in so many ways. Or could it be that change is needed in all these areas? If you believe, as I do, that we need to do more to protect our environment, improve connections with people inside and outside our workplaces, and increase confidence in our organizations, then ESG is for you. If you’re not familiar with ESG, it stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance—which serve as the three pillars of the framework. Within these three areas, the framework focuses on how we deal with the issues, risks, opportunities, and inequalities that may exist in our daily business activities. To deal with ESG issues successfully, you must collect and track sufficient operational data, develop and nurture strong lines of communication with your internal and external customers, and work to foster confidence in how your organization is managed. Unfortunately, there is far more in the ESG framework than I can discuss in a short article. However, here are some ways you can incorporate ESG into your ongoing operations and strategic planning efforts: ●

Environmental—A great first step is identifying what environmental issues are applicable to your organization and where your organization may be at risk. Take a detailed look at how your operation can impact the environment. This can include your fuel and power consumption, light


pollution, noise pollution, waste generated, water inflows and outflows, and the supplies you use and how you source them. Potential environmental risks that could negatively impact your business might include air and water pollution caused by operational activities, improper land use, and inappropriate waste disposal. Next, talk with your stakeholders about what’s important to them. This could include discussions with key stakeholders in your community, online stakeholder surveys, and townhall meetings. Once you’ve identified what’s relevant and where your risks are, start collecting data on the identified items/issues and develop a plan to track data going forward. Set realistic annual targets for reducing energy consumption, fuel use, water use, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions over time. Develop policies and procedures for environment-related issues with a focus on reducing pollution, minimizing risks, and meeting regulatory requirements.

Continue to coordinate with stakeholders to ensure their concerns are addressed. Finally, provide summarized annual reports to share your progress and let your community know that you’re serious about improving your organization’s impact on the environment. Social—Similar to environmental issues, it’s hard to know where to focus your attention until you know what’s important and where you may be at risk. Take a hard look at your organization to determine how well you deal with issues like employee engagement and satisfaction, workplace health and safety, diversity, customer satisfaction, procurement processes, and stakeholder relations. Develop appropriate policies and procedures to solidify your commitment to community concerns and update them as conditions change. The policies should reflect your commitment to ensuring your organization acts in a legal, ethical, and equitable manner. Consider conducting annual employee, customer, and stakeholder surveys to better understand what’s working in your operation, where there are concerns, and how your customers and stakeholders think you can improve. ● Governance—Governance is focused on the oversight, transparency, financial and operational controls, and accountability of your organization. Assess the higher-level management of your organization—think about your board of directors or upper-level administration. Are they provided with sufficient information to provide proper oversight? Do they have sufficient independence to make necessary decisions in the best interest of your various stakeholders? Do you conduct independent third-party audits? Through discussions with your staff and upper-level management, make sure your policies and procedures can appropriately mitigate risks related to bribery, corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest, cybersecurity, data protection and privacy, and applicable government regulations. Also, make sure your organization provides adequate whistleblower protection should the need arise. Finally, make sure your organization effectively ●


engages with stakeholder groups and provides opportunities for timely feedback. There are certainly more ESG-related issues you’ll need to consider as you move forward. This would include risks related to changes in laws, regulations, technologies, markets, and reputation (collectively, transition risks), as well as changes in the environment like water stress, wildfire, and extreme weather (collectively, physical risks). After covering the basics, you should move on to these risks to ensure you’re adequately prepared for the future. Like many issues today, some people view the ESG framework through a politicized lens. However, ESG can provide a significant number of benefits that can not only improve your organization, but also your bottom line. By helping to identify potential environmental, health and safety, legal, and governance risks, ESG can help you minimize costs and allow you to focus your efforts, and budget, on the issues that really matter. Improved connections with your employees and communities can help reduce turnover and related costs, improve organizational effectiveness, and grow your customer base. More effective oversight of your organization, and improved transparency, will help increase confidence in what you do, reduce the chances of loss due to fraud or corruption, and increase the level of support for your program. The primary reason the ESG framework is being adopted by so many organizations today is because of its profound effect on the ongoing success of a business—both structurally and financially. The ESG framework could have a significant impact on your organization and community by providing the structure you need to improve your team, your organization, and your community. So, what could a group of thoughtful, committed citizens in your organization do to change the world? ◆ MATTHEW INMAN is General Manager for MasParc and Mobility LLC and a member of IPMI’s Sustainable Mobility Task Force. He can be reached at





Leading Innovation Through Trust


By Maureen (Mo) McCanna, SHRM-CP

ITH DECEMBER’S ISSUE COVERING “Stories of Innovation,” I was tempted to speak to some

new technology or unprecedented research in HR. However, the connection between HR and innovation that resonates with me most are the conditions that allow teams to successfully innovate. While we move forward through new discoveries, we can also support these discoveries and innovation by returning to the basics of strengthening team dynamics, like establishing a culture of trust. According to Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Linda Hill, “Innovation is a journey. It’s a type of collaborative problem solving, usually among people who have different expertise and different points of view.” She adds, “Individuals in innovative organizations...understand that innovation rarely happens unless you have both diversity and conflict.” For folks with different perspectives to participate in this collaborative problem solving and productively share constructive feedback, there must be an open and accommodating audience encouraging them.

What does trust look like? Working for a tech company creating new products and meeting customer needs, innovation—one of our core values— and iteration are key to our success and, therefore, so is trust. I joined my company in mid-September and, in my first couple of weeks, met with everyone individually to learn about their work, motivations and overall experience at the company. Trust was mentioned throughout these first 1:1s and it became clear that this culture had been built very intentionally. Below are some quotes pulled from my conversations along with explanations of how they represent trust which, in turn, supports innovation.

“We want people who will breathe life into their roles.” “Leadership respects us as professionals and adults.” As we grow as a company, upholding our values and maintaining a strong culture is critical. We know that technical skills can be taught, so with each of our hires, we prioritize character and soft skills in finding the right match. Leadership trusts that each new hire will add value to our culture and bring ideas and feedback to our product and team. Upward reviews from direct reports to managers during our performance checkins are an important way to hear all voices and continuously improve, although that is not the only context where leadership hears feedback: “My direct report will tell me if my idea is a bad

one. They’ll tell me when I’m wrong.” This is truly a testament to how managers welcome and encourage two-way feedback. Additionally, leadership does not micromanage. A flexible workday, where people set their schedule based on when they can log on and be most productive, demonstrates trust within our team. What matters is that we produce quality work, not the hours when it gets done. Steve Jobs is known for saying, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” This is exactly the mentality I’m grateful to see in practice as our leadership hires and manages our team.

“This is the best group of people I’ve worked with. There’s comfort and empathy. It’s refreshing.” “Everyone is super supportive, respectful, trusting.” “I have a feeling I could reach out to anyone for any problem.” “We want to build a team of great people who love working together.” Trust and respect go beyond each other’s professional contributions and show on a personal level. We lean on and support each other through valleys and celebrate the peaks at work and realize that life is about much more than our careers. We share about weekends, send silly memes, and encourage each other to log off and enjoy life away from our desks.

“You don’t have to read between the lines with this team.” “Resentment can breed if there isn’t communication.” “People are careful about the words that they choose.” “Tell us about a time when you made a mistake.” (Interview question)



Another core value along with innovation and collaboration is transparency. The trusting environment described by the quotes from my listening tour leads to a robust sharing of ideas, challenging each other and embracing mistakes—a given when taking risks and experimenting with innovative ideas—as an opportunity to learn and grow. From all-hands product brainstorming to 1:1 conversations, teammates respectfully speak their mind. We communicate because we trust each other, and we trust each other because we communicate. And this communication leads to innovation in improving our product and team.

TKH/ParkAssist 203.220.6544

Creating a trusting team If you’re looking to grow innovation in your business, start with establishing trust and modeling transparency. Ask questions, listen, and learn from your team, regardless of their title or tenure, and genuinely consider the perspectives and suggestions they offer. Give autonomy and flexibility. If you demonstrate trust in your people, the vast majority will step up and exceed your expectations. If you create safe spaces, most will lean in and speak up. And not only will this sense of trust foster innovation, but it will also benefit the business by increasing retention as team members feel valued and treated as the brilliant adults that they are. ◆ MAUREEN (MO) McCANNA, SHRM-CP, is the HR & Business Manager for Modii. She can be reached at

Security Enhanced in

Parking Garages, Rooftops, Surface Lots

Camera-based automated parking guidance system for: » Crisp HD real-time streaming video » Exterior, interior, in-aisle digital wayfinding signage » Historical and real-time reports



The Prudent Choice Why Parking Operators Should Remain Technology Agnostic By Todd W. Brosius



remaining technology agnostic or developing a proprietary tech stack is a critical one. This column explores the compelling case for parking operators to maintain technology agnosticism, offering clients a range of technology solutions rather than developing their own proprietary systems.

Introduction Parking operators play a pivotal role in driving revenue through technology/management practices and ensuring efficient, secure, and convenient parking services for their clients. To achieve this, we must make a crucial strategic decision regarding technology—whether to stay agnostic and offer a wide array of technological solutions from various vendors or to develop their own proprietary technology stack. In this article, I argue that, for various reasons, remaining technology agnostic is the prudent and practical choice.

