INTERNATIONAL PARKING & MOBILITY INSTITUTE APRIL 2021
Innovation & Collaboration
A new P3 project at the University of Kentucky creates connections through the campus, the community, and beyond.
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INTERNATIONAL PARKING & MOBILITY INSTITUTE APRIL 20 21 VOL. 3 / N0. 4
Innovation & Collaboration
A new P3 project at the University of Kentucky creates connections through the campus, the community, and beyond. By Mike Martindill and Lance Broeking
Smoothing the Ride
Understanding frictionless parking is critical to making it work for a parking operation. IPMI’s Technology Committee breaks it down. By Michael Drow, CAPP; Peter Lange; and Nick Mazzenga, PE
Drawing Back the Curtain
Demystifying the use of data in managing parking and mobility systems. By Kevin White, CAPP, AICP
Offering Options, Managing Risk OPINION
More flexible payment options can increase mobile adoption. By Kristen Locke, CAPP
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COVER PHOTO: CHRIS PHEBUS/ PHEBUSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
/ EDITOR’S NOTE DEPARTMENTS 4 ENTRANCE Boosting Our Perceived Organizational Support By Chris Austin, CAPP
6 5 THINGS Autonomous Vehicles Tests Going on Now 8 THE BUSINESS OF PARKING Spring is Here By Bill Smith, APR
10 MOBILITY & TECH Smart Loading Zones: A Practical Innovation in Curb Management By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP
12 DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION Race Relations: It’s ABC By Tiffany R. Peebles
14 THE GREEN STANDARD TDM 2.0 By Brian Shaw, CAPP
16 PARKING & MOBILITY SPOTLIGHT A Collaborative Parking Management Initiative That Changed Behavior By Kathryn Hebert, PhD
18 ASK THE EXPERTS 49 IN SHORT 51 AROUND THE INDUSTRY 54 PARKING & MOBILITY CONSULTANTS 56 ADVERTISERS INDEX
Exclusion FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ABOUT 15 YEARS, my
husband stayed home from a weekend-long, every February event with friends. Thanks to their jobs, ages, where they live, and other factors, the other guys had all received their COVID vaccines, while we were waiting to qualify. He was bummed to decline the invitation and felt worse when photos from the event started popping up on social media. Staying home was his choice in a way and definitely the right one, but it felt like an exclusion—like he missed out because he couldn’t get the shot when everybody else did. The vaccine, as wonderful as it is, created a has-and-has-not situation, and it pretty well stunk. As educated, well-employed, white, American citizens, our family doesn’t feel that very often (I get a lot of, “You don’t look like a Fernandez”). And I can’t equate it at all with racial bias; that’s completely not my intent. But that little taste of “You can’t be part of X because of this thing out of your control,” was unpleasant, and it did serve to open my eyes just a little bit more to greater inequities we close our eyes to as we move through life. It’s not a good feeling. We continue our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion column series this month with a piece by Tiffany Peebles, Parking Authority of River City, Ky., talking about her family’s move to a majority white neighborhood during her childhood and her life as an adult in the parking and mobility industry. If you didn’t catch last month’s feature on structural marginalization in the industry, it offers terrific insight—as have our Shoptalks on diversity and the rest of the DEI department series so far. We’re proud to be part of an industry that’s having open and honest conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and thankful that our members share their experiences and thoughts so generously. The conversation will continue and we hope you’ll join if it hasn’t yet been on your calendar. It’ll be great to have you as part of it. We hope your spring is going well, that you’ll enjoy this issue, and that we see you at our upcoming events, both online and in person. As always, please reach out with questions or thoughts—we love to hear from you. Until next month…
57 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Kim Fernandez, editor firstname.lastname@example.org
PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 3
Boosting Our Perceived Organizational Support
Shawn Conrad, CAE
By Chris Austin, CAPP
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Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Bill Smith, APR
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email@example.com For subscription changes, contact Tina Altman, firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Website: parking-mobility.org Postmaster note: Send address label changes promptly to: Parking & Mobility P.O. Box 3787 Fredericksburg, VA 22402 Interactive electronic version of Parking & Mobility for members and subscribers only at parking-mobility. org/magazine. Periodical postage paid at Alexandria, Va., and additional mailing offices. Copyright © International Parking & Mobility Institute, 2020. 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. Parking & Mobility is printed on 10 percent recycled paper and on paper from trees grown specifically for that purpose.
HE PAST YEAR HAS TRANSFORMED nearly every aspect of our
daily rituals and routines, from where we work to where we are entertained to who and how many people we surround ourselves with. As we reflect on surpassing the one-year mark of this global pandemic it is clear that having a supportive and caring network—be it a significant other, family, friends, and yes, our colleagues—is an invaluable resource to have in our lives. In regards to our workplace network, it is critical for organizations to recognize their employees as their most valuable assets. Perceived organizational support (POS)—an employee’s perception that the organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being—is an insightful construct to consider as our workplaces travel along the road to recovery. POS is rooted in organizational support theory, an area of research I found myself immersed in during my graduate school years, that has helped form the basis of my leadership style. The theory is based on the assumption that employees will value a supportive organization, supervisor, and/or team of colleagues, to the extent they meet basic needs for approval, esteem, and affiliation. When these needs are met and POS is high, the organization or department reaps the benefits of having a team of more engaged and satisfied employees whose performance peaks and suggestions of innovative and creative contributions flourish. Absenteeism and turnover dips as employees want to be a part of and contribute within a high support environment. High POS is particularly advantageous during stressful times. Employees who feel closely tied to the organization demonstrate behaviors that show their
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commitment to helping further department goals, and do so with consistency. They also tend to help lift other, less engaged or enthusiastic members of a team. General ways to promote higher perceptions of support include acknowledgement for good work, providing opportunities for training and development, fair policies and procedures, employee assistance programs, and consistent, support-related messages from managers and leaders. As we continue along the roadway to recovery and back to some semblance of our pre-pandemic rituals and routines, contemplating how we can improve not only perceptions of support within our organizations, but also how—peer-topeer—our teams can better support each other can provide some insights and certainly beneficial results. When we can gather again later this year, I look forward to hearing examples of how you cultivate support within your networks and tips you have for engaging and optimizing performance within your organization! ◆ CHRIS AUSTIN, CAPP, is director of parking & transportation services at the University at Buffalo and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at chaustin@ buffalo.edu.
Autonomous Vehicles Tests Going on Now Autonomous vehicles are right around the corner…or coming in five years… or maybe 20. While the projections keep changing depending who you listen to, driverless car tests are moving full steam ahead—and the technology will have wide-reaching effects on parking and mobility operations. Here are five AV tests happening this year:
Mobileye, a subsidiary of Intel working toward fleets of autonomous taxis, is running AV tests in Detroit, and plans more in Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo this year—and will add New York City to the list if it can be approved. The company hopes to launch its fleet of driverless taxis by 2025.
The U.S. Army is running tests on a site in Aberdeen, Md., but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill driverless car— these vehicles are designed to go into situations that would put soldiers’ lives at risk. The data they’re gathering, including how to map and avoid obstacles off-road, could be quite useful for the development of passenger vehicles.
Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, is running on-road, driverless vehicle tests in Las Vegas. These cars are running without human drivers but there are people in the passenger seat just in case; at press time, those humans hadn’t had to take any action.
Ford recently celebrated three years of AV testing in Miami, where it says people will soon be able to hail driverless cars for actual trips. The vehicles have even been used to deliver groceries and help get supplies to local nonprofits.
A team of scientists from the Technical University of Berlin is undergoing research on AVs in the German city and planning to develop tests based on platform economics. Sensors will be installed on roads to gather information as the driverless cars make their way through town.
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/ THE BUSINESS OF PARKING /MARKETING
Spring is Here By Bill Smith, APR
S I SIT AT MY DESK ON THE FROZEN TUNDRA OF CONCORD, N.H., (sorry for stealing
your image, Packers fans), I’m seeing the first signs that spring is just about here. Most of the snow is gone. Huge puddles of muck and mud lie where just a few weeks ago, the snow was up to my knees. The temperature is even hitting the 50s every now and then. The parking industry is in the early stages of its own sort of spring. After a year of pandemic-induced shutdowns and the resultant misery they’ve caused, many states are starting to reopen, and people are hitting the road again. In fact, one recent study found that more cars are on highways than just before the pandemic. And when people hit the road, they need someplace to park their cars. Another trend I’ve seen ramping up is that parking organizations are starting to rethink their marketing. Many organizations that were in survival mode for the past few months are starting to thaw out old marketing plans. But is that the way to go? Why not make a fresh start? When it comes to your organization’s marketing, this is the perfect time to look at what you’ve done in the past and assess whether it’s the right approach as we come out of the pandemic-induced recession.
Where to Start? A good place to start is with a brand assessment. If you haven’t done a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, now’s the time. Your brand assessment can also include assessments of both your current and historical marketing efforts; assessments of your customers to understand your customer personas; analysis of your alignment with your customers’ needs; and message assessment and refinement. It’s a fairly straightforward process that can be performed by an experienced marketing professional. It also makes sense to complete a web presence assessment. We live in a digital world, for better or for worse. Conduct web traffic analytics to determine the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. This should include volume and quality assessments of your current digital marketing effort and interviews with your sales staff to get their input on the current program.
EXPERIENCE, RELIABILITY, COST EFFECTIVENESS If you haven’t done a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, now’s the time.
This phase should also include social media and digital marketing assessment, as well as strategy development. Social media platforms and digital strategies such as electronic mailers provide great ways to reach customers and prospects.
Don’t Forget the Traditional As you are developing your digital strategies, it’s important to work in more traditional approaches like public relations, advertising, and conference participation. During the years I’ve been writing this column, I’ve emphasized the value of public relations and it’s still true: There is no better way to reach large numbers of customers, prospective customers, and potential partners than through PR. Articles in national, trade, and local publications carry a cache that you don’t get with advertising or electronic mailers. And since virtually all publications also have digital editions, PR will fit perfectly into your digital strategy. Finally, I’m sure no one reading this will need to be convinced to make conference participation part of their marketing strategy. Our industry hasn’t gathered for a national conference in more than a year because of the pandemic. When the parking shows do finally happen later this year, I suspect the venues will be bursting at the seams, full of parking professionals looking to reconnect with old friends and peers. These shows will provide terrific opportunities for reaching clients and prospects by exhibiting and giving presentations. The industry—as well as the economy as a whole—is poised to take off again. Take advantage of the opportunity you have right now to reassess your marketing program and make the necessary changes to assure that your organization will thrive in the coming rebound. ◆
BILL SMITH, APR, is principal of Smith-Phillips Strategic Communications and contributing editor of Parking & Mobility. He can be reached at email@example.com or 603.491.4280.
