Parking & Mobility, December 2021

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New Chance for a Great First Impression Prioritizing excellent customer service now more than ever

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Our Unique Second Chance to Make a Great First Impression

Why asset owners and managers should prioritize excellent customer service now more than ever— and how to do that for different types of parkers and parking operations. By Andrew Sachs, CAPP


Parking at the Zoo

New ways of undertaking parking technology studies make a big difference in what participants learn. The San Diego Zoo proves it. By Bill Smith


Achieving Excellence

IPMI congratulates its newest CAPPs: professionals who exemplify industry knowledge and excellence.


The Parking Ticket is Mightier than the Sword

How LPR could have been used to bring down the Son of Sam. By Bill Geraghty, CAPP



Innovative Thinking Fosters Convenience and Urban Mobility By Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP


Great Resolutions to Boost Your Career

8 THE GREEN STANDARD Are You Ready for Electric Vehicles? By Yasser Jabbari, CAPP

10 THE BUSINESS OF PARKING Give Them What They Need By Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Step-By-Step By Richard Easley, CAPP


The Reality of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion By Keith Hutchings


Engaging in the Conversation of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Mobility By Benito Pérez, CAPP, AICP, CTP, CPM


What’d You Say? AFTER TWO SINCE-PRESCHOOL lifetimes of power

boating and with the prospect of a newly empty nest, my husband and I bought an old Flying Scot sailboat this year. We christened her “Wait Up,” to set expectations and after he did a bit of fiberglass repair, had her plopped on a lake mooring, apologized profusely for the summer that was about to happen, and began learning to make her go. Unbeknownst to me were two things: Seasoned sailors love sharing their knowledge with newbies, and they speak a completely different language than I knew to this point. Ropes on boats have always been “lines,” but now some of them are “sheets.” Some in sets are “vangs” and/or “Cunninghams,” and then there are others I don’t remember this second. The new language carries completely from bow to stern and the prospect of learning it all is daunting to say the least. Which meant well-meaning advice didn’t always compute. One of the sailors kind enough to share her knowledge with us is a worldranked racer and well-known sailing teacher and coach, and when she offered to hop aboard and give Wait Up a once-over, I hesitated, fearing she’d lose her patience and declare my ignorance hopeless. But she kicked off her shoes, jumped into the cockpit, and, in a stroke of kind genius, started both explaining and labeling all the new-to-me things with a black Sharpie. It’s like having real-life captions and it is wonderful. Where I knew I had a friend, though, was when she grabbed the rope with the giant knot you’re supposed to hold onto to stay aboard when you “hike,” which is throwing most of your weight over the side of the boat when it threatens to capsize in high winds and waves (which, by the way, I will not be doing). “This has a name,” she said, “But I just call it the hangy-outey rope.” And that was it—she was my favorite person in the world. The last almost-two years in parking and mobility—and in just living our lives— have felt a little bit like being tossed into a sailboat after a lifetime on engines. Everything feels different, the language is foreign, and we’re not really sure what to practice next. It’s good to find a friendly, wise person to help navigate the waters. It’s great to find one who gets you and tries to make it easier. And it’s outstanding—truly—to find something as simple as the hangy-outey rope that can keep you in the race when things whip up too much. I wish us all a smooth sail, gentle breezes, and a happy, successful 2022, and I hope it has much less drama than the last two new years. Here’s to new starts and friends who get us. Until next month…


Kim Fernandez, CAE, editor



Shawn Conrad, CAE EDITOR


Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C,

Innovative Thinking Fosters Convenience and Urban Mobility CONTRIBUTING EDITOR



BonoTom Studio For subscription changes, contact Tina Altman, or 888.IPMI.NOW. Parking & Mobility (ISSN 0896-2324 & USPS 001436) is published monthly by the International Parking & Mobility Institute. P.O. Box 3787 Fredericksburg, VA 22402 Phone: 888.IPMI.NOW Fax: 703.566.2267 Email: Website: 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.


By Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, CAPP

N KEEPING WITH ITS REPUTATION as a sterling customer-oriented

organization, the Miami Parking Authority (MPA) looked for opportunities to implement a system that would make parking stressfree for Marlins baseball fans. Thus, rooted in a tradition of many firsts, MPA, in close collaboration with the Miami Marlins and several vendors, launched a “Free Flow” parking system at loanDepot Park. As one of the first organizations to implement this technology in a ballpark in the U.S., it took synergistic collaboration, conviction, and an ardent desire to serve the customer to get the innovative technology off the ground. It was the right approach to take to make the customer experience seamless and efficient. Free Flow resulted from the need to increase urban mobility by improving traffic flow, reducing congestion and minimizing carbon footprint. Furthermore, the system was also implemented to enhance fan experience and engagement. The Marlins organization and MPA were able to collaborate cohesively with several suppliers to transition loanDepot Park to a frictionless, touch-free, free-flow parking experience. In addition to the transactional ease, touchless technology can also assuage customers’ concerns about safety and health issues by avoiding contact with communal surfaces, such as payment machines, meters and check-in kiosks. The vehicle is identified automatically by license plate recognition technology as it enters and leaves the parking facility. Patrons proceed to enter the garage without stopping at the entrance for payment collection or parking pass scan. Vehicles drive straight to the garage or lot without stop-


ping or lowering the window and proceed without validation to an available parking spot, subject to availability. Event attendees can register their license plate when they pre-purchase parking on the Marlins portal, or by using either the mobile payment platform or pay-stations the day of the event. Enforcement is managed by MPA; officers assist fans and event-goers in downloading and using the app and answering any questions. During large events, loanDepot runs at 82 percent capacity (approximately 27,000 fans). In the past, the last-mile stretch to reach the garage used to take 45 to 80 minutes; now it takes half that time or less. Drivers go straight through, park and pay as they go into the ballpark or even from their seats before the first pitch. Generations who were born into the digital age expect the necessary technology to make their experience seamless, efficient and easy. We strive for excellence at every touchpoint. ◆ ALEJANDRA “ALEX” ARGUDIN, CAPP, is CEO of the Miami Parking Authority and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors. She can be reached at



to Boost Your Career Lose weight. Exercise more. Organize the junk drawer(s). New Year’s resolutions are as old as time, and for all that time, we’ve had a difficult time keeping them. But some January 1 promises aren’t as difficult as others and can actually help you at work. CareerAddict recently published their list of 25 resolutions to inspire you at work—here are our favorite five.


Revamp your social media profiles. Many employers search job candidates on social media— does your profile reflect the current professional you? Clean out the ugly stuff and shine up the good stuff to boost your image on the internet.


Get moving more. Take a walk at lunchtime or invite attendees of your next meeting to walk while you talk instead of parking at a table. A little exercise and fresh air not only makes your body feel better, but it clears those mental cobwebs and helps your thinking too.


Make new connections. Strike up a conversation in chat during your next virtual meeting and arm yourself with great icebreakers for the next in-person event (#IPMI2022 is coming!). Even getting to know people in other departments of your organization can help grow your network and your opportunities.


Develop your communication skills. Learning to use less confrontational language, clear up written sentences, and Slack more effectively will help you get your ideas and feedback out there better. There are a ton of free, online courses to get you started.


Think retirement. No, not right now, but if you can pitch in to a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement savings vehicle, it’s never too early. Most of those savings are pre-tax and many come out of your paycheck invisibly. A nest egg for later is a big stress reducer!



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Are You Ready for Electric Vehicles?


By Yasser Jabbari, CAPP

LECTRIC VEHICLES (EVs) are supposed to be the next big thing. By 2030, half of the

U.S. auto market is supposed to be EVs of some sort, with the government proposing to spend more than $75 billion to support these vehicles with charging and buying incentives. But how does this affect parking operations? Should it affect parking operations? The argument can be made that typically, there isn’t a gas station where you park your current gas-powered vehicle, so why should there be one for an electric vehicle? If you do choose to charge electric vehicles on your university campus, private lot, or city parking lot, what kind of service are you providing? Are you doing Level 1 or Level 2 charging? Are you expecting people to pay for that electricity? How do you collect those fees? These are questions parking operators across the nation will have to start thinking about and addressing fairly quickly.