1. Meeting Diverse Client Needs One of the foremost arguments in favor of technology agnosticism is the ability to meet diverse client needs. Parking operators serve a wide range


of clients, from small businesses with minimal technology requirements to large assets with complex operational and integration requirements. Clients often have an existing technology infrastructure, preferred vendors, or specific operational needs. By remaining technology agnostic, parking operators can accommodate these unique requirements and offer a tailored approach for each client. Imagine a scenario where a parking operator has a proprietary tech stack that doesn’t align with a client’s existing operational needs. This misalignment could lead to costly integration challenges, disruption of services, and even loss of business. Staying agnostic, on the other hand, allows operators to integrate seamlessly with their clients’ preferred technology vendors, enhancing client satisfaction and business continuity.

2. Flexibility to Adapt to Technological Advancements The technology landscape is characterized by rapid and continuous evolution. Parking management and its technology is no exception. New and improved solutions emerge regularly, from advanced access control systems to innovative payment processing methods. Remaining technology agnostic ensures parking operators have the flexibility to adapt to these advancements without the constraints of a proprietary system. Consider the case of a parking operator that has invested heavily in developing its proprietary mobile payment app, only to find that a new industrystandard payment method gains widespread adoption


that’s of interest to several of their current clients. Adapting to this new standard would be a cumbersome and costly process, potentially leading to competitive disadvantages. In contrast, technology-agnostic operators can swiftly adopt the new technology without the burden of sunk costs or system constraints, thereby ensuring they stay competitive and relevant.

3. Reducing Costs and Risks Developing and maintaining proprietary technology comes with considerable costs and risks. Research, development, and ongoing support require substantial financial investments. Furthermore, there is the risk of unexpected technical issues, security breaches, and the need for continuous updates to remain compliant with evolving regulations. By staying technology agnostic, parking operators can sidestep these challenges, allowing them to allocate their resources more efficiently. The expenses of developing and maintaining a proprietary tech stack can be especially burdensome for small and mediumsized operators. These organizations may not have the financial means to compete with established technology companies in terms of research and continued development. Staying agnostic allows them to access sophisticated technology solutions without the costs associated with development, making it an economically prudent choice.

any technical issues or security breaches, vendors are typically responsible for addressing these issues, reducing the operator’s legal and financial exposure. For example, if a security breach were to occur in a proprietary tech stack, the parking operator would be solely responsible for the breach’s consequences. This may result in reputational damage, legal action, and financial losses. In contrast, relying on specialized technology vendors with robust security measures in place helps minimize the operator’s liability and ensures that any issues are resolved swiftly by experts.

6. Leveraging Vendor Relationships Parking operators often build strong relationships with various technology vendors. These relationships can be valuable for negotiating favorable terms, securing volume discounts, and ensuring smooth integrations. Vendors are motivated to maintain positive relationships with their clients and may offer incentives and support for technology-agnostic operators. For instance, a parking operator that maintains technology agnosticism may have a long-standing relationship with a parking equipment vendor. This relationship could lead to cost savings and operational efficiencies, such as favorable pricing on hardware, priority access to software updates, and expedited customer support. These advantages can provide a competitive edge and enhance the operator’s ability to serve clients effectively.

4. Access to Specialized Expertise

7. Scalability Across Diverse Assets

Technology vendors often specialize in specific areas of the parking industry, such as access control, payment processing, or data analytics. Collaborating with multiple vendors enables parking operators to tap into the specialized expertise of these companies. It ensures that clients receive high-quality, proven solutions from experts in their respective fields. Consider an operator that decides to develop its own access control system. To do so successfully, they need to acquire expertise in hardware, software development, and security. This approach may lead to substantial investments in hiring specialized talent and lengthy development timelines. Instead, staying technology agnostic and partnering with an access control specialist (or mobile payment app firm) guarantees a robust, proven solution without the associated challenges of in-house development.

Parking operators often manage a variety of parking assets, ranging from small surface lots to multi-level parking garages and even large mixed-use developments. Each type of asset may require different technological solutions. Staying technology agnostic allows operators to scale their services effectively, tailoring solutions to the unique needs of each asset.

5. Mitigated Liability The development and maintenance of technology solutions bring inherent risks, including technical glitches, security breaches, and regulatory compliance issues. By remaining technology agnostic, parking operators can shift some of the liability and responsibility to technology vendors. In case of

Conclusion I don’t know about you, but the last time I tried to fit a square peg into a round hole, it didn’t end well! Similarly, technology agnosticism allows parking operators to focus on their core competency of managing parking facilities while ensuring they provide clients with the most tailored and up-to-date technology solutions. Remaining technology agnostic is the prudent choice for parking operators looking to deliver superior service to their clients and stay competitive in the dynamic parking industry. ◆ TODD W. BROSIUS is President of Pivot Parking, LLC. He can be reached at



Port of Galveston Terminal 10 Parking Facility


ORT OF GALVESTON, located in Galveston,

FIRM: WGI, Inc. PROJECT LOCATION: Galveston, Texas PROJECT OWNER: Galveston Wharves KEY STAFF: Benjamin Sands, WGI, Inc. PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:


Julio Deleon (Director of Mobility—Port of Galveston): project lead and visionary WGI: parking design, review, and general consulting services Amano Mcgann: manufactured the parking equipment. PSX Inc.: distributes and services Amano equipment. Parking Guidance Systems, Inc.: programmable signs, software, integration, and continuing support Trans Systems: general design and transportation consulting NUMBER OF SPACES: 1,100

Texas, opened its newest cruise ship terminal in November 2022. In conjunction with the innovative design of the terminal, parking access was envisioned to enhance customer experience while providing high operational efficiency. The new parking technology used for the recently opened passenger cruise Terminal 10 at Galveston Wharves is a revolutionary step forward in sustainable design being the first cruise terminal in the world to generate 100% of its energy through 30,000 SF of on-site solar photovoltaic panels, this makes the terminal the first LEED Zero-Energy cruise facility in the world. A solar canopy installed over a portion of the parking area not only provides power to the terminal but also provides covered VIP parking as well as electric charging stations. Planning for a new cruise passenger terminal began in 2017. Plans included adding two surface parking locations to serve the new terminal. Ensuring the parking areas are reserved for passengers’ required parking gates, dynamic signs, as well



as revenue and access-control systems. From the planning phases, the Port had a vision for technological efficiencies and integrations for the access and revenue control systems to be used for parking associated with the new terminal. The Amano One Parking Access and Revenue Control System (PARCS) includes an integrated and streamlined parking purchase process for cruise passengers working with the Port’s reservation system (ResPort). The system efficiencies include an integration that allows cruise passengers to purchase parking at the time of their cruise reservation, providing passengers the ability to provide license plate numbers, and/or receive a barcode validation to use to enter and exit an assigned parking location(s). It was very important to provide customers with multiple options for accessing the parking locations, to minimize any entering delays and customer frustration while maximizing system efficiency. Another key aspect of the installed system’s performance is improving communications with customers as they drive to/from their parking locations as well as when they are in the parking lanes. To achieve this the parking system actively communicates the daily lists of scheduled cruise departures, their associated assigned parking locations, local weather, and the current parking availability in different locations through a dynamic integration with a fully programmable large (50” x 50”) roadway message display positioned at the central access point to the Terminal as well as fully programmable location signs at each entrance to the parking areas. ◆

STATE & REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT New York State Parking and Transportation Association

Proud Members Celebrating and Serving the Industry

2023–2024 Board of Directors EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

By Patrick H. Phillips


HE NEW YORK PARKING and Transportation Association

(NYSPTA) serves members of the parking and transportation industries spanning the entire State of New York and beyond. From the easternmost reaches of Long Island to the Niagara Frontier, from the Adirondacks to the Catskills, NYSPTA provides a foundation for networking and education throughout our great state. Spring into Action After a long and hard winter season where parts of New York State experienced 131.2 inches of snowfall, NYSPTA enjoyed a very active spring season. In keeping with the Association’s desire to host an annual downstate event, our Spring Workshop took place at Pace University on March 16, 2023. The workshop featured a host of amazing speakers who presented topics such as: Interactive Ferry Discussion; Brooklyn Navy Yard; NYC Parking Garage Inspection Law and Maintenance; and finally, The Rise of Flex Parking. Special thanks to StructureCare for its sponsorship and Pace University for hosting this great event. Soon after the Spring Workshop wrapped up, NYSPTA hosted an exciting webinar on April 4, 2023. Association Vice President Kevin Wood moderated a panel discussion about parking robotics. The webinar succeeded in producing a deepdive discussion pertaining to the benefits, pitfalls, and the great potential of robotic parking. Thank you, Kevin Wood (Port Jefferson, NY), Matthew Gaeta (AMG Parking), George Wilkinson (American Car Lift), and Rajeev Aswal (Robotic Parking Systems), for a great discussion!

Let the Fun Begin On June 14t, 2023, NYSPTA was delighted to return to Syracuse, New York for its Spring Retreat. The program kicked off with an interactive panel discussion moderated by Board Member Krista Tassa (AMG Parking). The topics were interesting, diverse, and seamlessly supported by our expert panelists Matthew Gaeta



Patrick Phillips

Matthew Reitmeier



Kevin Wood

Johnna Frosini


Chantel Cabrera

Tom Moyer

Nan Chen

Kacey Siskind

Doug Grotke

Chris Suszko

Eric Hathaway

Krista Tassa

(AMG Parking), Blake Laufer (MiStall), Bill Bernatovich (Ber National Automation), Will Bernatovich (BerNational Controls), and yours truly, Patrick Phillips (Premium Parking). Following the panel discussion, all registrants moved outside to enjoy a beautiful, early summer afternoon and picnic. This annual event has become a tradition and an amazing opportunity to introduce front line staff to our great Association. Thanks to Matthew Gaeta for his participation on our program panel and for AMG’s sponsorship. And a special thanks to our top sponsor, Flash Parking. I’m also glad to recognize Chris Patrick of Flash Parking, for his participation associated with the picnic’s dunk-tank activity. Chris’s leadership helped the Association raise $865.00 for the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders.