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/ MOBILITY & TECH
Smart Loading Zones: A Practical Innovation in Curb Management By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP
T IS A FAMILIAR SIGHT IN URBAN AREAS EVERYWHERE: commercial vehicles competing
for curb space. You see delivery trucks and vans double-parked (and encroaching on vehicle travel lanes when not circling to find a parking spot) to pedestrians, cyclists, and passenger cars veering into traffic to navigate around the delivery vehicles. Curb lane management has been one of the hottest topics in the parking industry for the past few years. City infrastructure and crowded corridors can be a barrier to commerce and productivity for users affected by something as simple as a parked delivery vehicle. Taking advantage of emerging technologies and a new appreciation of the value of curb lane resources, the smart loading zone has recently emerged as a potential solution to establish order, enhance efficiency, and improve local business support. Designated loading/unloading spaces that are managed by telecommunication and advanced
monitoring systems is an evolving concept to address the congestion and potential danger imposed by traffic-hindering delivery vehicles. Furthermore, smart loading zones could be the element that expands the monetization of the curb, creating additional new revenue to COVID-19-affected parking programs. Ironically, the pressure to help local businesses rebound from COVID-19 is one of the biggest impediments to instituting new charges or curb lane regulations.
SHUTTERSTOCK / ANDRIY BLOKHIN
The smart loading zone has recently emerged as a potential solution to establish order, enhance efficiency, and improve local business support.
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The Zone A smart loading zone is a designated portion of a curb lane area that authorized drivers can reserve via a smartphone application or other mechanism. Using a participating smart loading zone program, the space is guaranteed for a specified amount of time and is enforced to ensure proper use. While the initial rollout of smart loading zones is targeted for commercial, delivery fleet, and ride-share drivers, they also can be used for retail and restaurant business pickup services and other permitted vehicles. Additionally, smart loading zones have the potential to play a dynamic role in the health of the economies of local businesses by improving the efficiency with which businesses receive and distribute their goods and services— ultimately enhancing the in-person customer experience and improving multiple traffic streams. Various technologies have emerged to manage smart loading zones. On the user end, these technologies include mobile apps, a Bluetooth-enabled device, camera systems, sensors, wayfinding signage, and a dashboard to assess program management functionality and key performance metrics. Older technologies such as in-car meters could also find new life helping better manage curb lane resources. These technologies and similar platforms are currently being piloted in programs across the world—from urban areas of varying sizes in the United States, such as Nashville, Tenn.; Omaha, Neb.; Aspen, Colo.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.—to international locales, such as Paris, France; Dublin, Ireland; and Belfast, U.K. Regardless of locale, the prospect of enhanced curb lane parking management/infrastructure has a broad appeal for a variety of clients and user types. Aspen is particularly interesting as its pilot has led to a new charging model for curb lane resources.
loading zones even extend to environmental sustainability, as smart loading zones could reduce air and noise pollution in bustling urban corridors. Implementing smart loading zones carries the possibility of more efficiently managed curb space and a better parking experience for all users. Bringing technology to the curb to better manage this precious real estate in urban commercial districts not only improves vehicle circulation, but also brings the potential to monetize curb lane assets while better addressing the needs of multiple driver types while improving the utilization of these limited resources. While not without its challenges, smart loading zones are an evolving modern solution to a key asset of the modern city. ◆ L. DENNIS BURNS, CAPP, is senior practice builder and regional vice president of Kimley-Horn. He can be reached at email@example.com.
ENGINEERING & DESIGN PLANNING & STUDIES RESTORATION
Extending Benefits The benefits of smart loading zones could extend to multiple user groups. Parking programs could experience increased parking turnover, more efficient use of limited loading zone spaces, a reduction in illegal parking, potentially an emerging new revenue stream, and opportunities to employ shared-use parking management practices. Municipalities could benefit from scalable curbside policies, enhanced transit access, improved mobility, and reduced congestion caused by circling traffic. Users could gain the advantages of well-defined parking identification, loading zone reservations, improved curb lane safety, and smartphone compatibility. The potential advantages of smart PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 11
/ DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
Race Relations: It’s ABC By Tiffany R. Peebles
ROWING UP, I NEVER THOUGHT MUCH ABOUT how most of my neighbors, school,
and classmates were Black. It was all I knew. Unbeknownst to me, my parents wanted a better environment for me. When I was a sophomore in high school, my parents made the decision to move us across town to a primarily white neighborhood. I distinctly remember being infuriated. Our family would now be one of three African American families in the area. We were in a nicer home and clearly a better neighborhood, so why was I unhappy? This move was indeed positive for my family, but it didn’t feel that way to me. Riding the bus on the first day of school was the first time I felt like a minority. My world had changed; I was no longer in the majority and no longer comfortable. I felt vulnerable and threatened. Sound familiar? It should. I don’t mean to preach, but from my pontificate, this is the cause of a great deal of the division in our country: the perception of somehow being threatened. I am confident we can see a change by going back to basics. The Jackson 5 1975 hit song, “ABC” was one of my favorites. They sang, danced, and entertained the world— Blacks, whites, all races. Music opened the door to unity. However, while they could perform in concert halls, clubs, and restaurants, the reality is they were only “good enough” to entertain in these establishments but not welcome to patronize them. A vital message regarding race relations can be gleaned from their lyrics: “ABC, it’s easy as 123.” Acknowledgment, Boldness and Compassion are imperative to creating change.
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Acknowledgment Improving race relations starts with acknowledging there is a problem. We cannot continue to deny the inequities, injustice, and inhumanity that exist. Black men account for 5 to 6 percent of the total population in the U.S. yet represent 50 percent of those currently incarcerated. If you commit the crime, you should do the time, however, my concern is the time. Does the punishment always fit the crime? Many African Americans are incarcerated because they were denied the opportunity to obtain skills, leading to a higher likelihood of securing jobs, which results in reduced crime. Employment in the Black community has been negatively affected as a result of individuals in prominent positions making decisions that only exaggerated systemic racism that was already in place. Redlining, restricted bank financing, and housing restrictions were all policies designed to oppress Blacks and limit their ability to achieve success. When success
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is hindered, there is a propensity for crime that leads to incarceration. Policies rooted in and equating to systemic racism have been present in our country for centuries. The reality is this was not unplanned. Lawmakers in my home city, for example, were recorded stating it was their intent to keep African Americans in only certain areas of town, while creating barriers to ensure they were not financed in better neighborhoods. People must acknowledge that there is a serious problem and this odious treatment must cease.
Boldness Boldness is essential to changing the face of our current race relations. While some sit silently and allow others to talk recklessly about opposite races, others are rising up and boldly declaring an alliance for equality for all—affectionally being called “allies.” These allies are standing up for what is right because they understand that diversity, inclusion, and equity is mutually beneficial to all. The reality is that many don’t consider an improvement in race relations as mutually beneficial. Unity and camaraderie both lead to peace and tranquility, which lead to more efficiency and productivity. It can and does benefit all when all have the same opportunities for success. Boldness can be intimidating and difficult to achieve. It’s not always easy to speak up, even when it is for what is right. You risk being rejected and even ostracized. Those could be vital reasons to keep quiet, however, it ultimately speaks to your character. You underestimate the influence
and difference that your voice can make. Nothing will change if you remain silent. Silence is complicity. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated “in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Speak up—the world needs you!
Compassion Finally, there needs to be a commitment to compassion. Some people were mocking the death of George Floyd on social media. A severe lack of compassion and human decency was displayed by too many. Compassion shows others that your heart is working on all cylinders. All lives do matter: Black lives matter and police lives matter. Compassion doesn’t show priority for one over the other but shows the same empathy for all. All deserve the same level of respect, opportunity, and compassion. Race relations can be improved with a lot of T.L.C. I agree with Michael Jackson; it is as simple as one, two, three. One, treat others with the respect you desire. Two, commit to listening to others’ perspectives. Three, actively care for everyone, not just those who look like you! The lyrics remind us how to advance a commitment to changing this country. In the words of President William J. Clinton; “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.” ◆
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TIFFANY R. PEEBLES is director of the Parking Authority of River City, Louisville, Ky. She can be reached at tiffany.smith@ louisvilleky.gov.
PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 13
/ THE GREEN STANDARD
By Brian Shaw, CAPP
HE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has and will likely continue to have a devastating effect on
commuter-based TDM program and services. Commuters are rightfully wary of riding with strangers to work. Public transit ridership is way down. Carpooling and vanpooling use is a fraction of what they had been before March 2020.
Who Needs TDM? We have found during the pandemic for Stanford that there continues to be a need to support TDM. We have 17 still-active vanpool groups. These are folks who do not always have access to a car or can drive to work at all. We continue to have folks ride transit and our local shuttles for their commute. These are people working in our hospitals and performing essential work on campus, such as research and associated support, facilities management, construction, and feeding our campus residential students. Our TDM programs and services have been cut to match the pandemic demand, but resources continue to need to be provided to support these essential commuters. 14 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
TDM Funding During and following the pandemic, TDM efforts will need to focus on supporting commuters who are unable to work remotely and have limited access and/or ability to drive alone to work. This population is likely to grow as the pandemic wanes, but will parking revenue also grow? How will programs fund needed TDM services with constrained parking revenue? If you have not done so in the past, it is time to investigate grants. Many regions provide grants to subsidize vanpools, last-mile shuttles, carpools, and transit fares. Using the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program or state or local air quality mitigation resources, there are funds to be had to help off set investments in TDM. Usually administered by a region’s metropolitan planning organization (MPO), public funds available for TDM may need to be acquired through a local agency such as a transit provider, city or county department of transportation, or a designated congestion management authority in your county. While public funds can require frequent reporting of activity, these funds can help bridge the gap until parking revenue comes back to pre- pandemic levels.
SHUTTERSTOCK / ANDREY_POPOV
Years of efforts and investment by employers, local, state, and federal agencies as well as recent technological advancements in ride matching and trip planning had resulted in growth in use of commuting alternatives in several regions across the country. Stanford University had reduced our drive-alone rate by more than 50 percent in the last 20 years. Before the pandemic, remote working use at Stanford was between 3 and 7 percent depending on the day of the week. Since the pandemic, remote working is well over 70 percent by the university’s commuters. It is unknown how people will choose to commute once more folks are vaccinated, local restrictions are lifted, and employees can return to working at the office. How many will want to work remotely and how often will they commute to work? Arguably, with so many of us funding our TDM efforts from parking revenue, and parking revenue yet to fully recover, does it make any sense to fund TDM efforts?
Transit Fare Discounts
Bikes and Pets
Now may be an optimal time to discuss transit pass discounts with your local transit provider(s). Transit providers should be interested in guaranteed revenue brought by paying for a set amount of transit passes each year. Several transit agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area allow employers to buy transit passes for a discounted price for their eligible commuters. They get guaranteed revenue while the employer saves money on transit passes.