Parking Operators’ Options The easy and most economical answer of what to do about EV charging is to do nothing. There isn’t any kind of mandate that says parking operators have to provide EV charging for their customers. An argument can be made that parking providers who don’t provide EV charging options will lose customers to those who do but again, parking operators typically don’t fuel your vehicle as it is so why should the burden be on them to do it now? Alternatively, if your parking operation decides to support charging, do you have enough information up front to make that call? The infrastructure that goes into EV charging is not cheap and, in some situations, not available. Typically, EV charging only becomes available after major construction is completed with it in mind, often as a way to gain points for LEED construction certifications. In short, a building had to be built to accommodate EV charging.


Another consideration is the type of charging you’ll provide. Are you providing plugs or Level 1 charging or are you providing Level 2 charging? A Level 2 charger takes 220 volts 40 amps per charger to work. A double charger needs two circuits of power for every one charger. You can typically install more Level 1 outlets or convince plugs and have EV owners supply the cord that will charge the car. This is a lot slower of a charge, so a car that would be able to go home with a two-hour charge on a level 2 charger has to have an eight-hour charge on a level 1 charger to get the same effect.

Expectations Across the campus where I am employed, the typical EV driver lives within a five-mile radius of the campus. These users have come to expect that we will provide charging capabilities for them and rely on EV chargers on campus. However, at some point, we will reach the peak of our ability to provide electric vehicle charging simply because the surrounding campus will not have the electrical infrastructure for us to grow the system. At some point, we simply are going to run out of power. The point of this article is not to be alarmist or say that EV charging is a bad thing, however, hopefully the reader begins to ask questions and begin to consider what is in place and what you need to provide electric vehicle charging options. There are numerous companies out there that provide drop in place solutions as long as you have the infrastructure to power it. But operators need to find out if that infrastructure is ready to support electric vehicle charging. ◆ YASSER JABBARI, CAPP is operations coordinator, transportation services University of California, Riverside, and a member of IPMI’s Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at



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Give Them What They Need By Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR


TOP. Take a moment and think about where we are at this moment in time. If you are like

me, your thoughts are all over the place. Certainly, the last 18 to 24 months have presented us with unprecedented feelings of angst and even dread as we contemplated myriad issues, such as the murders of George Floyd, Vanesa Guillen, Breona Taylor, Ahmuad Arbery, and many other people of color. We have had to deal with a global pandemic none of us could ever anticipate.

It isn’t unusual to see casual dining establishments offering sign-on bonuses of several thousand dollars for wait staff. That’s amazing and even with that as an incentive, many of those establishments still cannot find the number and/or quality of staff to fill those positions.

There have also been any number of social, political, financial, educational, and healthcare issues that have turned our world into a different place. And if all of that wasn’t enough, we have and are now dealing with figuring out how to reconnect, reengage, and reimagine our workplace when there is a scarcity of labor. When you contemplate the human capital implications of all we have and continue to go through, you might wonder what people want. That question is as old as time.

More Than Money It isn’t unusual to see casual dining establishments offering sign-on bonuses of several thousand dollars for wait staff. That’s amazing and even with that as an incentive, many of those establishments still cannot find the number and/or quality of staff to fill those positions. So, what do people want? Well, the answer to this is an old one: Compensation and benefits studies have been conducted as a means to gauge worker sentiments


since the 1950s. One thing that’s remained true since then is that pure compensation has never been the No. 1 thing people look for in a job. Paying a poor performer more will not make them a better team member. Many companies believe that by offering to pay more, they will get a higher quality employee, and that simply is not the case—nor is it a sustainable business model. No organization has an infinite supply of resources. Okay, if money isn’t the No. 1 thing people look for, then what is? Well, let’s get one thing out of the way right now: Every person needs a certain amount of income to address basic needs. Once those areas are addressed, these things, not in priority order, have historically and consistently ranked extremely high in compensation and benefits studies: ■  Flexibility. People want to know that their employer sees them as a whole person and not just a cog in a machine. The U.S. has among the lowest amount of time off leave of any developed country.