30th Annual Fall Conference “Where Would You Rather be than Right Here, Right Now?” —Marv Levy, Former Coach of the Buffalo Bills You said it Marv! Where would you rather be…than at Turning Stone Resort & Casino, during the peak of fall foliage in Central New York! This was the spectacular site of NYSPTA’s 30th Annual Fall Conference. The conference began on Tuesday, October 17 with nine holes of golf at the scenic Kaluhyat Golf Course. Later that evening and through Thursday, the program offered a wide variety of industry related topics, presented by more than 20


talented speakers. There are too many to thank individually, though I encourage readers to visit the Association’s website where the presentation content is posted. I would, however, like to share a brief commentary about our Keynote Speaker, Jim Stack. Jim is the Executive Director of the Genessee Transportation Council in Rochester, NY. Jim’s presentation keyed in on the potential impacts that an upcoming celestial event will have on the Western and Central New York Regions. More specifically on April 8, 2024, a once in a lifetime total solar eclipse will pass through parts of New York State with the center line (the path of totality) passing through areas near the Buffalo and Rochester areas. We encourage you to review Jim’s work, related to the Eclipse Logistics: Securing Supplies, Health & Safety, Traffic Challenges, Border Crossings @ More. Thanks to the more than 100 participants who made the 30th Annual Fall Conference such an amazing event. Thanks to our top sponsor, StructureCare, as well as our Platinum, Gold

and Friend level sponsors. We thank you for your support. I would also like to recognize the Association’s Facilitator, Renee Giacomazza, for her tireless efforts in making the Conference a fantastic experience. Finally, I would like to say thank you to our amazing 2023 Board of Directors. One board member in particular, Secretary Johnna Frosini, deserves special recognition. Johnna’s time and devotion is truly unmatched. Although Johnna will be departing from the Board of Directors in 2024, we will never forget her energy, humor, leadership, and friendship. Johnna, the Association is forever indebted to you. Now take a break and get some rest! ◆ PATRICK H. PHILLIPS is Market President, Buffalo, Niagara, Jamestown, for Premium Parking, LLC. He can be reached at


What innovation will have the most significant impact on parking and mobility in the next five years?



EXPERTS What innovation will have the most significant impact on parking and mobility in the next five years? Katherine Beaty Executive Vice President of Customer Experience Tez Technology AI has the potential to transform various aspects of parking and mobility, from optimizing traffic flow to providing personalized services and improving overall efficiency. As AI technologies continue to advance, their integration into transportation systems is likely to have a profound impact on the way people move and park in urban environments.”

Larry J. Cohen, CAPP Executive Director Lancaster Parking Authority All aspects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from car counts to virtual parking enforcement.”

Roamy Valera, CAPP President Automotus The implementation and adoption of “smart city” technologies, including AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things), which will connect and provide real time visibility to drivers and help reduce congestion, safety hazards, and emissions in our urban centers.”


George J. Mclean, CAPP, DBA Sr. Business Analyst Miami Parking Authority The development of Gateless PARCS and LPR technology will significantly impact the parking and mobility industry in the next five years. The advancement of this technology’s accuracy, functionality, and compatibility will provide customers with a seamless parking experience while providing operators with the data necessary to make decisions in real-time. The transition to digital systems signifies the industry’s evolution into a new age of parking and mobility management, exhibited by frictionless customer experiences, reduced operating cost, and enhanced data collection and operational capabilities.”

Andrew Sachs, CAPP President Gateway Parking Services Artificial Intelligence will rock our parking world over the next five years. If we utilize it to maximum benefit, AI can help us provide the best possible customer service that elevates the public perception of parking to a valued service. It will also destroy some jobs and create others. Disruption is coming.”

T2 Systems 800.434.1502


Embrace the Pace of Parking Introducing time-based parking that maximizes your spaces for your parkers’ unique needs.

Discover Personalized Parking Made Easy. | 1.800.434.1502


Wady Burgos, CAPP Parking & Transportation Demand Management Coordinator City of Westminster, CO Vehicles are at the center of the parking and mobility industry. As vehicles continue their transition into autonomy and electrification, the industry will have to adapt and transform to respond to the needs of both vehicles and drivers. Parking and mobility professionals will pivot to enable efficient space utilization to provide a sustainable and interconnected mobility experience.”

Jeff Pinyot President ECO Parking Technologies Still today, drivers circle city blocks looking for an easy parking solution. Making it quicker and easier to park in a parking structure than curbside, that’s what will drive the next five years of our industry. That innovation includes accurate inventory data, making that data available to parkers, all the while, creating a safe and secure environment.”

Josh Kavanagh, CAPP Executive Director, Auxiliary Programs & Services University of California, San Diego The transition to 5G as the dominant cellular protocol opens a world of opportunities for real-time data; however, the weak and easily disrupted signals create a real challenge in dense urban or campus environments and indoor spaces like parking garages. The loss of connectivity in these environments presents business challenges, like loss of LPR or payment app connectivity, and liability concerns related to being able call for help from all areas of garages. Parking professionals will need to build familiarity with iDAS (indoor distributed antenna systems) and budget to deploy this technology in new and legacy parking facilities to meet both operational needs and customer expectations.”

James C. Anderson

Scott Petri Managing Member ParkTrans Solutions In the coming years we will see a greater push toward taking advantage of under-utilized areas of parking facilities for more productive purposes such as fast charging EVs using solar power with a battery backup. Using these spaces would allow parking owners and operators to expand vehicle charging in their facilities, allowing drivers to top off their vehicle battery and get to their next destination, while reducing reliance or additional stress on the grid. A ten-minute charge from a solar array can provide up to 100 miles of travel, maximizing the value of solar and providing more convenience for EV drivers.”

Independent A/E/C Market Development Executive These are business and industry transformative times. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will revolutionize how we not only consider, plan and design structured parking facilities but also how parking industry suppliers interact and provide their services and value to the parking and mobility networks.”

HAVE A QUESTION? Send it to and watch this space for answers from the experts. The opinions and thoughts expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of the International Parking & Mobility Institute or official policies of IPMI.


The Leading Credential in Parking & Mobility

When I decided to make parking my career, I wanted to have the knowledge to be successful and I knew CAPP was part of that process.

Josh Stone, CAPP

Executive Director, Parking & Transportation Services, Virginia Commonwealth University Click here to find out why Josh earned his CAPP and how it impacted his career.

Accelerating Change The Role of Investment in Parking’s Future By Bill Smith

The Role of Investment in Parking’s Future


By Bill Smith

HE NEWS IN EARLY OCTOBER that Metropolis had raised $1.7 billion

to acquire SP+ sent shockwaves through the industry. On an operational level, the deal was exciting. America’s largest parking operator was going to be paired with a company that specializes in using artificial intelligence to manage parking. But what does the deal mean for the parking industry, and the venture investment picture as it pertains to parking? According to Andy Bess, Managing Director at TrueNorth Capital Partners, an investment bank that is active in the parking industry, the implications of the deal revolve primarily around the operations end of the business. “Given the recent SP announcement, I imagine we could see a new round of operator consolidation,” said Bess. “In fact, I’m already hearing about other investors who are new to the industry and interested in a ‘me too’ type of transaction.” But Bess thinks that the size of the Metropolis/ SP+ is an outlier. “There has been a lot of money invested in parking technology, but it hasn’t always been done

efficiently,” said Bess. “It’s difficult to efficiently deploy large sums of venture capital quickly. The VC funds that have come in and put a lot of money into single companies haven’t always seen the returns they were looking for.” Prior to the announcement of the Metropolis/ SP+ deal, though, much of the talk in the parking industry was focused on the scarcity of funding. According to Bess, in recent years venture capitalists have been pulling back when it comes to investing. “It’s a struggle right now,” said Bess. “There’s a sinking tide that’s dropping all boats. It’s not unique to the parking industry. It’s just hard to find capital right now.”



“I’m already hearing about other investors who are new to the industry and interested in a ‘me too’ type of transaction.” —Andy Bess, TrueNorth Capital Partners


“When we received our Bess says that until recently, companies in the latter stages of obtaining funding—companies looking for third or fourth rounds of funding—were most impacted by the scarcity of capital. The earlier companies were in their development, the easier it was to find money. “Now, though, we are seeing a reevaluation of risk,” said Bess. “There has been a change in exit value expectations. Investors are looking at what they can take out of the company at the end, and it’s harder to see what the exit is going to look like.” According to Bess, part of the problem is there’s too much repetition. He says that in the mobility and parking technology sectors, which are the most active in seeking capital, there’s “an oversaturation of good ideas.” “A lot of the best ideas are already being done,” said Bess. “While a new product may be better, is the step change enough to make owners and operators change from what they’re already using? Most owners and operators aren’t looking for perfect if they can get good enough. As an investor, I’m looking for unique niche opportunities.”

first round of funding, we followed that quickly with additional funding to respond to growing customer demand in our space.” —Roamy Valera, Automotus

Taking Advantage of Opportunities Bess says that there are “a lot of headwinds for earlystage companies.” But he stresses that there is still opportunity for raising capital for companies that fill the right niche, and which can demonstrate that they can help owners make money. “I’m more interested in investing in companies that can help owners and operators generate new revenue streams,” said Bess. “There are a lot of companies out there offering to help owners save money, but I’m looking for technologies that can help find revenue sources that are adjacent and complementary to existing resources.” “I’m also looking for companies whose underlying technology has the ability to scale,” continued Bess. “Companies that can process thousands of transactions a minute without overloading. Very few have built their platforms with that level of scalability in mind.” Brian Wolff, President and CEO of Parker Technology, agrees with Bess about the importance of finding a valuable niche to fill when seeking funding. Parker has closed two rounds of venture capital in recent years, and he credits his company’s success to having identified “a niche where there’s value.” “But when it comes to raising money, I think there’s more to success than just having a good idea or niche,” said Wolff. “You need to know parking and the parking


industry. For years, established technology companies have tried to come in and take over parking, but they failed because they didn’t know the industry. “But venture investment will continue to play an important role in the industry’s success and the success of parking companies,” continued Wolff. “To succeed, companies need a combination of capital, smarts, and parking savvy. Our industry is attracting outside capital because investors are realizing the value of parking.” Automotus is another company that has successfully closed several rounds of funding. According to company president Roamy Valera, his company’s focus on growth and revenue generation has been attractive to investors. Valera says his company’s history has also played a role.