Finally, the lowest cost modes, biking and walking, are also well suited during the pandemic. These modes can be done solo, outside, and socially distantly. They also require little investment. We have supported bikers and walkers throughout the pandemic with online training courses, route planning, and continuing to invest in bike storage improvements. Use TDM to help those who need it most, look for funding assistance and focus on bike and pedestrians. Don’t give up on TDM! ◆
Pretax Employers can also institute pretax deductions for parking, transit and/or vanpool costs for their commuters. This will save both the employer and the employee money by reducing taxable income.
BRIAN SHAW, CAPP, is executive director of parking and transportation services at Stanford University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/ PARKING & MOBILITY SPOTLIGHT/CASE STUDY
A Collaborative Parking Management Initiative That Changed Behavior By Kathryn Hebert, PhD
HE CITY OF NORWALK, located in southwest Connecticut on the northern shore of the Long Island
Sound, is an interesting municipal case study of implementing creative parking management solutions to parking problems along with neighborhood enhancements, including changing behaviors on how people park and pay on the street, and slowing down traffic. In September 2019, the city in collaboration with the Norwalk Parking Authority announced several parking and traffic improvements to the Wall Street District.
Gathering Information During the two years before the improvement project’s ribbon cutting in September 2019, the parking authority implemented a vigorous outreach program and spent time talking to the businesses and residents about how to improve the area and gather input. The community wanted to see enhancements that included streetscape, roadway improvements, traffic signals, pay stations, parking turnover, and wayfinding signage. They also wanted to talk about the need for connectivity, accessibility, slowing down traffic, ensuring safety for pedestrian and cyclists, and creating placemaking installations to improve aesthetics to the area. The planning and implementation of several projects were collaborations between representatives of the district, the Department of Transportation, Mobility and Parking, Department of Operations and Public Works, and the Norwalk Parking Authority.
Traffic Control To deal with the issue of speeding traffic and to provide safe and equitable mobility choices and enable enhanced connectivity, the Norwalk Parking Authority conducted research about front-end angle parking vs. back-in angle parking. Switching to angle parking from parallel parking allowed them to add 13 spaces on three separate streets in the Wall Street District and continue to maintain some parallel on street parking. This also included two on-street, handicap spaces. The installation of back-in angle parking is a newer approach, but studies and data show that it is much safer. The benefits outweigh the negative perception: 16 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
parking capacity by 30 to 40 percent. immediate traffic calming by decreasing travel lanes and shortening road width. ■ Enhances safety by not blindly backing into oncoming traffic or into the path of pedestrians and cyclists. ■ Creates buffer zones for handicap parking. ■ Creates
Turnover To manage the necessary business/customer turnover—another priority—the parking authority added strategically placed, multispace meters and pay-bv-cell options to ensure residents and employees in the area wouldn’t park in spaces without moving all day.
Community Reaction While there was some pushback from the community in the beginning as people got used to a different parking behavior, recent observations show that people are parking in the new back-in, angled parking areas, traffic has slowed down, and people are paying to park and moving their cars when their time is over. Changes in municipal government are challenging and take time. They require relationship building, outreach, data, collaboration, coordination, and collective support. Every great vision requires a methodical process. Parking management, reducing traffic speeds, streetscape placemaking, creating safe and equitable mobility, and connectivity are necessary to create viable quality of life for any community. Parking management best practices are integral components to the quality of life. ◆ KATHRYN HEBERT, PhD, is president and CEO of TPM Connect and former director of transportation, mobility, and parking for the City of Norwalk, Conn. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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EXPERTS Contactless, frictionless, curb-managing—parking technology has never advanced more in a shorter time than it has the last year. What’s your best tip or idea for industry members trying to keep up and make the best choices for their own operations?
Steve Rebora, RA
Director City of Detroit Municipal Parking Department
President & CEO DESMAN
Executive Director Parking Authority of River City, Ky.
President Gateway Parking Services
I recommend doing the due diligence to find a municipality or university with similar demographics, goals, and objectives. While staying on the cutting edge and following best practices is admirable, we all know it is not a one-size-fitsall. Taking the time to thoroughly research, pursue a pilot, and ask questions will prove priceless, it is imperative to measure twice, cut once.
One step forward, two steps back!? Take care to make sure your advances improve your customers’ journey. Walk the entire process in your customer’s shoes to ensure that all that has advanced in the last year adds up to a better experience.
When considering the speed of evolving related to technology, it’s important to build analytics that provide good data to shape decisions related to curbside programming. By having good data, better decisions will improve success in the use of technology, minimize the cost of programming, and support the most efficient use of the curbside.
Uniformity and consistency within your system are key. Have an operational master plan for your entire system before you start to make changes.
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Roamy Valera, CAPP CEO, North America PayByPhone When you focus on the user experience and reduce any kind of friction, you will allow for greater adoption. Technology solutions that are not consumer friendly will make it difficult for the consumer experience and wider acceptance.
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Josh Cantor, CAPP Director, Parking & Transportation George Mason University I’ve taken advantage of slower times to meet with as many vendors as possible to get a better idea of what parking solutions exist and better understand advances in parking technology. While I don’t jump at whatever is the latest thing, it helps me understand the parking environment for when the time is right to make upgrades and add new solutions.
Kathryn Hebert, PhD
David Hill, CAPP, MA
President and CEO TPMConnect
CEO Clayton Hill Associates
Parking management and technology are at the center of all mobility and critical to creating comprehensive solutions and infrastructure. There needs to be a paradigm shift from a solo/siloed approach in favor of a collaborative, team-like approach. It will require enhanced relationship building, outreach, and partnerships with other mobility representatives to create sustainable solutions.
Consider the needs of the customer for freedom, simplicity, and help complying with unfamiliar processes. There is a great temptation to fall in love with the cool tech—remember that real people have to remember complicated passwords, their phone batteries die, network connections fail, and the effort they go through has to be proportional to the benefits provided. Before rolling out, walk through the process you are asking your increasingly large numbers of customers to follow and question if the benefit is worth the investment.
Larry Cohen, CAPP Executive Director Lancaster Parking Authority Only in the movies could we have foreseen the impact to our industry from an epidemic like COVID-19. It is imperative through lessons learned to put in place programs (hardware and software systems) and policies that have the capability to adapt now and in the future. Evaluate your current program and identify what can be changed with minimal costs, and what will need to be planned for in ongoing capital upgrades.
Casey Jones, CAPP Senior Parking and Mobility Planner DESMAN Keep the big-picture goal in mind when pursuing any new innovation. New technology should improve customer satisfaction, reduce operational costs, or improve revenue collection and revenue security. If it can do all three, you should be confident in your investment decision.
/ HAVE A QUESTION? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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Collaboration A new P3 project at the University of Kentucky creates connections through the campus, the community, and beyond. By Mike Martindill and Lance Broeking E WROTE in 2019 about plans for a major public-private partnership (P3) between
the University of Kentucky and developer Signet to create a new state-of-the-art, mixed-use development on the university’s campus in Lexington, Ky. The goal of the project was to create a vibrant and active destination for students while adding 900 new parking spaces to support the growing university. The project came on the heels of, and was inspired by, the recent successful completion of a $500 million, on-campus P3 project, which is still the largest on-campus housing development project at a public university in the U.S. It was so successful that the university sought a similar (although smaller) arrangement for the development of a new mixed-use facility.
PHOTOS: CHRIS PHEBUS/ PHEBUSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 23
INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION
The P3 structure established what is now known as The Cornerstone, a lease-lease back model in which the stakeholders created an LLC to ground-lease the property to Signet, which will lease the parking deck back to the LLC for the next 30 years. When the lease obligation is fulfilled, the parking facility will revert back to the university. The management of the project, however, completely and clearly separates the responsibilities and oversight for each portion of the structure. Signet oversees the leasing, tenant relations, and management of the ground-floor retail components, while the university manages the parking facility as well as dedicated community spaces. The design and development of this unique and innovative project has taken many forms since its inception, not only due to the typically expected changes that occur during the development of such a significant facility but also due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. However, this story begins many years earlier, when the university first set out to establish a comprehensive transportation master plan. The University of Kentucky understood the need to continue to provide parking assets to support its growing campus, but also the essential component of effectively utilizing limited space for the highest and best uses possible. They also recognized the essential role of incorporating successful economic development master planning strategies to support the financial requirements of such a build, while contributing to the economic vitality of the campus.
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The first step was to identify the appropriate development site. One of the major goals of this project was to serve as a connection between the university and downtown Lexington. At the time, the university did not own the identified site–which housed an old fast-food restaurant and a bookstore–but was able to partner with the developer who owned to perform a land swap. Through this swap, the university would take ownership of the area needed to accommodate the new development and provide the developer with a nearby, university-owned piece of property. Not only did this provide the final essential piece to get this project moving, but that developer used its new piece of land from the university to develop a mixed-use housing and retail destination that now supports university activities as well.
Defining Campus Innovation One of the most essential objectives of this project was to create vibrant, functional spaces to serve the university as well as downtown Lexington. Initial plans called for 10,000 square feet of mixed-use space, but that program need increased to 23,000 square feet as the project developed. A large portion of that increase was the integration of an esports gaming center on the ground floor. This is part of a strategic effort to leverage technology while maximizing student success and building community. Separately, the university entered into a partnership with the global esports company Gen.G to build the first-of-its-kind gaming and esports program, which will be housed in the new development. The state-of-the-art gamers lounge includes 50 PC-based gaming units and three councils. It is a pay-to-play gamers lounge open to all for classes, competitions, and more. In addition, a 100+ seat multi-purpose esports theater is sized to host a 6v6 esports competition and will serve many other uses for the university as well. In addition to the esports space, the development includes 4,500 square feet of flexible innovation space, with the Cornerstone site serving as a gateway to an emerging Innovation District aimed at further connecting the university and the city. The project team designed this portion of the facility with the idea of supporting entrepreneurship, fostering collaboration, and providing opportunities for creativity. This flexible space is not owned by any one college or program, but rather is available for use by any department, student club, or local group. Already, it has served as a gathering place for programs and initiatives including a business innovation summit, Leadership Kentucky events, design studio classes, and more.
PHOTOS: CHRIS PHEBUS/ PHEBUSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Creative Financing and Land Use Strategies
The space is also hosting local Community Innovation Partner events, bringing together middle school students from under-represented and minority communities to learn about career opportunities, college application processes, and more. The overarching goal of this space is to provide a place where people from the university and the local area can gather formally or informally and create connections, spark creativity, and provide an inviting and comfortable space to learn. The final component of the Cornerstone’s mixed-use space is a large food hall, managed and operated by Signet. Currently this retail component includes a coffee shop, the university’s first on-campus bar (a brewery), and numerous eateries. Each of the selected dining options is a local establishment, further advancing the feeling of community for this site, and supporting local food entrepreneurs.