■  A

sense of purpose. People want meaningful work and not just “moneyful” work. Each of you has probably held a position that paid you well but offered no satisfaction because the work was mundane. It didn’t create a sense of purpose for you to remain there. ■  Autonomy and a learning environment. People want to believe that if given the appropriate resources, they can achieve the goals set for them and the enterprise. They also want to feel they can learn from the environment they are in and from the people around them. ■  Corporate social responsibility. More and more people want to be part of organizations that are good stewards for the community. They also want to work for organizations they can be proud of. ■  A culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. As we look at new entrants into the workforce, they are repeatedly saying that they want to work for an enterprise that promotes a culture of belonging for all people,

and they want to work in an environment that challenges them because they hire high quality people who focus on doing for others.

Applying The Lessons What these things look like in your firm will look different than they look somewhere else. Each organization is different, even if they operate under the same parent umbrella, because people are different. We need to strive to create authentic environments where we genuinely care about ­others—when we do that, we are truly giving the people what they need. ◆

JULIUS E. RHODES, SPHR, is founder and principal of the mpr group and author of BRAND: YOU Personal Branding for Success in Life and Business. He can be reached at jrhodes@mprgroup. info or 773.548.8037.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Step-By-Step By Richard Easley, CAPP


IVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION (DEI) in the parking industry

means different things to different folks. Oddly enough, not everyone can agree on what those three letters mean. For some, it means that we have qualified minority representation at all levels of the organization. This makes sense because for decades, there has been a dearth of representation beyond white males in the upper ranks. For others it means that the language and jokes that have been part of acceptable speech should come to an end. The folks who have been the brunt of such language and jokes have long put up with offensive and sometimes painful words because speaking out against certain terms and jokes could limit an otherwise promising career path. Perhaps very few people have the right definition or just maybe, they all are right in their understanding of what DEI means. What many don’t quite understand is that DEI touches many aspects of the parking industry. A larger picture of DEI includes: ■  Corporate structure (Does anyone look like me at/near the top?). ■  Staff/transportation professionals (Do the folks making decisions and serving stakeholders come from varied backgrounds that can relate unequivocally with the unique needs of women? People of color? Lower income folks? Non-­ English speakers? LGBTQ folks?). ■  Educational/hiring opportunities (Are our education and training professionals all white? Do they know the needs of those communities that are not middle income and white? Are we advertising for new hires in the same places or are we advertising in a variety of places where we get exposure to new and underrepresented communities?). ■  Stakeholder income ranges (Do we develop apps that rely on credit cards? Do we think that life would be so much easi-

er in operations if we could just get rid of handling cash?). ■  People of color/race/sex (Do we know about the dangers of taking a shuttle bus at night to/from a dimly lit parking facility as a woman or as a person of color or immigrant who receives threats ). ■  Religion (Do we understand the significance of religious practices and holidays in the lives of our co-workers? Do we understand that not everyone can drink alcohol but can still be a lot of fun? Do we understand that certain foods that we share can be religious taboo for those we work alongside?). ■  Disability (Have we ever walked in the shoes of folks that are sight impaired? Have we spent any time understanding the limitations that come from living life in a wheelchair and utilizing our parking services? How about those who also need EV charging parking?). ■  Sexual orientation (LGBTQIA) (Have we ever thought about the sometimes mean things said about our valued employees’


lives that are hateful and hurtful? Have we thought about how those folks must feel and that they continue to come to work and continue to excel in their jobs despite dreading having to deal with mean and bullying co-workers making snide remarks with impunity?). I suspect that very few, if any, reading this story have seriously considered all of these very real DEI issues and have taken steps to address each one. I suspect the response is more one of being overwhelmed. I have always said that people don’t know what they don’t know and this is yet another example of where this is true.