“Because there was a history of success and performance over the past 12 to 18 months, that simplified the process,” said Valera. “When we were seeking funding, we were operating from a position where the investors were comfortable and confident.” Automotus’ strategy for its second round of funding was built on its first round. “When we received our first round of funding, we followed that quickly with additional funding to respond to growing customer demand in our space,” said Valera. “That was a matter of delivering on the market opportunity, and ensuring we were well positioned for rapid growth.” Bess says that Automotus is an example of a company that has managed the investment process the right way. He also thinks that the time is right for Automotus and other mobility companies. “I’m paying close attention to companies who help manage the curb,” said Bess. “Free on-street parking is not the optimal use of city resources, and in many communities on-street parking is a largely untapped revenue source. Companies that can help expand parking monetization outside of city centers via loading and unloading fees and other uses will be increasingly important in the future.” Another industry sector that Bess in interested in is EV charging. He says that a lot of money is being spent on EV charging, but it’s hard to find the right risk-return ratio. “There’s going to be a ton of opportunity for EV in the parking industry,” said Bess. “A lot of people have come at EV with a lot of money, but I can’t always see where I’m going to get a return from many of these companies that are so highly valued today. “For me, the real opportunity lies in companies that can integrate EV with PARCS and other parking technology platforms,” continued Bess. “It’s all about driving new revenue sources and integrating multiple systems, offering owners and operators a way to both create operating efficiencies and generate new revenues.” Bob Andrews, founder of the EV provider Zevtron agrees. He says that from the beginning, their focus has been on creating and marketing a flexible EV platform that facilitates real-world use cases that can integrate with a site’s existing systems to eliminate pain points. For instance, integrating the EV platform with PARCS allows parking owners and operators to further maximize revenues while providing a better user experience. “The key for any technology provider is to help its customers make money,” said Andrews. “We want to provide a platform that allows owners and operators to customize their EV services to meet their unique needs and the needs of their customers. And by integrating EV charging with their PARCS, we increase revenue and simplify the revenue collection process for them, while improving the parking experience.

“We’ve just begun the process of seeking out investors, and the feedback we are getting is that we are on the right track,” continued Andrews. “While it’s true that capital seems to be tighter than it was a year or two ago, the transition to electrified transportation presents a massive opportunity. And our approach of solving pain points and unlocking more value to operators and owners, rather than just plopping down electrified fueling stations in parking lots, seems to be resonating with investors. We are already speaking with customers and investors who share our view on the transition to EV, and we are encouraged by the reception we are getting.”

A Social Impact Approach Social impact investing is an approach to investing that seeks to tackle social issues, generating positive social impact alongside financial returns. It involves directly or indirectly investing in organizations or projects that have a social mission or focus, with the goal of creating positive change in the world. Social impact investors actively seek out companies that are built on missions of creating positive change. ping is a mobility company that describes itself as being “on a mission to save time, money, and lives.” Founded by longtime parking executive Barrie Arnold, ping markets an app that’s designed to reduce distracted driving by automatically reading time-sensitive messages and emails to the driver, while filtering out the noise. “We’ve already completed one successful round of funding via venture capitalists and angel investors,” said Arnold. “We are preparing for a second round, and we are looking for investments that are intended to benefit society by reducing things like distracted driving. Distracted driving increased another 23% in 2022, costing $129 billion dollars a year in the U.S. alone, and we feel that our technology fills an important niche in the mobility industry that could ultimately save billions in healthcare and insurance costs, not to mention tens of thousands of lives, every year. Delivering daily convenience and productivity for drivers, ping’s technology also aligns very well with parking apps.” These and other parking and mobility companies like them are attracting the attention of investors at a time when it’s challenging to find capital. They have all found niches that fulfill unmet needs, while also helping customers generate new revenue streams. “If you want to get in front of me and other investors, bring something new,” said Bess. “And make sure it will help your customers make more money.” ◆ BILL SMITH is a publicist and business writer specializing in the parking industry. He can be reached at


Innovation in Music City Nashville’s Pathway to Smarter Parking and Mobility Innovation

Innovation By Rob Maroney, CAPP and Diana Alarcon, CAPP

By Rob Maroney, CAPP and Diana Alarcon, CAPP


HE CITY OF NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE has long been known for its country music scene, traditionally drawing mostly artists and fans from all over the world to create and enjoy music and entertainment. Until recently when most people thought of Nashville, they thought of cowboy hats and boots, honkytonks, line dancing, and live music. While that culture is still alive and thriving in Nashville, the city has seen an urban transformation that has reshaped its entire landscape and even its identity. Today, Nashville is one of the fastest growing American cities, increasing in population by more than 50% over the past decade. It has become an attractive destination for new residents sparked by an influx of new corporate headquarters, a thriving entertainment district, new hotels and amenities, and more. The city has become a hot spot for several growing industries, including healthcare, technology, and entertainment, as well as companies of all sizes from startups to major corporations. This has created a substantial employment boom, attracting talent from across the globe, and increasing the demand for housing and urban amenities. In response to this population growth, the Nashville skyline has also changed significantly, adding several new high-rise condos, mixed-use developments, and office buildings. All this new construction has altered the city’s architectural character with neighborhoods like The Gulch and others now showcasing more modern residential towers, trendy restaurants, and a vibrant arts district. This dramatic shift from the Nashville of previous generations presents several new opportunities for residents and visitors of all backgrounds, professions, and interests. However, it has also created several challenges.

As the city has grown, so too has the need to advance its public transportation and infrastructure. The city has spearheaded several initiatives aimed at accommodating so much additional traffic, congestion, and urban sprawl. A major component of the infrastructure and policy improvements initiated in recent years is the comprehensive makeover of the city’s parking and transportation system. One such example is the expansion of the Music City Star commuter rail line, as well as several enhancements to the public transit system to better commuter experiences and drive people to alternative transportation. The city has also initiated several upgrades to its parking system from innovative parking technologies to new parking infrastructure to further support the overall transportation infrastructure.

Impact of Growth on Transportation and Parking Infrastructure An essential catalyst for the improvement of the city’s new parking and transportation program was the development of the Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT). From its initial formation as a traditional public works department, its primary functions


Nashville’s Pathway to Smarter Parking and Mobility Innovation were very much operations oriented. The department spearheaded municipal tasks including solid waste and recycling, litter collection, roadway paving and maintenance, signal maintenance and repair, and overall city beautification. The department was often understaffed and struggled to keep up with the evolving needs of such a growing city, and certainly couldn’t manage the additional responsibilities of transportation infrastructure and policy. With little management oversight, the city’s parking program had not kept pace with the rapid growth and modernization of the rest of Nashville. Parking and transportation are essential to supporting any city, and it was vital that they understood the evolving needs and expectations of today’s consumer, particularly when it comes to searching for and paying for parking. Likewise, the parking and transportation industry has evolved over just the past few years, and the city needed to identify the solutions and programs that would best meet their unique needs.

A Timeline of Program Milestones In 2019, an analysis of Nashville’s on-street parking meter program found that its current system was significantly underperforming, with meters operating at only around 10% economic efficiency. The study also found that the city’s current operation lacked the modern technology and adequate enforcement to keep pace with its rapid growth and generate revenue in an efficient yet customerfriendly way. In 2020, previous Mayor John Cooper developed and implemented a new Transportation Management Plan. The


plan included several key components such as upgrading the bus system, modernizing the traffic management system, investments in neighborhood infrastructure like sidewalks, bikeways, and parks, and improving safety through the advancement of the Mayor’s Vision Zero Action Plan. Another part of this 2020 plan was the exploration of transforming the existing public works department into what is now the NDOT. In July of 2021, NDOT was established, followed by an overwhelmingly supportive public vote in a 2022 election proposing a charter to formally create the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure.

The Pathway to Smart Parking Since its creation, NDOT has hit the ground running, realizing several parking and transportation initiatives aimed at providing comprehensive parking, transportation, and mobility infrastructure and technology solutions. The goal of these initiatives is to improve parking and curb experiences for the community, allow the city to obtain and analyze data to improve their operations, and improve the financial stability of the city’s parking and transportation program to support future efforts. Upon the development of NDOT, the organization partnered with several community organizations including WeGo Public Transit, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and the Nashville Downtown Partnership to identify and study the “must haves” for the future of downtown Nashville. These must haves included prioritizing pedestrian comfort and safety, integrating



to not only manage the parking meters, but also serve as officers to enforce other traffic and parking rules throughout the city. The new parking program includes several new features. These include: Credit card and eCommerce payment options. Enhanced and modern parking enforcement solutions. ● Fair market-appropriate parking pricing. ● Custom developed business intelligence and data analytics system. ● 24/7 Service Delivery. ● ●

alternative mobility options, improving the curb experience by streamlining delivery vehicles, ride share, and loading zone areas, and managing the development of a more modern parking program.