Combining Campus and Urban Design The functional and vibrant mixed-use components of the Cornerstone are matched step-for-step by the vibrant architectural elements incorporated by the design and construction team, including local architect Sherman Carter Barnhart, general contractor Wilhelm Construction, and parking consultant THA Consulting. The structure includes a five-story high PixelFLEX media wall that brings an energetic and exciting element out to the street. The wall’s multi-color LED lighting features can be programmed to match other campus buildings on special occasions, and the university also occasionally partners with the city to promote
local initiatives. The university’s marketing and branding group manages the media wall, providing opportunities to promote university messages and announce events as well as promote digital art features. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this feature has been vital in providing important safety messages. The strategic site selection for this project provided the opportunity to integrate design elements with a more edgy or lively character. While the University of Kentucky campus is beautiful, the architectural elements are more of the classic historic brick look. The Cornerstone building helps bridge the gap between the traditional, historic aesthetic of the campus with the more modern elements of the downtown urban atmosphere. It is the perfect element to unite these two important areas. An important goal for the project team was to activate the streetscape in front of and around the facility. The structure was sited to create a setback from the street and introduce the opportunity to install outdoor seating (a 20-hour a day environment), create a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, and widen the streets to incorporate bike lanes. Until recently, this area was difficult to navigate on foot, but now it is a vibrant, attractive placemaking destination that truly offers something for everyone. PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 25
INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION
Another unique component of this project that one rarely sees in a parking project is the commitment to public art. The University of Kentucky Transportation Services department not only seeks to provide much-needed parking assets to support the area, but also strives to create spaces and places where people want to gather. For this project, they identified a percentage requirement for public art to be incorporated into the facility. Not only did this result in numerous art components throughout the facility, but it inspired a campus-wide transformation. The university has since adopted a percent art requirement policy for all new capital projects on the campus: Every new construction project more than $1 million will be expected to contribute to a campus public art fund. This will not only help to enhance the overall campus experience but is also an innovative program that will help to further connect the community, enhance diversity and inclusion, and support local artists.
Creative Financing and Revenue Opportunities An issue every institution faces when building a new facility is where the money will come from to support it. The Cornerstone project has a myriad of revenue sources that will be valuable to not only financing design and construction, but support the operations of the facility for many years to come. In addition to the traditional parking user fees, the retail space components are set up based on a revenue share between the university and Signet. Both organizations will benefit from the success of these mixeduse spaces. In addition, the university was able to sell the naming rights to the esports portion of the building, which helps support the space. There are also numerous naming rights opportunities for the various spaces throughout the development.
Development During a Pandemic Just like every other project in 2020, COVID-19 had an effect on the launch of the Cornerstone development. While construction was still able to be completed on time, many of the retail and mixed-use components had to be scaled back or reorganized to accommodate social distancing and safety precautions. The planned integration of the food hall had to be phased over time to accommodate the needs and impacts to the local restaurant owners. The esports theater and innovation space, which are able to host many people at one time, had to implement hybrid 26 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
programming and shifting schedules to reduce the number of people utilizing the space at once. However, people are still encouraged to utilize the space as much as possible, even when events aren’t scheduled. There is a genuine feeling of inclusiveness and openness in the building, with the goal of bringing people together to support their individual and community needs. What started out as a need to simply provide additional parking to a growing campus turned into one of the most groundbreaking and exciting mixed-use developments the region has seen in years. This important development is now an anchor bringing together the university of Kentucky and downtown Lexington through creativity, technology, and economic development. The collaborations, innovations, and opportunities that will be made possible as a result of these combined spaces are endless. Furthermore, the unique connection between the campus and the downtown areas will significantly benefit both the university and the city and have a lasting impact on the surrounding community now and into the future. Special thank you to project team members and article contributors Melody Flowers, University of Kentucky, and Spencer Hyatt, Signet. ◆ MIKE MARTINDILL is vice president of THA Consulting, leading their Atlanta Office. He can be reached at email@example.com. LANCE BROEKING is director of transportation services for the University of Kentucky. He can be reached at lance@uky. edu.
PHOTOS: CHRIS PHEBUS/ PHEBUSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Investing in the Arts
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smoothing Understanding frictionless parking is critical to making it work for a parking operation—and the options can seem endless. IPMI’s Technology Committee breaks it all down.
By Michael Drow, CAPP; Peter Lange; and Nick Mazzenga, PE
nhanced customer convenience, improved traffic flow, increased revenue, lower operating costs—every parking operation continuously strives to achieve these goals. And while there are many ways to accomplish them, frictionless parking is more frequently included in the discussion. The concept of frictionless parking means combining technology and operating practices in ways that allows customers to enter and exit a facility or a defined area with minimal points of interaction. There is no single perfect frictionless parking solution—every parking facility has its own distinct needs and constraints. The appropriate operating practices and technology to support the needs of an operation are in the eye of the beholder, as every operation has a different view of a perfect frictionless solution.
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g the ride PHOTO CREDIT: DFW AIRPORT
Objectives The frictionless parking concept has four main objectives: ■ Increase the throughput of people and vehicles through a facility. While the concept will not necessarily increase demand for a facility, it will enable customers to enter and exit more quickly. For facilities that have surges of activity during the day, this can reduce customer frustration, reduce idling vehicles, and potentially reduce infrastructure costs (fewer lanes, etc.). ■ Enhance customer convenience. Desired customer conveniences vary based on the type of operation. Many individuals are accustomed to self-service approaches as well as electronic and non-cash payments. These are so prevalent that in many cases these methods are an expectation by customers. ■ Improve revenue. Through improved data analysis of usage, expanded use of electronic media, and multiple digital payment options, operators and owners are able to optimize the pricing for services, identify
new customer segments to serve, and deploy targeted marketing efforts to increase revenue. Bottom line: The easier and more convenient it is for a customer to pay, the more likely they will return. ■ Reduce operating costs and on-site support needs. Many operations are evaluating ways to reduce costs while providing consistent services to customers. Frictionless parking solutions support customer self-service, remote support capabilities, and electronic payments with a goal of reducing operating costs. Every facility combines these objectives in a different order of priority. Because each facility’s needs and priorities vary, there is a spectrum of frictionless parking solutions, and any point on the spectrum can support a specific facility’s objectives. IPMI’s Technology Committee developed Figure 1 to demonstrate that there is not a single frictionless parking solution, rather there is a sliding spectrum of solutions. Each facility and operation will find its position on the scale based on its needs and priorities. PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 29
SMOOTHING THE RIDE
Figure 1: Frictionless Parking Spectrum
Minimal to no infrastructure
Significant upfront costs for design and infrastructure
Increased operational costs for enforcement
More infrastructure needed to accurately capture revenues
More operational cost
May lower enforcement costs, will increase equipment maintenance
Requires more user interaction to start/stop sessions and open/close gates
As the figure illustrates, there are tradeoffs as an entity moves across the spectrum. The best position on the spectrum depends on the needs of the facility’s customers and operations.
Variables How do solutions vary? A frictionless system may be only optimized for contract parkers while transient parkers still use paper tickets and pay-in-lane devices. Or a facility may have no gates and operate similar to a surface lot, where parkers prepay at a pay kiosk/mobile apps and the operator performs periodic manual enforcement checks to ensure compliance. Or a facility may use LPR cameras to track vehicles and collect payments from known accounts. Figure 2 (p. 31) highlights how customer interactions vary across the spectrum. On the left, transactions are initiated by customer actions–pulling a ticket, inserting a credit card, opening a mobile app, etc. On the right, no action is required of the customer—the vehicle entering a defined parking area automatically initiates a transaction via RFID, LPR, Bluetooth, or some other identification technology and there is a payment account associated with the credential. An important characteristic of a frictionless system is the ability of the system to automate the initiation and closing of a parking session. Because frictionless parking solutions are a combination of technology and operating practices, before an operation makes a technology decision or purchase, the operating team should consider its objectives, understand its customer needs, and define its budget. The success or failure of a solution can be attributed to how 30 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
Accurate data on activities
effectively the operation meets customer needs and expectations, in addition to the technology working correctly. It is very important to understand and define how the customers and operation will work in the frictionless environment.
How It Works Frictionless parking options are based on many technology innovations and operating practices introduced the last several years. An important practice that enables the frictionless concept is customer acceptance of and desire for self-service operations. Customers are more accustomed to self-service activity—most of our banking is done via an ATM or mobile app, we can order food at restaurants via kiosks and apps, and self-service checkout at stores is more prevalent; we now even see the introduction of Amazon stores where a checkout is not even required. Several technology innovations have enabled effective frictionless parking solutions as well: ■ Payment kiosks to enable self-service cash, credit, and alternative payment options. ■ Video analytics and LPR systems to identify vehicles and monitor activity.
PHOTO CREDIT: PARKHOUSTON
May have lower upfront cost
Figure 2: Example of Operations
Parking transaction with cash and credit card transactions done by hand
Minimal touch points to initiate or end parking session
■ Mobile and electronic payment methods including
apps, text based, and embedded payment options. In addition to physical technology innovations, entities are now collaborating to create seamless customer experiences. Hotels offer parking services incorporated into the hotel guest key, sporting events sell parking via the event ticketing process, and discussions are underway on connected and autonomous vehicles automatically parking in facilities. These collaborations require enhanced and real-time data sharing. Entities that open their systems to share data and API messaging formats are becoming more prevalent and critical to this sharing. Let’s not forget that data sharing improves the ability of the parking industry to collaborate with other industries to deliver better services to customers. IPMI is leading an effort on global data specifications and API messaging via the Alliance for Parking
Completely frictionless: No need to initiate or end parking sessions, no user interaction
Data Standards (APDS), which is creating and curating a global parking and mobility data specification to provide common definitions and methods to share data within and outside the parking industry. Data specifications are critical to the development of frictionless parking solutions, especially solutions that interact with other service providers. (Note: ISO is reviewing a formal data specification based on APDS in Q2 2021.)
Frictionless Parking Solution Flow Figure 3 outlines the flow of a vehicle and the customer interactions that are affected in a frictionless parking system. The process typically starts before a vehicle arrives at the facility. As noted earlier, the degree to which a system is frictionless is characterized by how many touch points and user initiated actions are minimized. Figure 3 identifies in yellow the steps in the flow where friction may occur.
Figure 3: Frictionless Parking Flow
Vehicle enters facility
Vehicle recorded as entering via credential
Vehicle pays or associates payment to transaction
Transaction compared to authorized lists. Enforcement notices sent if warranted
System monitors for overstays or payment issues
Vehicle leaves, transaction closed; payment collected or notice issued
PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 31
SMOOTHING THE RIDE
The concept of frictionless parking means combining technology and operating practices in ways that allow customers to enter and exit a facility or a defined area with minimal points of interaction. Pre-arrival The steps in pre-arrival enable an operation to migrate to the right side of the spectrum by enabling customers to identify themselves prior to arrival and associate payment methods to their account. Pre-arrival steps can be as simple as buying a prepaid parking pass from a website for a single visit or event. More intensive setup activities can include creating a customer account and associating a payment method for ongoing use, such as a student account, toll tag account, or a specific parking account associated to a license plate. When deciding on appropriate pre-arrival steps, it is important to consider customer expectations. Do you have a significant number of repeat customers or more one-time users? Customers who are mainly one-time users do not desire to spend time creating an account or downloading an app for a single purchase. What are their preferred methods of payments—cash, credit card? Is there an ability to associate an existing payment account—like a student account or an employee account?