Offering Support The question you should ask yourself about your customers, employees, and co-workers is: In an effort to provide outstanding and award-winning service or a peak, level work environment where they can shine brightly with all their talents and skills, what have I done that supports them when and how they need it? Since you probably haven’t


To help keep you grounded and moving forward, remember these quotes and post them on the wall if you have to…. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” —Robert Louis Stevenson “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” —Lao Tzu “Big things have small beginnings.”

taken meaningful steps in all of the aforementioned categories, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. You may be wondering, “How do I achieve the many measures that help make my organization become one of excellence?” There is so very much you can do, that you should do, and hopefully at the end of the day, that you will have accomplished. My advice to you is this: No coast-to-coast interstate highway was built in a weekend. No skyscraper was built quickly and haphazardly. No BS, BA, MS, MA, or PhD degrees were ever awarded over one weekend. No award-winning multi-level, multi-purpose parking garage structure was ever constructed and opened for business in a total of seven days. All of these examples first required knowing what you wanted to accomplish and then creating a workable plan that was feasible, reasonable, and that provided a path from start to finish.


“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” —Mark Twain

There is wisdom in these quotes that can help you overcome any feelings of being overwhelmed. And finally, “Make a difference!!!”

—Richard Easley

Wherever you

First Steps The first thing you need to do is understand that you don’t know what you don’t know. The second thing is including others who do know and use their experiences/perspectives to make a very real difference in the lives of your target audiences. For example, don’t utilize the expertise of an able-bodied person to fully understand the needs and challenges faced by a disabled person. Don’t bring a man’s opinion to the table to address the needs and challenges faced by a woman. Don’t bring a white person to the planning table to represent the needs of people of color. Don’t advertise to the marginalized communities for new-hire positions based on the generally accepted practice of using mainstream advertising channels. Remember, it’s not your fault that you really don’t know what you don’t know. But it is your fault if you don’t surround yourself with people who know and live what you could never truly know. It will make a world of difference.◆ RICHARD EASLEY, CAPP, is president and founder of E-Squared Consulting Corporation. He can be reached at


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The Reality of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion By Keith Hutchings


ISCUSSING DIVERSITY in the parking and mobility industry may seem cumbersome,

creating a reduced urgency to address the challenge. The industry is still working toward normalcy and revenue generation as the pandemic catapults us into fast-track implementations of technology and adjustments to survive. But this urgency for change keeps the topic of diversity and equity inclusion as a high priority. An organization lacking diversity and equity inclusion may render itself incapable of shaping its services and products to meet shifting expectations.

Each team member must consistently remind themselves that while we are all similar in our humanity, we are different in our selfexpression. Failure to understand migrating consumer demands may potentially limit the future performance of the organization. Without improvements, many companies, organizations, and municipalities may experience the inability to adjust to industry trends.

Motivation To properly position your organization, first examine the cultural motivation and appetite for diversity. Ask yourself, does the organization have team members who react negatively to differing political opinions? What is the leadership position on embracing cultural and ethnic groups outside the majority segment of the workforce? Is the workgroup comprised of individuals who reflect the age and gender demographics?


If the answers to these questions prove challenging, the first step must be to address them. Ask yourself if organization members feel the need to maintain the current culture even when it does not make minority members feel comfortable? A diverse and inclusive environment requires that attitudes and interactions change.

Attitudes and Behaviors No workplace will be welcoming if organizational attitudes support a position of cultural superiority towards minority and gender populations. We must all be honest about attitudes and behaviors that can make the workplace closed to minority groups. The first task in creating diversity is to address the organization’s tolerance of multiple people groups not in the majority. Only when the organization has


Without improvements, many companies, organizations, and municipalities may experience the inability to adjust to industry trends.

addressed the culture will it be able to make significant strides toward an inclusive and representative workforce. A cultural shift will make your organization more attractive to potential minority team members and motivate them to join the team.