A Strong Partnership for a Smarter City The most notable initiative to date has been the implementation of a smart parking system integrating the latest parking and mobility innovations to meet the needs of Nashville’s population to date and pave the way for inevitable future growth. The City of Nashville selected national parking operator LAZ Parking to facilitate a comprehensive smart parking initiative. The project included the replacement of approximately 1,700 of the city’s coin-operated meter system with smart parking kiosks that accept several payment types. The five-year plan will also include a complete overhaul of parking polices and increase meter parking enforcement efforts. One of the primary objectives was to increase the number of metered parking spaces, improving parking space utilization across the city and minimizing instances of people seeking free parking in peripheral city neighborhoods. Along with NDOT, LAZ has also provided additional parking enforcement staff who will be trained

While this entire initiative is aimed at improving the parking experiences for residents and visitors alike, as well as streamlining operations for the city, it will also come with a significant increase in parking revenues. The program is already on track to increase revenues by over $3 million annually. These revenues will be reinvested into the city’s Infrastructure and Parking Program, providing valuable resources to continue to implement parking, mobility, and transportation improvements to keep up with continued rapid growth. Circling back to the 2019 analysis of the city’s parking program finances, the initiatives that have been put into place through the new parking program anticipate that in just year one, revenues are expected to quadruple, and over the next five years revenues could increase by up to 500%. This is all anticipated to occur while at the same time reducing the number of parking citations issued by integrating more convenient, customer-centric payment options including mobile apps, as well as scan-to-pay and text-to-pay solutions. Not only does this effort simplify parking experiences for residents and visitors, but it provides a foundation to enhance the city’s relationship with the community, all while dramatically increasing revenues that will allow the city to implement future beneficial solutions.

Project Challenges and Roadblocks Nashville is one of the first major cities to adopt such an advanced comprehensive parking payment system. But this program did not come easily, rather it faced several hurdles along the way. The entire procurement process from beginning to end took nearly seven years. Many were skeptical that this program could be successfully realized without raising parking rates. Some said the



financial projections were flawed. Prolonged disputes over the procurement process, changes in the political landscape, lingering impacts from COVID, and anticipated risks to the community delayed the project for many years. The procurement process included the release of three separate RFPs with varying iterations, goals, and contract terms. The final performance-based solicitation was designed to serve NDOT’s best interests, while meeting several outlined performance objectives. The result was an extremely comprehensive parking program framework, outlining a series of milestones and deliverables that would provide the roadmap to execute a plan that would not only bring the parking program up to speed with the city’s modern infrastructure, but provide the policies, data, and financial resources to continue to grow the program as the city grows. The integration of the new smart parking meters is just the beginning of this long-term effort to overhaul the parking system in Nashville. The smart meters will provide valuable data that will allow the understanding of parking patterns, identification of inefficiencies, and development and execution of new policies to further accommodate the continued growth of downtown Nashville as well as the evolving expectations of the modern parking customer. One of the reasons this project has been so successful to date is the consideration of the community throughout the entire process. The team deployed several strategies to keep all potential parkers up to date regarding milestones and changes to their routines or expectations. A comprehensive marketing and communications plan ensured that people received all relevant information regarding important changes, key dates, and how to utilize new technologies for their convenience. Several new parking staff members were hired whose duties include helping any prospective parkers with any customer service needs they may have. Finally, upon the integration of the new smart parking meters, the city implemented a monthlong enforcement “soft approach” issuing warnings and educating the public about changes to meter hours and locations. The enforcement program has also been expanded to address many other community concerns above and beyond traditional parking enforcement. The role of the NDOT/ LAZ Team now includes downtown code enforcement with an emphasis on the entertainment district, which has been a growing concern for many years. Enforcement officers are crossed-trained through the courts, police department, and other municipal agencies to enforce noise ordinances and codes related to entertainment vehicles, food trucks, and

other street vendors. In just six months, the expansion of the enforcement program has had a tremendous impact on the community as a whole and has created a safer environment for everyone to enjoy.

Moving Forward The City of Nashville has embarked on a remarkable journey towards greater parking and mobility innovation, reshaping not only its urban landscape but also its approach to transportation and accessibility. What was once primarily known for its rich musical heritage and cultural charm has now evolved into a bustling metropolis experiencing rapid growth and diversification. With such a dramatic population surge over the past decade, Nashville has become an enticing destination for businesses, professionals, and creatives, leading to an increased demand for housing, infrastructure, and urban amenities. The city’s commitment to enhanced parking technology, innovation, expanded enforcement, and pricing has not only simplified the experience for residents and visitors alike, but also promises to generate substantial revenues. This increased income will be vital for reinvesting in the city’s infrastructure and parking program, ensuring that Nashville can continue to keep pace with its rapid growth. While the journey was marked by several challenges and delays, Nashville has emerged as a groundbreaking city, embracing a comprehensive parking payment system that sets the stage for future growth and flexibility. This transformation reflects the city’s dedication to evolving with the times while maintaining its unique cultural identity, promising a vibrant future for Music City. Nashville’s pathway to greater parking and mobility innovation not only enhances the quality of life for its residents but also solidifies its position as a dynamic and forward-looking urban center. ◆ DIANA ALARCON, CAPP, is Director, Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure for Metropolitan Nashville and a member of IPMI’s Accessibility Working Group. She can be reached at


ROB MARONEY, CAPP, is Vice President, Government and University Services for LAZ Parking and a member of IPMI’s State & Regional Association Committee. He can be reached at






Overcoming Convention

Park Omaha Implements a Parking and Mobility Ecosystem



By Hannah R. Adeponu, CAPP

Park Omaha Implements a Parking and Mobility Ecosystem

By Hannah R. Adeponu, CAPP


CONVENTION I N OUR INDUSTRY, A GOOD PARKING EXPERIENCE HINGES ON ACCESS AND EASE OF USE. At times, providing a positive experience in parking can be difficult and is further impacted when the technology used to manage the comprehensive system is siloed. Traditionally, this was how on-street parking, off-street parking, and mobility applications had been managed in Omaha. To combat the inefficiencies that this conventional system approach created, Park Omaha went on a journey to break down these silos and implement a cohesive “ecosystem” that brings our managed services into one. By doing so, we simplified our equipment and deployed an integrated system designed to be easy for our customers and our staff to use. Our journey continues in an ever-changing environment where the implementation of our ecosystem has made us more flexible to adjust our policies and practices with the data we now systematically analyze. Why an “Ecosystem”? The word ecosystem denotes complex systems working together to provide a supported environment where the users benefit from its design. For Park Omaha, our ecosystem was designed to accomplish organizational goals, and provide access to more comprehensive data for our staff and the public. This was done by honing in on how our organization fits into the community, and what role we play in providing services to those that live, work, and play in Omaha. Park Omaha is just one part of a larger system of transportation in our metropolitan area, so with this implementation we needed to consider the following planning exercises to ensure the outcomes would make a lasting impact on our city:

Strategic Plan Park Omaha, the parking and mobility division of the Public Works Department for the City of Omaha, was formed in 2013. In the early years, the division operated off of an initial strategic plan that found waste in the


previous operations of the on-street and off-street parking management. Since that time, Park Omaha has drastically changed the management and perception of parking (and more recently mobility) in Omaha. As our programs changed and efficiency improved with the formation of an enterprise fund, the system became more profitable and reliable as a mechanism for economic development in the community. With this success, our approach to the management of the system technologically needed change. At this conceptual stage, these changes would allow for our organization to be nimbler in crafting lasting policy and contribute to the community in a meaningful way. To inform the needed changes, Park Omaha performed an updated parking and mobility study in 2020 to assess quantitative and qualitative measures that were originally analyzed at the inception of the division. This study recommended: ●

Growing the urban core to increase jobs and residents, develop an active and attractive urban



Financial Analysis Subsequently, Park Omaha completed a financial analysis that resulted in recommendations on the rate structure and programmatic offerings in on- and offstreet parking. For the on-street environment, it was evident that greater turnover was needed in some of the most used metered parking areas. A contemplation and modeling of progressive rates was conducted and showed that this may result in greater compliance with parking codes, higher turnover in areas where it is needed, and additional revenue to be put back into the system to be used for economic development. In the off-street environment, an analysis of user groups and rates was completed resulting in recommendations for additional programming for the hybrid worker and continued review of daily and monthly rates in each facility.

Aging Equipment

The final factor that played a large part in Park Omaha’s decision to implement a comprehensive, simplified technological approach to the management of the parking and mobility systems in Omaha was the age, condition, and effectiveness of the equipment that was being used in the system. The single space meters, signage, and access controls that had been in place for a number of years and had limitations that could be overcome by the ecosystem approach being contemplated by our organization.

Planning for Success environment, and support business growth. Increasing efficiency and cutting costs by minimizing off-street parking while utilizing our existing parking assets and promoting user satisfaction. ● Leading toward a future of success by integrating parking into the transportation system, partnering to accomplish common community goals, and advocating for the city to serve as a guide to ensure future agreements for parking are consistent with these set goals. ●

One of the long-term goals of this plan was to develop an all-inclusive technology platform that integrates parking and other services, promotes alternative modes of transportation and adopts a progressive/tiered on street paid parking program.