Arrival When the vehicle arrives at the facility, how is a parking session initiated? If the vehicle has performed pre-arrival activities, the expected credential is read and a parking session is started. The credential could be a license plate, an AVI tag issued for a monthly parker, a toll tag authorized for use in the facility, or a QR code on a prepaid permit printed at home or texted to a phone. If pre-arrival activities were not completed, then a customer has activities to perform while onsite: ■ Pulling a paper ticket when entering the facility. ■ Entering a license plate number or space number into a pay kiosk or app. ■ Paying a meter or app for using a space.
Operation Oversight and Monitoring Most articles focus on the customer aspects of frictionless parking solutions, but the operating side of the solution is just as important. Some frictionless parking solutions create work for the operating team or make it difficult to reconcile the data collected from multiple sources. It is important to consider the operating team’s needs as well as the customer’s needs when
PHOTO CREDIT: PARKHOUSTON
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Frictionless parking does not mean the removal of gates, and just because a parking operation removed gates doesn’t guarantee a completely frictionless parking environment.
defining the objectives for a solution. The following are typical elements an operating team needs to monitor during the day: ■ Active parking sessions. How many vehicles are currently in the facility, ability to identify each valid transaction with a credential. ■ Planned sessions. How many reservations, prepaid parkers or monthly parkers are expected to arrive? ■ Revenue and occupancy reporting. Every operation needs to reconcile and report on activity each day. This step ensures all vehicles paid for parking and the money is deposited in the proper accounts. If a site is using multiple revenue services (mobile apps, payment kiosks, and citation payment), it needs to collect and merge the data from the multiple services into a single view of the daily activity and revenue collection. It’s difficult to manage an operation if all revenue and transactions are not in one system. ■ Exceptions management. How does the management team address vehicles that do not pay, can they issue a violation/notice, can they place a warning note on the vehicle, can they tow or boot the car? How do they document the action? What options are available to support vehicles that overstay their paid session? Do they accept payment at a mobile payment, a pay station or do they need to respond otherwise? Does the operation have the ability to address vehicles that have outstanding nonpayment issues?
PHOTO CREDIT: PARKHOUSTON
Collecting Payment While many sites are adopting prepayment and reservations, not all customers will want to prepay, nor do operations always allow it. Payment methods need to support the methods used onsite to initiate a parking session. Is the operation collecting payment upfront, as with an on-street parking operation or surface lot with a pay kiosk or mobile app, or does the operation allow payment at the end of the parking session?When payment is collected will provide guidance on appropriate payment methods. If payment is at the start of a parking session: ■ Does the customer pay by license plate, space number, display a receipt (e.g., event permit, or hangtag)? This guides enforcement decision as well as customer messaging. PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 33
SMOOTHING THE RIDE
PHOTO CREDIT: DFW AIRPORT
■ Is payment by cash, credit card, or an alternative
account? This will define the use of pay kiosks and mobile apps. It also defines data sharing/integration requirements with various account management tools—student accounts, toll roads. ■ Can a parking sessions be extended after the initial purchase? What are the rules and how is this enabled—via a mobile app, return to a pay kiosk, validation? If payment is at the end of a parking session: ■ Is the customer pulling a ticket upon entry, is the system reading a license plate to initiate the session, reading a toll tag, or another credential that is associated to the known customer? ■ Is payment by cash, credit card, or an alternative account? This will define the use of pay kiosks and mobile apps. It also defines data sharing/integration requirements with various account management tools—student accounts, toll roads. ■ What actions are taken if a customer does not pay? Is a notice sent to the customer via mail? Is the vehicle put on a watch list and the next time the vehicle is in the facility it is towed or booted? 34 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
How does an operation support customers with issues? Is there a roaming attendant available to address issues? Is there an onsite parking office? Should a remote customer support center to be employed? Customers will have questions and issues in frictionless operations and it needs to be very apparent to the customer how to get help. Consider payment options: ■ Pay kiosks in the facility, in the lane, in nearby businesses that accept cash, credit/debit cards, validations, prepaid credentials or print at home credentials, etc. ■ Mobile apps for prepaid credentials to scan or links to existing billing accounts. ■ Billing statements—an operation tracks usage and issues an invoice to collect payment for previous activity. ■ Links to payment accounts—interface and collect payments from known accounts such as a toll tag account, student account, mobile pay account, stored credit card account, etc. ■ Validations.
Enforcing the Operation Encouraging customers to pay on their own is important; most people will pay if reminded, others need to be persuaded to pay due to higher costs associated with enforcement. Going back to an earlier statement, the more easy and seamless a payment is will help mitigate cases where people choose not to pay. Making the barriers to pay low and easy is an important frictionless characteristic that simultaneously supports the enforcement operation. For many years, an attendant or an enforcement officer writing a ticket or managing a gate was the main way to encourage payment. As an operation moves toward the right on the frictionless spectrum, the labor based enforcement actions become less prevalent, but the need for enforcement remains. The decisions on how an operation charges for parking, the credentials used, payment methods accepted, and operating oversight all influence the methods used for enforcing an operation: ■ Signage to communicate how to pay and the various payment options accepted. Most people will pay if they understand what to do and it is easy.
■ Signage to communicate what happens if they do
■ If the operating team is onsite and gates are not used,
frequent facility checks to identify non paid vehicles is necessary. ■ Use of LPR and other video analytics tools to track vehicles entering a facility and reconciling with the known paid vehicle. ■ Issuing citations or notices of nonpayment to those who have not paid. This can be done for private operations as well via private debt collection services. ■ Establishing boot and tow operations to address non-payment vehicles. It is important to consider gates in a frictionless solution. Frictionless parking does not mean the removal of gates, and just because a parking operation removed gates doesn’t guarantee a completely frictionless parking environment. Gates have many uses in frictionless parking operations: ■ Security/access control—keep unauthorized vehicles out of a facility.
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PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 35
As an operation evolves, it will continue to define where it wants to be on the frictionless spectrum, balancing the needs of the customers with the needs of the operating team and its available budget.
PHOTO CREDIT: DFW AIRPORT
■ Traffic metering—slow down vehicles to improve
safety while merging with other traffic streams. ■ Pedestrian/vehicle separation—stop or slow down a vehicle exiting a facility that crosses a pedestrian walkway or sidewalk. ■ Payment collection—stop a vehicle to collect payment in a lane before exiting. While collection of payment has been a significant use for gates in many parking facilities, there are other valid uses for gates that are just as important in a frictionless solution. A highly frictionless solution may still have gates to support the first three bullets above. Remember to understand your operating needs and customer expectations when designing your frictionless solution.
Closing the Session When a vehicle exits, the parking sessions closes. Similar to a ticket inserted into an exit device in a PARCS solution, the transaction in any frictionless solution needs to be closed out: the exit time documented, validations applied, and payment collected. A frictionless solution may receive data to close the parking sessions from a variety of sources, including validation platforms, billing platforms (student, employee, resident accounts), mobile payment solutions (parking apps, contactless payment solutions, Google or Apple Pay) or other related services. An operation uses this information to assess utilization and pricing structures and use the insight to make changes and provide more relevant services to customers. There are many options for frictionless parking and each operation has different needs and objectives. As an operation evolves, it will continue to define where it wants to be on the frictionless spectrum, balancing the needs of the customers with the needs of the operating team and its available budget. It is not necessarily desirable to be all the way on the right side of the frictionless spectrum if the parking operation 36 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
supports a business where customer service is critical; similarly there is limited value in a parking operation with a lot of in-person interaction when parking sessions are high volume and short in duration. In this case, the operations want to get the vehicles in and out quickly with easy payment options and appropriate enforcement. When defining the optimal frictionless parking solution, don’t be pushed to the right side of the frictionless spectrum—if you have customers that need the ability to pay with cash, offer cash payment options. There are still levels of frictionless available with cash payment. Finally, as they say, “Rome was not built in a day.” Take incremental steps and evaluate which components of a frictionless parking concept work for the operation and the customers. Do not buy the neatest technology solution you can find. Understand the customer needs and expectations and the operational practices necessary to support the customers and targeted technology solutions. Then and only then, start on the implementation of your perfect frictionless parking solution. ◆ MIKE DROW, CAPP, is senior vice president, sales and corporate development at T2 Systems and co-chair of IPMI’s Technology Committee. He can be reached at michael. firstname.lastname@example.org.
PETER LANGE is associate vice president, transportation services, at Texas A&M University and co-chair of IPMI’s Technology Committee. He can be reached at plange@ tamu.edu. NICK MAZZENGA, PE, is an associate with Kimley-Horn and a member of IPMI’s Technology Committee. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Drawing Back the Curtain
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Demystifying the use of data in managing parking and mobility systems. By Kevin White, CAPP, AICP
E ARE BEING INUNDATED WITH DATA
these days. Data metrics are collected on what our social media habits are, what we search for on the internet, our purchasing habits, our Netflix surfing behavior, and our preferences and sensibilities. The COVID-19 pandemic showcased the use of data in tracking and projections associated with statistics on viral spread, hospitalizations, and more recently, vaccinations. In the parking and mobility world, new camera, sensor, and other hardware is ubiquitous and available to inventory, track, and evaluate infrastructure and user behavior. On the software side, advances in the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) and cloud-based computing facilitate integrations between platforms. Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence have improved detection and evaluation capabilities. The mobile phone has brought a range of payment, credential, reservation, wayfinding, mobility-as-a-service, and other functions right into the palm of our hand, enhanced user flexibility, and enabled a variety of management options for municipalities and operators. We live in a world of big data, and data is knowledge. Learning to harness the power of data ensures we are optimizing resources and delivering the best services possible. Myriad parking operations technologies, including mobile payment, smart meters, license plate recognition (LPR), parking access and revenue control systems (PARCS), automated parking guidance systems (APGS), cameras, sensors, and others can provide a variety of insights into on- and off-street parking behavior. Technology is ever changing and platforms and operating systems across all aspects of parking and mobility management—including permitting, payments, access and revenue control, and enforcement—are pulling data and feeding it into backend management systems. Many parking operations consist of legacy systems handling these different aspects of management
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DRAWING BACK THE CURTAIN
that collect data but may do so in a silo without talking to other systems. More and more suppliers offer tracking, analytics, predictive modeling, and a variety of other dashboard and business intelligence (BI) tools to inform management and operations decisions. The data feeds, key performance indicators (KPIs), and analysis possibilities seem endless. But how do we distinguish useful data from noise? What types of data should you be collecting and evaluating, and how should that data feed into informed management and operations decisions? What types of personnel and internal processes does your operation need to leverage the use of data? How do you actually become a data-driven management operation?
and gain support for policies and projects that benefit the public and help to limit unproductive political influence.” He further notes that data enhances department credibility and helps the department engage with the public and other stakeholders from a position of objectivity as opposed to conjecture. The goal for any operation is to extract maximum benefit from a data-driven operation that fits within the constraints and capabilities of the organization, and that is sustainable over time.
Learning to harness the power of data ensures we are optimizing resources and delivering the best services possible. Leveraging Data A data-driven approach to parking and mobility management involves collecting, summarizing, and analyzing data on infrastructure and user behavior to guide and inform the management of parking and mobility systems and assets. Useful data includes parking occupancy, parking duration, meter and mobile payment transactions, citations, permits displayed, traffic and multimodal data, and a variety of other inputs. Analyzing data across different locations, days, and times, and comparing separate datasets helps identify relationships, patterns, and causations. The benefits of a data-driven approach are numerous, including: ■ Provides clear metrics (key performance indicators) that serve as markers for making modifications or implementing new policies or practices. ■ Enables comparison with historical conditions to identify trends and changes, ■ Aligns parking management with real-world conditions and user behavior, providing a more customized approach and a higher level of service. ■ Enables flexibility in parking management as conditions change and evolve over time. ■ Improves operational transparency and support with the public as decisions are based on objectivity and a clear framework for justification. Keith Hutchings, director of the municipal parking department for the City of Detroit, Mich., notes that data allows his department to “debunk false narratives 40 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
Building a Data-driven Program The collection and use of data for parking and mobility management can be thought of on a spectrum, with more data collection and more in-depth use of it on one end, and less collection and basic use of data on the other end. The goal of any operation should be to figure out where it lies on the spectrum now and where it best fits on the spectrum. Certainly not every operation collects and uses data the way San Francisco or New York does, and that is fine. The primary goal should be to develop and execute a data collection and management plan that fits within the operational and technological capacities and constraints of your specific program, and to collect and analyze data that is useful in informing management decisions and processes that benefit your customers and advance your objectives. Lest you become awash in a sea of useless data, it’s worth carefully considering your capacity to collect, summarize, analyze, and operationalize data. Questions to consider include: What types of data streams do you already collect, or what can you get easily? How is the data aggregated, stored, and tracked now? What types of operational decisions would benefit from the use of data, and what types of key performance indicators can you draw from existing data to inform those decisions? Do you have the internal capacity to integrate data collection and analytics into your operation? Do you need additional equipment, staff, or other resources to collect and analyze data?
A data-driven approach to parking and mobility management involves collecting, summarizing, and analyzing data on infrastructure and user behavior to guide and inform the management of parking and mobility systems and assets. Key Considerations Creating a data-driven framework plan for guiding your operation is the first step. This plan should articulate the what, when, who, where, why, and how of your operation’s use of data. Key considerations in this planning effort are: ■ Start small. The possibilities of collecting and analyzing data are endless. To improve the chances of long-term success, it’s important that your operation focus on a specific question or problem that is of most value and relevance, and on a specific piece of data that can easily be obtained and analyzed. Doing this will help your organization build the internal processes, skills, and capacity to integrate the use of data in operations and management. ■ Work within your means. There’s no sense implementing a data collection plan that goes beyond the data your organization has access to or is capable of collecting and analyzing. Leverage data that is readily available and implement a data management, analysis, and review process you can sustain relative to your staff availability, skills, expertise, and internal capacity. Additionally, ensure you are collecting and processing data in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. ■ Establish the question or issue and work backwards to create a plan. There are a lot of great ideas out there and a plethora of useful data. But don’t just use data for the sake of using data. It’s essential that your organization sits down and strategically evaluates its operations to identify questions or issues where data could provide value and insight. Perhaps it’s a question about how users are responding to current time-limited parking regulations, or about whether you are seeing spillover parking effects into residential neighborhoods from a nearby institution (e.g., a university or large employer) or commercial district, or about when and how designated commercial and passenger pick-up and drop-off spaces are being utilized. By identifying the specific question first, you can work backwards to create a specific plan that will get you what you need within your organization’s constraints. ■ Identify the KPI. Once the question is identified, it’s important to identify the specific key performance indicator you will measure. In the time-limited parking example above, perhaps it’s determining the average length of stay of vehicles in a particular area in relation to existing regulations. Evaluating this KPI over a period of time helps to identify any anomalies of parking behavior and provide a more statistically-relevant dataset. ■ Consider data collection. Once this KPI is identified, you need to determine the specific data points that need to be collected. In our time-limited parking example, you’ll likely need to collect
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license plate and/or unique vehicle identification data, and you’ll need to collect it on the same block faces at regular intervals less than your posted time limit regulations to be able to most accurately capture when vehicles begin and end their parking session at a specific location. Establishing these parameters allows you to determine who, when, and how data will be collected. ■ Think about data storage, organization, cleaning, summarization, and analysis. It’s one thing to collect data, but it’s another altogether to be able to pull it into a useable format, organize it, and then analyze and summarize it in a way that can be easily and quickly consumed by those in your organization to make strategic operational decisions. Many parking technology platforms offer backend dashboard style interfaces where data can be reviewed and analyzed. If these are available to you, work with vendors to customize dashboards to meet your specific needs and ensure data streams are integrated across platforms as much as possible (e.g., enforcement data is integrated with on-street meter payment data). Work to get data in a database format for manual customization and analysis in Excel or another desktop analysis tool. Tabular data can also be linked to ArcGIS for mapping and spatial analysis. Data streams for different platforms serving different functions that don’t “talk” to each other can be unwieldy and make data summary and analysis challenging. Those I interviewed noted the need for better data integration across platforms. Gary Means, CAPP, executive director of the Lexington (Ky.) Parking Authority echoed this, noting that his operation has identified the need for better data integration and is working to assimilate date into a central database for reporting, summary, and analysis. Third-party vendors are emerging that can take all your parking and mobility data feeds and integrate them into one central clearinghouse that you can access to review KPIs and even conduct predictive modeling and analytics. ■ Ignore the noise in the data. With the vast quantities of data available, there’s a risk of being distracted by useless data or analysis that can take you down a rabbit hole. To avoid being overwhelmed or paralyzed by data analysis, it’s important to be specific about your management question, the specific KPI you wish to measure, and exactly what data will be collected and how. Matthew Nelson, public parking facilities manager at the City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota cites the potential to be overloaded with data and the need for operations to focus on the handful of core metrics that drive their operations. Unless data impacts your operational decisions, it can be set aside. Nelson notes the importance of combining direct conversations and PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 41
DRAWING BACK THE CURTAIN
engagement with operational staff and customers with analysis of data metrics to give a comprehensive perspective on operations. ■ Make the most of technology. In many scenarios, there may not be a better way to collect data than doing it the old-fashioned way: boots on the ground with a clipboard in hand. However, sensors, camera-based analytics, and other technologies are improving the ability to monitor and capture data in real-time. Modern, camera-based automated parking guidance systems (APGS) can provide a wealth of information for off-street parking. Additionally, mobile license plate recognition (LPR) can be a useful tool. Your on-street meters, off-street PARCS equipment, enforcement equipment, and other existing platforms and systems are generating streams of data that can be used. Your data collection plan should identify how you will use technology to provide you with the data you need to answer your operational questions, and it should consider the maturity and reliability of the candidate technologies. ■ Don’t forget your people. Implementing a more robust data-driven management strategy may necessitate enhancing your staff’s skills and expertise, either by training or hiring. Some operations now have dedicated analyst staff who assimilate, summarize, and analysis diverse datasets, and produce reports that can be easily digested and used for strategic decision making. Brian Shaw, CAPP, executive director of parking & transportation services at Stanford University, noted his organization employs a parking operations staff member who primarily performs li-
The primary goal should be to develop and execute a data collection and management plan that fits within the operational and technological capacities and constraints of your specific program, and to collect and analyze data that is useful in informing management decisions and processes that benefit your customers and advance your objectives. 42 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
cense plate scans in campus parking facilities to supplement enforcement data collected. Additionally, a team of three staff members manage the data streams and systems and perform data analysis. These staff are proficient in data organization and analysis, the use of GIS, and understanding how specific data relates to the larger organizational objectives related to parking and mobility management. ■ Integrate the results into the decision-making process. This is perhaps the most important point in the data collection and analysis process: evaluating the data and extrapolating from it to inform management and strategy decisions. Work with your staff to determine how often data will be reviewed, and in what format and forum. Perhaps reports are generated weekly or monthly with useful KPIs and metrics that show progress day-to-day, month-tomonth, or year-to-year. Then, perhaps a group of staff members meet at set intervals to discuss the reports and review and revise management policies and operational decisions in light of the data. Over time, these reports and meetings can be modified and will become more and more customized and valuable as staff focus on what is most important. Robert Ferrin, assistant director, parking services at the City of Columbus, Ohio, noted he has worked with his team for the past several years to build and refine its process for collecting and using data as part of a data-driven management approach. His division has dedicated data analysts and staff members contribute data that feed into a monthly report. All managers and supervisors then meet twice per month, in part to review the contents of the report and adjust management strategy as needed. The contents and presentation of the report are constantly reevaluated for improvement. ■ Consider data privacy, sharing, and standards. Data ownership and security are critical, as many states have data privacy laws. Data providers and operators should take care to ensure that data—particularly license plate data—is secure and not stored on edge computing or server devices for any significant period, used only temporarily for the purposes of monitoring operations. Where appropriate, license plate data should be deleted from databases after a designated period of time. Additionally, unification of data standards is an increasingly important factor to consider as data platforms and feeds are linked with APIs. Providers and solutions need to support all existing and emerging open data standards.
Join Us May 5 Want to learn more about data and parking—or share your experience? Bring your questions, lessons learned, and challenges to an online IPMI Shoptalk, “Data-driven Parking and Mobility Management,” moderated by Kevin White, CAPP, AICP (author of this article), May 5. Free for all; pre-registration is required. Click here for details and to reserve your seat.
Data streams should be regularly monitored by vendor staff for quality and integrity. Regular accuracy testing should be conducted to ensure technology is calibrated correctly and information is representative of field conditions. For instance, regular accuracy validation is particularly important in the case of APGS’s, not only to ensure the accuracy of analytic data but to ensure that parkers are receiving valid, real-time occupancy and guidance information. ■ Make comparisons across similar time periods. You may find it necessary to collect data at one time as part of a strategic planning exercise. However, integrating the regular collection and use of data into a data-driven approach to parking and mobility management is the goal. Conduct regular audits of your data collection and analysis process to identify efficiencies. Get input from staff on what is working and what needs improvement. Re-evaluate operational questions to ensure your data-driven process is pointing you in the direction you need it to.