To achieve a successful implementation, a project of this nature requires an organization to be very detailed and intentional in its approach. To that end, the planning for Park Omaha’s change to a new ecosystem approach started with the recommendations of the strategic plan and financial analysis mentioned above and concluded with a detailed request for proposals. During the planning phase of this project, pieces of the Project Management Institute’s body of knowledge were employed to gain an accurate understanding of what the needs of the organization were and how they could best be met. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) was used in the documentation of the project. A charter was written to initiate the formal project and then the work began. There were three key pieces to this documentation: the project management plan, work

breakdown structure, and our key deliverable of this phase, the RFP and its specifications.

Project Management Plan

The PMBOK outlines a project management plan (PMP) as a comprehensive document that considers the different “performance domains” vital to a successful project. Within each domain, there are different levels of detail to define a PMP. It is important to choose the appropriate level of detail for each project that you undertake. Each project is different and therefore requires an independent analysis of the detail that is needed in order to be successful. For example, if a project is simple, e.g., updating an already existing website for your organization, you may only need to have a project charter that defines the project and the roles different individuals will perform, and a basic PMP to show the scope of the changes, schedule for performance, and any monetary resources that will be required to accomplish the changes. However, for a more complex project like this ecosystem, we needed a more substantial plan that

included scope, risk assessment, products and deliverables, quality management, a work breakdown structure, project team directory, communication management plan, change register, stakeholder management plan, and resource requirements checklist. The plan itself talks about how the project is going to be performed, not what is going to be done. It outlines the rules that govern the project, so all members of the project team and the sponsors know what to expect. Some of the appendices of the plan were used to guide the work undertaken. One of those appendices was the work breakdown structure (WBS).

Work Breakdown Structure

To build a WBS, each piece of a project must be considered. Park Omaha broke the work down into eight pieces, including municipal code review, rate structure specifics, on-street management, off-street management, curbside and mobility management, marketing, reporting, and communications. Each of these pieces required different resources, detail, and deliverables. Therefore, over a period of three to four weeks, I spent



time with each of the different groups in our organization to flesh out all of the considerations for these different areas. I documented these considerations in a Google sheet that I could track and update and that could be viewed by the project team. Conducting brainstorming sessions with the Park Omaha team members ensured that all in the organization were aware of the upcoming changes and had a voice in framing how the project would proceed. This WBS acted as a checklist during the implementation of the project as we went through setting the specifics in the RFP for rates, equipment, reporting, and other operational components. The municipal code changes that would need to be made to facilitate the new system structure were documented and used when writing the amendment to the Omaha Municipal code. Those changes included verbiage regarding rates, tiers, violations, considerations for accessible parking, and removal of language regarding single space meters and the enforcement thereof.

Request for Proposals

Having completed the project management plan and the work breakdown structure early in the project, it was determined that our organization needed to engage a consultant team to assist with the technical details and documentation of the specifications for the RFP process. Specifications were drawn up for a system that includes multispace meters in the garage structures and in the on-street environment, gateless off-street parking management with fixed license plate recognition cameras, electronic variable messaging signage, and a central operating system where all

data is housed and integrated to the hardware and enforcement software. In order to capture the technological complexity of this project the Park Omaha team created one master workflow and four breakouts of that workflow for the on street, off street, immobilization, and loading zone applications. These workflows show the data flowing through the system from the time a parker starts a session to the options for payment or non-payment, then the data flows into a repository and additional actions are defined from there. These workflows were designed as a tool to communicate requirements to the vendors we selected in order to be clear on who was handling what and what the expected outcomes were. Further consideration was made for adding in mobility applications on this central dashboard that would allow for our organization to utilize one system to do the majority of our activity on a day-to-day basis.

The EcoSystem Omaha received 8 proposals to implement the parking and mobility ecosystem that includes: 451 multispace meters broken out into three on street tiers (2+, 3+, and Economy) and 14 meters in the offstreet environment to support payment at garages and off street lots. ● 43 Fixed License Plate Recognition Cameras for 6 parking structures and 5 off street lots ● 32 Variable messaging signage installed at the entries and exits of the off-street structures and lots. ● Software components to aggregate data, process and analyze parking sessions, and manage programming of the cameras, meters, and signage throughout the system. ●

Two of the eight proposals were chosen for the contracting stage of the project. In crafting the contracts for the implementation, integration plans were discussed with four vendors (two existing) in order to realize the outcomes envisioned by the Park Omaha team. It was decided that we would utilize the same payment methods in the on and off-street environments. These payments, coupled with data from the fixed LPR and VMS into the “Park Omaha Dashboard”, would allow for our team to manage payments, access control, monthly parking agreements, occupancy, enforcement, rates, and communications from one system.


With contracts in place, the software work began. The onstreet programming started first to tie payments from two mobile applications and the multi space meters into the “Park Omaha Dashboard”. Additional work was started for the off-street environment and installation of the hardware was planned and executed. In addition to payments, enforcement was integrated with some nuance in the way that Park Omaha enforces the on street versus the off-street spaces. With one enforcement provider the on-street enforcement occurs with ambassadors checking license plate information in zones of on street spaces, whereas off street enforcement is conducted by collection of license plates with fixed LPR cameras at the entries and exits of the facilities and lots, checked for quality by the Park Omaha team, and then transmitted to the enforcement provider for issuance of invoicing for those found noncompliant with our stated rates. The documentation that was discussed above was written into the contracts and discussed at length with each of the providers. During the implementation of the design progress meetings were conducted with the vendor teams. Park Omaha then drew up the final acceptance testing process and reconvened the four vendor teams that worked together to build the system to see the system running end to end. It took a few testing sessions, some persistence, and attention to detail by all parties involved to see all the functionality come to fruition. The build was only the first step though, more work is needed to realize the vision of this EcoSystem.

Early Outcomes, Struggles and Ongoing Analysis With the effort of our partners and the Park Omaha team, we built the EcoSystem. Like any “EcoSystem” there are many moving pieces. The parking and mobility environment is no different and as such we need some complexity to handle each of those pieces. We have seen the need for continued analysis of the changes we planned and implemented. A few of the early outcomes include more complete data, added efficiency and access to reporting, and an increase in on street revenue. Likewise with substantial change we have seen some struggle in adoption both internally and with our customer base. Finally, for some performance indicators it is just too early to tell.


Data can be powerful if you are able to use it properly. At Park Omaha, one of the key outcomes that we looked for in this project was a more complete data set to analyze how our system is performing and if there are any improvements that can be made in order to provide better service and enhanced management of the resources that we are responsible for. We can already see that by bringing all of our data into a central repository we are able to perform a more comprehensive analysis of our operation. At the outset of this project, we planned for all payment data and parking sessions to be accessible by our staff in one system. This is a contrast to the different data collection methods we previously employed with mobile application data being pulled from one



system, coin being collected manually with vague location data, and credit card payments being collected from a third system. The added efficiency of having this all-in-one system saves much needed time and makes it easier to identify errors when they occur. We have also set up daily, weekly and monthly reporting to send automatically to staff in order to facilitate their work. Reports can be customized, sorted, and scheduled for different durations for transmission to different operational groups. Finally, increased revenue has been consistently observed in our on-street parking due to a change to progressive rates. Over the past five months we have seen an average increase of approximately 42% from the previous year. This is likely partially due to continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic reduction in revenue as we get farther and farther away from the impact of 2020 and 2021, but we can also assume that a portion of this increase is from added payment options, clarity of communication, and ease of use by doing away with time limits and encouraging compliance with payment for on street parking. Park Omaha has expectations of greater compliance in the months to come as patrons become more familiar with the new regulations in Omaha. Though for now it is


too early to say we are seeing a reduction with certainty, as any decrease seen in citations issued from the last five months is likely a result of a recent policy shift to allow for the issuance of warnings for nonpayment of on street parking while education about the new system is being conducted.


It may be a bit cliche, but this is where I say “change is hard”. In a short amount of time, we have rolled out a new system. This means staff are not as familiar with how reports are run, equipment is maintained, vehicles show up in our enforcement application, and plates are read by the license plate recognition cameras. It takes some getting used to, that is to be expected. On the public facing side it is much the same. The multispace meters are different, the options for mobile pay are there as well, the transition from prox cards to LPR based off-street access control has its hurdles. As they are all occurring at once we have had to manage communications (though pre planned) as they come. Having completed large changes like this before some are more prepared to handle it than others. In these struggles it has been my duty to ensure both staff and the parking public that we are committed to resolving any issues that come

Every parking operation has its concerns and technology has components that will, at times, fail. That is why we believe this article and the ecosystem approach to parking and mobility management is one that our counterparts in the industry can benefit from.

up with a sense of urgency and responsibility. As we work through the struggles, commitment is ever more important, knowing that we will get through them. Thus far we have identified that education and patience are the most effective responses while attention to detail and documentation of any report is also vital to its resolution. These should be standard practices of any municipal organization and are becoming great tools for Park Omaha’s staff as each new day passes.