Looking Toward the Future Expect data and data-driven management to continue to grow in scope and scale in the future as parking and new mobility needs emerge and evolve and field technology and backend systems become more sophisticated and integrated. Current salient factors influencing the world of data in parking and mobility management include Mobility-as-a-Service and curb management. The increasing importance of managing scarce curb space for a variety of users has increased the need to inventory the makeup of curb space and leverage monitoring technology to
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understand how curb space is used for passenger and goods loading and unloading. Mobility-as-a-Service is expected to grow, putting flexible mobility options on the phones and in the pockets of the public. Parking and mobility operations will need to continuously adapt to new (private) mobility options that emerge in their streets and want to access and park along their curbs. Regulatory frameworks for proper parking, pick-up and drop-off, safe operations, data sharing, and other activities need to be in place to manage these emerging and changing demands. Without these regulatory frameworks, parking and mobility operations are running the risk of ceding curb management and the provision of access and mobility to the private sector. Additionally, the future is expected to bring a continued reliance on an asset-light approach to parking and mobility management with less physical equipment and materials. Payment, credential, enforcement, and other equipment will be simplified and streamlined, and rely on mobile and cloud-based and software-as-a-service options where possible. More and more need and importance will be placed on flexibility both from a customer/user and management/operations perspective. Multi-vendor environments will be the norm, and platforms that aggregate data and information from operational and management systems and customer-facing third-party applications (e.g., pay by cell mobile phone applications, parking locator and reservation applications, etc.) for easy navigation and consumption by operators and customers will be critical. When harnessed properly, data can be an important and valuable tool as part of a data-driven approach to parking and mobility management. However, determining what type of data to collect and how, and then actually collecting the data and regularly integrating it into a data-driven process can be overwhelming, confusing, and time-consuming. Operations should reflect on data in the context of their own service offerings and programs. The collection and analysis of data should improve customer service, efficiency, equity of service for all types of users, garner additional revenue, and general enhance operations. Data-driven management should be continued overtime to be able to draw comparisons between consistent points of reference and establish consistent benchmarks for improvement. It’s critical for operations to start small and customize a data plan that fits their unique goals, needs, resources, and skills. Building data into your program helps to justify decisions and improve objectivity of operations, while promoting flexibility in responding to changing needs. KEVIN WHITE, CAPP, AICP, is a parking and mobility consultant with Walker Consultants. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Offering Options, Managing Risk
More flexible payment options can increase mobile adoption. By Kristen Locke, CAPP
N RECENT YEARS, smart cities and other modernization initiatives have transformed
how people interact with public spaces. This explosion of new ideas and technology is sparking conversations about parking’s role in making cities more livable, convenient, and attractive. As a result, mobile payment options have become crucial for cities and parking operators looking to meet modern consumer expectations. Consumer demand for contactless payment opens up more opportunities to streamline operations and increase revenue. This has left parking operators looking for strategies to provide more payment choices without increasing complexity or alienating users. Here, we explore the contactless landscape and look at effective, inclusive strategies to increase mobile adoption and move towards an asset-light future for cities.
The Future Even before the pandemic, people showed a growing preference for contactless payments and connected experiences. Now, as we move towards a post-pandemic world, expectations keep evolving and the mobile payment landscape rapidly expands.
Several striking trends emerged when comparing customer preferences between 2018 and 2020. First, payment with smartphones is more commonplace than it’s ever been. The number of people who prefer using a mobile app to pay for parking rose an additional 4 percent to 80 percent. And compared to 2018, people who preferred to pay at a meter or pay station dropped by a whopping 20 percent. Once users tried a contactless option, they were more likely to keep using it as their preferred payment method. This signifies that adoption is tied much more to user experience and convenience than a preference for traditional payment methods. The convenience of mobile parking payment has also led to unexpected increases in revenue and
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OFFERING OPTIONS, MANAGING RISK
In the past six months, how often have you chosen to use contactless pay when completing a transaction?
compliance. Whereas people might choose to risk a parking citation rather than sprint to top up a meter, parking app users chose to extend parking 74 percent of the time. If it’s easier to pay, people are more likely to do it. Naturally, compliance goes up.
Choice and Risk Contactless payment options are great news for cities looking to beautify their streets and reduce the maintenance cost of on-street equipment. But what’s the right option for you? Regardless of size or demographic, the key to accelerating the adoption of contactless payment is giving people more options. Many equate more options with more apps and a multi-vendor approach. It’s easy to see why—more than half of the app system users we surveyed only had one parking app on their phones. In other words, once people have a preferred app, they’d prefer to keep using it. So theoretically, accepting more apps lets people pay how they want. Despite this perceived advantage, a multi-vendor strategy has a few inherent risks to consider: ■ More complexity. It’s worth weighing the potential benefits of multiple vendors against the complexity they add to your backend processes. As new vendors are onboarded, you’ll be working with different systems that don’t communicate with each other, so errors can arise if changes in one app aren’t replicated correctly in another. Also, lacking a holistic view of parking operations can lead to issues with enforcing parking rates and financial reconciliation. In some cases, a multi-vendor approach increases operating costs and complexity overall. ■ Doesn’t solve core adoption challenges. The multi-app mindset also limits the ability to reach people who aren’t interested in or can’t use the full mobile app experience. Consider just a few common scenarios where a mobile app may not be ideal: • A tourist or short-term visitor who doesn’t want to install a full-featured app only to use it once. • People who don’t have or prefer not to use smartphones. • People without credit cards. Not to mention people who simply don’t want to create a new account or download an app just to park.
Widening Reach Despite the popularity and benefits of contactless payments, conventional wisdom suggests physical parking equipment is still necessary to ensure everyone has a
Payment with smartphones is more commonplace than it’s ever been. The number of people who prefer using a mobile app to pay for parking rose an additional 4 percent to 80 percent. way to pay. But more capital investment in hardware presents a challenge for many cities experiencing revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19. As a solution, many mobile parking apps now offer additional choices for payment beyond just full-featured apps. Forward-thinking integrations such as Google Pay’s recently announced partnership with ParkMobile and Passport, for instance, allow payment with just the Google Pay app. A new option to quickly pay for parking in a mobile web app is by scanning a QR code or through text message. Some vendors also offer guest checkout, allowing people a way to pay on mobile without creating an account. Most mobile parking apps also provide interactive voice response (IVR) systems, so people without smartphones can pay with a phone call. By expanding the payment options, mobile apps will continue to drive more adoption. Once there are more contactless payment users, city leaders may see chances to scale back their reliance on old hardware. This is potentially very good news for municipal budgets.
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Incremental Rollouts While providing more contactless ways to pay is an important first step, how they are implemented is just as important. To understand best practices, we looked at several cities that successfully transitioned to asset-light or mobile-only to see what worked. What we found is that a phased or incremental rollout was overwhelmingly the most effective path to long-term change. Instead of making unilateral decisions to remove old hardware across a city or campus, it’s best to start in one or two areas. Ideally, these are in places where demand for contactless is already high. Not only is this easier logistically, but it offers a chance to identify and fix any unexpected problems on a smaller scale. The general rule: small rollout, test, then expand. This also eases the transition by exposing people to new payment options gradually, smoothing the overall process.
Moving Forward COVID-19 upended a lot of people’s habits in a very short time. One study noted that retailers saw a 69
percent increase in contactless payments just in 2020 alone. We agree with many others that this trend is only going to accelerate in the years to come. What does this mean for parking? For one, the public, local governments, and businesses are more enthusiastic to adopt contactless payment than ever before. Public familiarity and acceptance of mobile payment have spread to even small, family-run businesses. But that acceptance is a double-edged sword. As people get more comfortable, they will also be less accepting of mobile payment options that offer only a subpar experience. With more options available than ever, cities and parking operators have a significant opportunity to accelerate contactless payment adoption and increase compliance and revenue in 2021. ◆ KRISTEN LOCKE, CAPP, is senior regional sales manager, West at ParkMobile. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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Highlights from the IPMI Blog
Are We on the Verge of a Seismic Shift? By David Feehan In the past few weeks, both General Motors and Ford have announced plans to be all-electric with 10 to 15 years. So what can predict from these two announcements? First, the era of personal transportation is not dead. The pandemic has put mass transit systems into survival mode and caused not only cuts in services but rethinking about levels of service, routes, and funding. While our downtowns and business districts are going to continue to emphasize walkability and bike riding is going to continue to become more popular, people are going to want to drive their own cars–or at least leased cars–for some time to come. Good news for the parking industry. Second, the type of vehicle people will choose is fast shifting from sedans to SUVs and SUV variants. The conventional three-box sedan could be a relic in just a few years. These electric vehicles will, however, have a drawback we discovered in Texas a few weeks ago: When the power grid goes down, will it immobilize the transportation system? AVs are going to be more accepted, more prevalent, and cheaper as time passes. I had the experience recently of visiting my brother in Minnesota. My nephew came by one evening with his new Tesla.
We drove to a restaurant about five miles away on a country road, around 9 p.m. He let me drive (or should I say, he let the Tesla drive). I took my hands off the wheel and my feet off the pedals, and the Tesla took us to our destination and back flawlessly. Now,
the weather was clear, but engineers will have the remaining issues solved soon and the multiple benefits of AVs will be ours. When you combine EVs, AVs, changes in work and travel patterns, and for those of us in urban planning, downtown development, government, and related fields, our crystal balls are not yet giving us clear answers–except to warn us that things will be very different sooner rather than later.
DAVID FEEHAN is president of Civitas Consultants, LLC.
Ready for more? Read IPMI’s blog every business day in your daily Forum digest email (10 a.m. Eastern) or at parking-mobility.org/blog. Have something to say? Send post submissions to editor Kim Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Fact, Practice, and Goal By Roamy R. Valera, CAPP “Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a practice, and equality is a goal.” This is perhaps one of the more powerful statements I have come across in awhile. I have read it several times and each time, I am forced to focus on the impact and meaning of such a statement. Recent conversations and efforts by IPMI allowed me to participate in a panel discussion around the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The moderator, my good friend and colleague Gary Means, CAPP, has taken an active role personally and professionally in this topic. The focus of the panel was for vendors in our industry to discuss and expand on the topic and identify how we as an industry can generate the kind of results that will be visible to others. Of course, like many of the conversations I have participated in and/or listened to, it gets the raw emotions of most participants. We clearly know and can identify facts and yet
ignored them. I don’t remember a time in my adult life when facts mattered more. And I also don’t remember a time when a discussion around inclusivity created so much animosity among us. But for the first time, I have had the opportunity to share my feelings, experiences, and lessons with others. I hope our industry continues to further the discussions and moves this conversation to action. I will continue to advocate for the fact of diversity and be committed to the practice of inclusion with a goal to overachieve in equality.
ROAMY R. VALERA, CAPP, is CEO, North America, with PayByPhone and past chair of IPMI’s Board of Directors.
A Phased Re-entry By Robert Ferrin Believe it or not, we are coming up on one year since the COVID-19 pandemic started. This year has presented numerous challenges and opportunities in our professional and personal lives. We’ve had to constantly pivot to new realities and environmental factors. Through it all, we’ve created new habits to survive and thrive in our “new normal.” Like all things, once you start new habits, they become more comfortable and little by little, things become normal. Up until a few weeks ago, I may have seen my office a halfdozen times during the past year. I settled into a new schedule and new expectations for meetings, work time, and employee coordination. In summary, I’ve gotten used to this new normal and found ways to see the positive aspects of a work-fromhome structure. Fast forward to the last few weeks. I’ve slowly started to pick one day a week to get back in the office and remind myself how things used to be. I’ve quickly realized habits are tough to break– I’ve been late for meetings, forgot to factor in travel time, and emotionally struggled with dipping my toe in the pre-pandemic world while we are very much still living with COVID and its related health issues. I’ve had to remind myself I deserve some
grace, just like everyone else, and preach patience as we think about a post-pandemic world. The world won’t change in an instant on the back end of the pandemic as it did on the front end. In a lot of ways, re-entry will be much more difficult and friction points will occur as we come out of this unprecedented time together. As we each start to figure out what our post-pandemic work cadence looks like, I’d encourage you to keep an open mind and give yourself some grace. We each have the potential to create a new model for work in a post-COVID world and blend the positive aspects of work-from-home and work-from-office. Let’s keep sharing ideas and thoughts to make our re-entry a success!
ROBERT FERRIN is assistant director for parking services at the City of Columbus, Ohio, and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors.
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/ San Antonio City Council Names Blink Charging Provider of EV Charging Infrastructure for EVSA Program BLINK CHARGING CO. , announced an agreement with the City of San Antonio, Texas, to provide EV charging equipment for the city’s EVSA program, which is aimed at increasing access to public EV charging infrastructure. Initially, the award enlists Blink to deploy up to 140 level 2 charging ports and 3 DC fastcharging stations throughout the city. “We’re excited to serve as an EV charging operator for the City of San Antonio. It is a testament that the quality of the Blink products and services and the differentiation of our business models, which are our key competitive differences in the EV charging industry,” says Michael D. Farkas, founder and CEO of Blink. “As a company, Blink is honored to help the city achieve its climate, sustainability, transportation, and air quality goals. Encouraging widespread adoption of EVs is core to Blink’s mission, and this includes minimizing the barriers to EV charging for all residents. Texas continues to be a growth market for us and for EVs, and this project will help to increase public awareness by increasing the number of charging options available in the state.
We are committed to bringing affordable, convenient, and efficient charging stations to the growing number of EV drivers, and the addition of the stations in San Antonio further enhances our position as a leading provider in the ongoing development of EV infrastructure,” he says The first phase of this agreement will see 50 dual-port Blink owned chargers deployed in strategic locations around the city. Blink will analyze suggested publicly-accessible sites by conducting thorough assessments across San Antonio in order to identify ideal locations for
its IQ 200 Level 2 EV charging stations. This project supports the city’s EV San Antonio program led by the Office of Sustainability. EVSA is a multi-faceted program designed to support electric transportation and EV drivers through education, encouragement, infrastructure, and policy with a focus on equity. To support its business model, Blink plans to apply for grant funds from the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program (TxVEMP through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). This historic $10.4 million fund is specifically for establishing Level 2 charging across Texas in order to improve air quality. “The City of San Antonio is looking forward to working with Blink on this project. Through our analyses, we know that large sections of our city are without EV charging infrastructure or have limited charging options. We hope that additional charging infrastructure that is publicly-accessible will relieve range anxiety and communicate that San Antonio is an EV-friendly city,” says San Antonio Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer Julia Murphy.
EasyPark Group to Acquire ParkMobile EASYPARK GROUP announced the intent to acquire North American-based ParkMobile. This pending acquisition would immediately expand EasyPark Group’s global footprint into the North American market. EasyPark Group is backed by private equity firms Verdane Capital and Vitruvian Partners and currently operates in 2,200 cities across 20 countries throughout Europe and Australia. This acquisition brings together the leaders in Europe and North America to share technology and accelerate global expansion.
“Over the past 12 years, ParkMobile has emerged as the technology leader in North America for contactless parking and mobility payments,” says Jon Ziglar, CEO of ParkMobile. “Joining forces with EasyPark Group will enable us to continue this momentum into the future and opens up an array of new global growth opportunities.” “We are pleased to welcome the ParkMobile team to EasyPark Group,” says Johan Birgersson, CEO of EasyPark Group. “This acquisition is strategically important to accelerate our long-term
growth and innovation capabilities across the globe.” ParkMobile has been part of BMW and Daimler’s mobility joint venture PARK NOW Group since March 2019. The PARK NOW Group European brands are also part of this acquisition. That includes PARK NOW, RingGo, Parkmobile Europe, and Park-line. The intended acquisition of PARK NOW Group from the shareholders of BMW Group and Daimler Mobility is subject to prior approval by relevant authorities. The parties have agreed not to disclose the terms of the transaction.
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GKD Secondary Finishes Provide Designers with Full Spectrum of Color
GKD METAL FABRICS now offers designers and specifiers an unlimited array of color coating options when designing with metal fabric. Powder coating, specialty painting and also screen printing are used for adding color to stainless steel wire mesh, results in colorful fabric options that are also resistant to extreme heat, cold, bending, and flexing. “For designers who want the functional advantages of stainless steel mesh, but want to explore a color palette beyond the alloy’s signature silver, powder coating and other painting methods solve all challenges at once,” explains Darren Bromwell, GKD-USA estimating manager/coatings specialist. GKD offers a handful of secondary finishing techniques when it comes to colors and surfaces: ■ Powder Coating Process: With an exclusive partnership now in place, GKD offers an automated and cost-effective means to apply color to metal fabric using continuous process color coating. In this method, the mesh is subjected to a rigorous cleaning regimen that includes an ionic bath to remove any and all dust, dirt, oil, and other particles from the surface. Then, highgrade pigment powders are applied to the charged material (the mesh) and heated to create a powerful bond. This process allows any quantity of wires to be perma-
nently color-coated and depending on the mesh, enables panel dimensions of up to 20 feet by 6 feet horizontally. In addition to standard colors, GKD can custom match a provided color sample. ■ Wet Coating Process: Similar to automotive painting, pre-cut meshes are coated using a paint spraying process. Used primarily on smaller sized mesh panels, this allows an even coating with a high surface quality. In addition to the colors available in the Natural Color System® (NCS), GKD can also analyze individual color samples and reproduce them as custom finish. A comprehensive range of colors used by the automobile industry are also available to produce metallic effects. ■ Screen Printing and Digital Printing: GKD applies these methods when the design calls for a reproduction of complex and/ or colored graphics onto a metal fabric surface. GKD’s custom capability and turnkey technical consultation are combined to help the architect determine the best and most effective method of color coating, keeping key specification criteria in mind. This includes geographic location, exposure to sun, moisture. and other elements, as well as aesthetic considerations such as viewing distance, angle and readability.
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netPark Launches Software Solution for Truck Parking
NETPARK SOFTWARE has launched its Truck Parking Software Solution for truck parking owners and business operators. This strategic move into truck parking comes at a time when our society is moving products more than ever by semi-trucks. The trucking industry requires a safe and secure place to park their trucks and trailers while not in use. With multiple workflows to allow for trailer access control, monthly parking, reservations, integrated ACH and credit card payments, assigned lot spaces, inventory audit with real-time reporting, and metrics, netPark has the technology to manage these scenarios and more. Customers can also manage their accounts and payment methods via a white-labeled monthly parking and reservation website.
SHUTTERSTOCK / KATRINA BROWN
PayByPhone Appoints Cindy Chau Vice President of Operations, Canada & USA. PAYBYPHONE has appointed Cindy Chau as vice president of operations, Canada & USA. Cindy joined PayByPhone in 2012, and during her tenure she has built and formed PayByPhone’s North America’s client-facing team. She has been a trusted ally and active partner between the company and clients who use PayByPhone’s mobility parking payment services. Cindy continues to apply handson daily management to project activities. In her new role, she will be tasked with leading the North America operations and implementing client management strategies, facilitate communications, monitor activities, provide issue resolutions, and continue to build her strong client relationships.
Cindy will now oversee the Client Success, Implementation and Customer Support teams. “PayByPhone is in the midst of extraordinary growth throughout the U.S. and Canada, and Cindy Chau has
shown tremendous leadership to our team,” says Roamy Valera, CAPP, PayByPhone’s CEO, U.S. and Canada. “Cindy is a gifted client success leader who is well known and highly respected throughout the parking industry. She’ll play an important role in our continued success throughout the United States and Canada.” Cindy leads the team that is responsible for managing existing key client relationships, addressing their questions and technical requests, and works closely with clients to increase PayByPhone adoption. As a leader of client project management, her team is in-charge of the onboarding process for new clients who roll out the PayByPhone service to their customers.
Parking Industry Vet Publishes Book LARRY J. COHEN, CAPP , a parking executive with 40-years in the industry, recently released “The Quirky World of Parking: Four Decades of Observations, One Parking Space at a Time. The book is a parking primer 101 master class interlaced with crazy and fascinating stories covering all aspects of the profession. The book is loaded with tons of interesting and crazy stories. Cohen says, “My goal is to provide a fascinating look into the business of parking from an industry insider perspective, and share the many highs and lows we encounter every day,” Cohen’s been responsible for parking at stadiums, universities, hospitals, and a municipality, including managing parking during the inauguration of Presidents Bush and Obama in Washington, D.C. He has served on the Boards of the International Parking and Mobility Institute, Middle Atlantic Parking Association, and Pennsylvania Parking Association, and is currently executive director of the Lancaster Parking Authority in Lancaster, Pa.
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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. parkingcast.com
56 PARKING & MOBILITY / APRIL 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
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In Case You Missed It... IPMI’S NEXT MOBILITY & INNOVATION SUMMIT
➚Mark your calendar—June 29-30, 2021. ➚Innovation Labs, keynote, education sessions, and more. ➚Sessions on trends, data, and tech topics. ➚Early-bird rates: $79 for members, $199 for teams of five. ➚Sponsorship available now. Registration opens April 19! THE 2021 IPMI PARKING & MOBILITY CONFERENCE & EXPO
➚In-person, Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, Tampa, Fla. ➚Education sessions, awards, keynote, and more. ➚Live Expo—see and touch new technologies. ➚Designed with safety and social distancing in mind. ➚Expo sales open now. Attendee registration opens May 1. ON THE FORUM
➚ADA on-street placard abuse. ➚Fees for appealing citations. ➚COVID-19 restrictions for fall 2021. ➚Equity/digital access for virtual permits. ➚Join the conversation: forum.parking-mobility.org
All from your desk, on your time, at parking-mobility.org. PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / APRIL 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 57
Published by the International Parking & Mobility Institute. parking-mobility.org