Conclusion When I began this article, I wanted to show all of you how Omaha has systematically worked to accomplish the goals set by our organization in the strategic plan and financial analysis we performed. We, at Park Omaha, have done that. We now have a system that brings on street parking and off-street parking into one management system. We will continue to layer in our additional programs for curb management and mobility as time goes on, and hope to partner with other transportation organizations in our area to bring all of our offerings into that “all-inclusive technology application” mentioned in our 2020 strategic plan update. We also have rolled out progressive rates in our on-street environment and early data shows it will help us to do more in our community. Additionally, it is important to note that the planning and implementation process shown here can be replicated by any organization. The Project Management Institute’s guidelines are out there for all of us to employ. Other organizational tools described in this article are widely available to everyone in this industry. In planning and executing this project I used common tools that were at my disposal. In choosing vendors for this project, we noted that the teams we chose to work with were best for us and for our style of management in Omaha, but those

may or may not be the best for other teams in other locations. Finally, there is a great example here for other municipal parking and mobility organizations. Omaha is not particularly large but we have a unique team of individuals that is willing to think differently about providing services and managing our assets. Our team is small with approximately 50 people total with only 9 internal city staff members working on visioning, planning, and project implementation. With these staff members we have worked hard to find and foster the skills we need in order to be successful. We are dedicated to cross training and pitching in to accomplishing our goals. I say this to encourage others to do the same. With the EcoSystem implementation in particular I encourage others to note that Park Omaha staff planned, communicated, and tested the system. We asked specific questions about how the system is built, and we continue to investigate how the system is working. When we see a problem, we track down why it happened and what must be done to resolve it. Not everyone can do that today, but if you want to, as a municipal entity, you can. We are the owners of our parking and mobility ecosystem and have a responsibility to our community to provide the best services we can. ◆ HANNAH R. ADEPONU, CAPP, is Assistant Parking and Mobility Manager for Park Omaha. She can be reached at hannah.adeponu@cityofomaha. org.


Compliance with Loading Zone Regulations Using Technology to Reduce Chaos and Pollution By Marc Boher




N THE INTRICATE REALM OF CITY MANAGEMENT, few challenges are as urgent and crucial as the efficient administration of loading zones in our cities. Once inconspicuous, these areas have now become the epicenter of a range of

concerns that keep parking professionals awake at night. The increasing demand for these spaces, exacerbated by the explosion of online commerce and unauthorized usage, has triggered issues of congestion, pollution, and non-compliance that demand effective solutions. Congestion means a loss of productivity of the workforce and a loss of tax revenue to cities that range from hundreds of millions of dollars to billions.

The Challenge for Parking Managers So, why is this happening?

Congestion and Chaos: One of the most pressing issues is congestion and chaos in loading zones. Growth in the number of delivery vehicles and the absence of effective regulation have led to street and sidewalk blockages, compromising the mobility and safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike. When curbside space is unavailable, double parking is inevitable leading to unacceptable gridlock. Furthermore, Vision Zero initiatives say we should do something about safety. Pollution: Congestion in these areas not only causes delays but also significantly contributes to air pollution. Delivery vehicles that spend extended periods searching for loading zones to stop emitting harmful emissions, deteriorating air quality and ultimately affecting the health of residents.

Unauthorized Usage: Non-compliance and the unauthorized use of these areas by vehicles not intended for loading further aggravate the problem. This reduces the availability of spaces for legitimate vehicles and generates frustration for both drivers, residents, and businesses that depend on these zones. Package deliveries of staples such as prescriptions and food have become commonplace, elevating the importance of compliance. Hidden Costs: In addition to the evident problems, there are significant hidden costs associated with inefficient management of the parking zones. In the United States, the average productivity loss for delivery drivers is estimated at $5,000 per driver per year due to wages lost while searching for parking. Another study reveals that double-parking costs motorists $345 per year per driver in gasoline, waiting time, and pollution in an average American city. In larger cities, these numbers are even more significant.



Technological Solutions for Parking Managers City planners are turning to innovative technological solutions to effectively address these challenges. Smart Parking Systems: These systems employ real-time data collection and analysis to monitor the use of loading zones. Data allows parking planners to make informed decisions about the dynamic allocation of these spaces and provide drivers with real-time information about parking space availability. Automated Rule Enforcement: Automation technology, including cameras and sensors, enable more efficient compliance with regulations. Vehicles that exceed their allotted time or park without authorization can be detected and automatically penalized, significantly improving compliance with regulations. Data Analysis: Parking planners use data analysis to understand usage patterns and optimize the placement. This information enables data-driven decisions to improve efficiency and reduce congestion in these critical areas.

Delivery Management Platforms: Delivery management platforms assist businesses in scheduling deliveries efficiently, reducing the number of vehicles in loading zones at any given time. This benefits both businesses and urban management by alleviating congestion on the streets. Promotion of Eco-Friendly Vehicles: To address air pollution, planners are encouraging the use of electric or low-emission delivery vehicles in these zones. Incentives and regulations are established to promote environmentally friendly options, reducing the environmental impact of urban logistics. Public Awareness Campaigns: Technology is used to educate the public about the importance of following loading zone regulations. Through social media, mobile applications, and electronic signage, efforts are made to inform drivers and businesses about regulations and associated penalties for non-compliance.

For parking planners, embracing technological solutions opens the door to a future marked by efficiency and sustainability. By leveraging technology, we can address several pressing challenges.


The Future For parking planners, embracing technological solutions opens the door to a future marked by efficiency and sustainability. By leveraging technology, we can address several pressing challenges. Firstly, the application of technology to manage loading zones has been proven to alleviate traffic congestion and reduce air pollution. This not only enhances the overall environment, but also elevates the quality of life for residents. Secondly, the intelligent allocation of loading zones enables parking managers to optimize available space. This optimization, in turn, leads to improved traffic flow and an increased supply of parking spaces for authorized vehicles, ultimately enhancing mobility. Additionally, the automation of regulations and more efficient enforcement will encourage greater compliance with loading zone rules. This will significantly reduce unauthorized usage issues and contribute to more effective zone management. Lastly, the benefits of logistics efficiency, such as reduced delivery costs and waiting times, directly boost the local economy, supporting business growth and contributing to the city’s economic prosperity. Effective

management of loading zones becomes an integral part of nurturing a thriving economy. Management of loading is an urgent concern for our industry, and technology offers powerful tools to effectively address these challenges. The adoption of technological solutions benefits not only cities but also improves the quality of life for residents and promotes more sustainable and harmonious development. These critical areas, with their hidden costs now unveiled, are essential for the flow of goods and the efficient functioning of a city economy, and their effective management is fundamental to the well-being of our cities. Furthermore, by addressing these challenges, the economic and environmental costs affecting drivers and residents alike are abated. The transformation of the loading zones through technology is a crucial step toward more livable and sustainable cities. ◆ MARC BOHER is COO of Urbiotica. He can be reached at


Parking on Plastic



A New Frontier in Sustainability By Dr. Greg Hladik, Ph.D.


A New Frontier in Sustainability

By Dr. Greg Hladik, Ph.D.

Who would have thought we’d be parking on plastic? Yet, here we are, at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), doing just that. We have successfully implemented the first-ever application of plastic-infused asphalt in parking lot construction in the world, setting a new standard for how universities, municipalities, and private operators can reduce lot maintenance, extend longevity, build a sustainable, resilient, and green transportation infrastructure. The Plastic Roads Project repurposed four tons of clean black cartons, akin to plastic containers, for use in our parking lot repairs. To put this into perspective, that’s enough uncrushed plastic to fill 15 garbage trucks. This initiative serves dual purposes: it diverts significant amounts of plastic from entering landfills and enhances the durability of our campus parking lots. It’s a practical, real-world application that benefits not just our university community but also meets a lofty goal for environmental responsibility. This is a perfect example of circular economy, taking plastics out from the waste and reusing them for sustainable, climate adaptive, and resilient infrastructure construction. This transformative project was a collaboration that brought together diverse stakeholders, including UTA’s research community, operations team, students, and off-campus industry leaders Pavement Services and Austin Asphalt. With their combined expertise and resources, they embarked on an ambitious mission to address the complexities of incorporating recycled plastics into asphalt mixtures, a challenge that had never been tackled on such a scale.



The Road to Innovation Partnering with Researchers

The journey began in 2019, led by Dr. Sahadat Hossain, professor and director of the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability. Dr. Hossain and his team of graduate students received a $950,000 grant from the Dallas district of the Texas Department of Transportation, to be the first to use what’s now called “plastic road” material in Texas. Over three years, they successfully completed extensive laboratory investigations examining several uses for the reuse of waste plastics in asphalt, setting the stage for the first plastic road implementation project in the Kaufman area. The initial lab tests involved mixing small batches of asphalt and plastic, then testing the wear and tear of simulated usage on the mix compared to mixes without plastic. The results were promising enough that the research team started to identify potential locations for this groundbreaking application of plasticinfused asphalt in real-world scenarios-- a process that would take two years. Unbeknown to the researchers at the time, UTA Parking & Transportation was preparing to repair several surface asphalt parking lots on campus. Through a public news release, the parking department became aware of the great work our faculty researchers were doing and offered a location on campus to install the mix. The next step was to find industry partners willing to try this innovative mix.

their equipment after the batch was finished to ensure subsequent batches were not impacted. Pavement Services, the private company used to lay the asphalt, had uncertainty in how to lay and compress the asphalt, and how the plastic would change the way the asphalt is applied. However, these two private-industry partners were instrumental in their patience, willingness for trial and error, and aspiration for how this innovation could revolutionize the industry.

The Science Behind the Mix A Revolutionary Approach

Dr. Hossain’s research discovered the right blend of plastic to asphalt to prolong the life of the asphalt, minimize wear-and-tear, and divert unused plastics from the landfill. The recycled plastics are shredded, then added to the asphalt mix under heat. The plastics melt and adhere to the aggregate, coating the materials in a durable surface that strengthens and prolongs the life of the parking lot. Because the repair work was done in stages, it allowed the research team and partners to analyze different methods to determine the right size of aggregate to use in the mix. As a result, later batch recipes changed slightly as knowledge was gained through the application.

Overcoming Complex Challenges An Inside Look

Taking this innovative concept from the laboratory to the real world was not without its challenges. This transformative project was a collaboration that brought together diverse stakeholders, including UTA’s research community, operations team, and off-campus industry leaders Pavement Services and Austin Asphalt. With their combined expertise and resources, they embarked on an ambitious mission to address the complexities of incorporating recycled plastics into asphalt mixtures, a challenge that had never been tackled on such a scale. Each partner had unique challenges to overcome. UTA’s plastic roads asphalt recipe required the asphalt plant, Austin Asphalt, to temporarily close several times during peak season to run our plastic trial and final mix batches. They also had to figure out how to introduce the plastic, the heat required to melt it, and how to clean


Being non-degradable, plastic is bad for the environment; however, the same characteristics can be excellent properties for reusing them in civil engineering construction and infrastructure projects.

Benefits to the UTA Community More Than Just a Parking Lot

The Plastic Roads Project is not just about innovating asphalt; it’s also a testament to the university’s commitment to preparing students for a greener world. This project involved students at every level, from PhD candidates whose dissertations focused on various research aspects of the plastic-asphalt mix to master’s degree graduate students studying principles of the circular economy and engineering principles. Additionally, UTA students working in the private industry were assigned to this project to measure the compression needs of the laid asphalt. However, the true impact of the Plastic Roads Project can be seen in the thousands of students and employees who utilize the new parking lots daily. This sustainable solution not only enhances their daily experience but also underscores UTA’s unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and the preparation of future leaders dedicated to building a greener, more sustainable world. The Plastic Roads Parking Lot Project serves as a beacon for environmental stewardship and offers tangible benefits to UTA, its students and employees. The Parking & Transportation Department will ultimately be able to maintain these facilities over a longer duration at lower expenses, thanks to the increased longevity and reduced maintenance requirements of the plasticinfused asphalt.

The Environmental Impact Beyond the Campus

The world is moving towards a more urbanized future and the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW), one of the most important by-products of an urban lifestyle, is growing even faster than the rate of urbanization. Besides, due to rapid urbanization, plastic consumption has increased significantly, which in turn is creating plastic waste as a global epidemic. Being nondegradable, plastic is bad for the environment; however, the same characteristics can be excellent properties for reusing them in civil engineering construction and infrastructure projects. In recent years, climate change is causing frequent extreme events, such as hurricanes, extreme rainfall, drought, and flooding which is causing significant risk to transportation infrastructures. Therefore, the use of recycled plastic for climate adaptive sustainable, resilient, and green transportation infrastructure presents an opportunity for sustainable engineering and circular economy. Plastic waste can last in the environment for extended period without any degradation compared to other construction materials such as timber, steel, and concrete, which has high CO2 emission during the manufacturing process and work as contributor to global warming. The reuse of plastic waste for climate adaptive materials will reduce failure risks and

maintenance cost of pavement and transportation infrastructure and will promote circular economy. Therefore, the implications of this project extend far beyond the UTA campus. By successfully implementing this initiative, we have provided a blueprint for other institutions and municipalities to follow. The environmental benefits of diverting plastic waste from landfills and incorporating it into durable, long-lasting infrastructure cannot be overstated.

The Road Ahead Future Implications and Continuous Improvement As we continue to monitor the performance of these innovative parking lots, the data collected will be invaluable in refining asphalt mix recipes for future applications. This commitment to ongoing evaluation and improvement ensures that UTA remains at the forefront of sustainable practices in parking lot construction.

The Global Stage Dr. Hossain’s Impact

Dr. Hossain’s work has not gone unnoticed on the global stage. He recently met with the World Bank to discuss the implementation of plastic road projects in developing countries. A plastic road was just completed in Bangladesh in collaboration with Roads and Highway Department (RHD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh by Dr. Hossain’s team. Dr. Hossain signed another contract to implement plastic road in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the construction is expected to start in early 2024. Dr. Hossain is also in discussion with a group in Colombia to implement plastic road projects in Colombia by Summer 2024. These developments indicate that the technology is gaining traction globally.

A Legacy of Innovation UTA’s Commitment to Excellence

In addition to this pioneering project to use recycled plastics for longer-lasting parking lots, the Parking and Transportation Department’s resume includes several other research partnerships that enhance the services provided to the campus community. These include launching the nation’s longest-running self-driving shuttle program in partnership with Via, May Mobility, and the City of Arlington, and reducing parking and traffic congestion through the introduction of a Parking Finder App and sensors, among many others. Our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement remains steadfast. ◆ DR. GREG HLADIK, PH.D., is Executive Director of Auxiliary Services for the University of Texas at Arlington. He can be reached at



Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. 919.653.6646

THA Consulting 484.342.0200

WGI 866.909.2220

Creatively transforming how our world is




2024 State & Regional Events Calendar

LOOKING FOR Walter P Moore MOORETALENT 800.364.7300

MARCH 7 New England Parking Council (NEPC) Educational Forum Somerville, MA

APRIL 8-11

Brian Lozano, PE, PMP 800.364.7300

Texas Parking & Transportation Association (TPTA) Conference & Tradeshow

Parking, Transportation, and Mobility Planning

Thackerville, OK

Parking Design and Consulting Structural Engineering

APRIL 16-18

Structural Diagnostics Traffic Engineering Civil Engineering Intelligent Transportation Systems Systems Integration

Pennsylvania Parking Association Conference Hershey, PA

MAY 6-9


Mid–South Transportation and Parking Association (MSTPA) Annual Conference & Tradeshow Chatanooga, TN

Walker Consultants

OCTOBER 23–25 800.860.1579

Pacific Intermountain Parking & Transportation Association (PIPTA) Annual Conference & Expo Denver, CO

OCTOBER 28–30 Southwest Parking & Transportation Association (SWPTA) Annual Conference


Las Vegas, NV

NOVEMBER 5–7 I 2022 IPM Award of e Excellenc

California Mobility and Parking Association (CMPA) Annual Conference & Tradeshow San Jose, CA

South Gondola Lot Parking Structure Breckenridge, CO



ABM Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

PayByPhone Technologies, Inc. . . . . . 11

TKH/ParkAssist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 866.201.9935 877.610.2054 203.220.6544

Hormann. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Sentry Protection LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Walker Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . .15, 57 800.365.3667 800.533.6620 800.860.1579

IPS Group Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C2

T2 Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Walter P Moore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 858.404.0607 800.434.1502 800.364.7300

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1, 56

THA Consulting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

WGI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 484.342.0200 866.909.2220 919.653.6646


PODCAST A podcast about parking, mobility, and the people who make it all go. Hosted by Isaiah Mouw with new episodes every other Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud or any other major podcast provider.

Strategic Partner



2024 IPMI Events Calendar JANUARY




APRIL 10 Free Virtual Frontline Training

JULY 10 IPMI Webinar

Turn Panic into a Plan: Stories from Industry Leaders

JANUARY 18 Free Member Chat CAPP

FEBRUARY FEBRUARY 6, 8, 13 Online, Instructor-Led Learning APDS Advisor Training

FEBRUARY 14 Free Virtual Frontline Training

Customer Service Drives Customer Experience

FEBRUARY 22 Free Member Chat

Stress: Is it Physical, Mental, . . . or Both?

APRIL 16, 18, 23, 25 Online, Instructor-Led Learning Parksmart Advisor Training

APRIL 18 Free Member Chat New Members

MAY MAY 7, 9 Online, Instructor-Led Learning

JULY 18 Free Member Chat New Members

AUGUST AUGUST 14 Free Virtual Frontline Training

New APO Site Reviewer Training

Amplify Company Culture & Employee Engagement with Organizational Rounding

MAY 8 IPMI Webinar

AUGUST 22 Free Member Chat

New Members

IPMI Technology Committee Driving Innovation: The AI-Powered Evolution of Parking

FEBRUARY 28–MARCH 1 2024 Leadership Summit

MAY 16 Free Member Chat

Atlantic Beach, FL

IPMI Smart Transportation Task Force State of Smart Transportation—the Sequel






IPMI Planning, Design & Construction Committee TBD

MARCH 7 Free IPMI Higher Education Member

JUNE 4 Free Member Chat

SEPTEMBER 19 Free Member Chat

Roundtable Virtual Roundtable limited to higher education members.

MARCH 13 IPMI Webinar

A kiloWHAT? Mastering the Language of Electric Fueling

MARCH 21 Free Member Chat

Conference First Timers’ Orientation

New Members

JUNE 9-11 2024 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo Columbus, OH

JUNE 26 Free Virtual Frontline Training Communication is Everyone’s Job






OCTOBER 9 Free Virtual Frontline Training

NOVEMBER 7 Free Member Chat

DECEMBER 11 Free Virtual Frontline Training

OCTOBER 17 Free Member Chat

NOVEMBER 12, Online, Instructor-Led Learning

OCTOBER 22, 24, 29, 31 Online, Instructor-Led Learning


Don’t call us Meter Maids!


Parksmart Advisor Training


Embrace Change—Reinvent Your Parking Program

APO Site Reviewer Training - Renewal

More than Just a Ride: All Electric First- & Last-Mile Options

NOVEMBER 28 Free Member Chat New Members

Stay up to date on industry events and activities! Visit for the latest updates and additions. 56 PARKING & MOBILITY / DECEMBER 2023 / PARKING-MOBILITY-MAGAZINE.ORG

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.