Actions As organizational culture evolves, specific actions to obtain diversity and inclusion are necessary. Methods for recruiting talent require re-evaluation and adjustment to attract disenfranchised groups. One way to affect cultural change resides in reaching minority consumers who don’t typically patronize the organization. Greater emphasis should focus on increasing ethnically diverse customer bases, providing two benefits: A more extensive customer base improves organizational financial health, and the broader focus will naturally create energy that supports an inclusive organization. Developing diversity and inclusion points to an important reality that should be understood when interacting with groups in the historical minority. All minority groups are not monolithic. The vital truth is that not all minorities have the same politics, social practices, cultural interactions, educational obtainment, or life experiences. Failure to avoid interacting with minority groups as a homogenous community can result in those groups being insulted by general assumptions. The better approach is to maintain cultural sensitivity through all interactions while treating each person as an individual. Each team member must consistently remind themselves that while we are all similar in our humanity, we are different in our self-expression. What motivates one individual demotivates another, highlighting the need to eliminate cultural expectations of “normal.” When discussing the elimination of cultural expectations, I do not mean the deemphasis of professionalism; rather the maintaining of the actual behaviors and practices that maintain professionalism. We must take great care not to judge individual and cultural choices that do not indeed affect professionalism. Unique hairstyles and clothing choices should not determine the level of professionalism if team members maintain organizational performance standards that respect both employees and customers. Individual options exist beyond hair and clothes, demonstrating that not all minorities will have the same preferences. When building an inclusive environment, the effort should be on equity access to opportunities, ensuring that organizational rules, methods, or targets don’t hinder full participation of all

groups. What is clear is that diversity and inclusion require a great deal of effort and time to reach the goal. For some reading this article, the work may seem too much effort. I would suggest that the focus shift from the cost to achieve diversity and inclusion to the benefit of reaching reality. An inclusive workplace supports the long-term health of an organization. More importantly, the ethical rationale for working towards diversity and inclusion is the support of all people groups. And that is an ideal worth working toward. ◆ KEITH HUTCHINGS is director of the Municipal Parking Department for the City of Detroit. He can be reached at





Engaging in the Conversation of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Mobility By Benito Pérez, CAPP, AICP, CTP, CPM


QUITY HAS TAKEN A PROMINENT SPOTLIGHT across conversations about our way of life, and

the transportation and mobility industry is no exception. Smart Growth America’s Equity Summit, coming January 11-13, 2022, will allow attendees to listen and engage in diverse perspectives that interconnect with each other, furthering this nationwide conversation and action on equity. The summer of 2020 was a reckoning within American society that reverberated globally on the topic of race and equity. From a tragic event in Minneapolis, Minn., a global mainstream conversation emerged, scalable into our communities. People asked questions based on experiences, protests, learning, and reflection. We saw some common questions: ■  What is equity? ■  Why are there biases in our way of life and thinking that disproportionately disadvantages only segments of our community? ■  Where can we look to dismantle historical biases in our communities and way of life? In general, equity is the fair treatment for all individuals regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or identification with any historically underserved or marginalized group or community. Racial equity is focused on righting historic injustices toward Black and Brown communities. Many systems in the U.S. were designed with apparent racist intent. Incorporating racial equity into policies and practices can remove barriers and create opportunity for Black and Brown communities.


Why Does Equity Matter? Historic inequities in housing, transportation, and land use have led to large racial wealth gaps, health disparities, and environmental injustices in the U.S. Black and Brown communities more often suffer from inequitable investments in infrastructure, green and recreational spaces, and climate resilience measures. Racial inequity is also bad fiscal policy for cities, artificially reducing overall tax revenues and wealth. The legacy of policies such as the Homestead Acts and redlining results in unequal distribution of wealth, health outcomes, and economic opportunity. Housing valuation is just one form of these inequities, because financial equity in homes is the main way Americans build wealth. The price of homes in a community determines the opportunities available in that community. Many businesses are started using the financial equity in the entrepreneur’s personal home. When home values increase, communities see a new generation of wealth, but the undervaluation of Black homes and communities fuels the racial wealth gap and reinforces the uphill climb faced by Black-owned businesses.


A whole Transportation for America’s TransportationCamp 2022 Transportation for America is an advocacy organization made up of local, regional and state leaders who envision a transportation system that safely, affordably and conveniently connects people of all means and ability to jobs, services, and opportunity through multiple modes of travel. Every year, transportation enthusiasts get together on a Saturday to share their ideas and map out new possibilities. With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as well as the Build Back Better Act, the 2022 virtual TransportationCamp will be more important than ever. TransportationCamp DC is an annual unconference and important tradition for the transportation community. It is a time for advocates, practitioners, business leaders, professionals, students, and anyone else who might call themselves a “transportation nerd” to gather for this unconference - where attendees plan and lead the sessions themselves - to take stock of where we’re going and how we got here. Join us January 8, 2022 for another year of TransportationCamp DC to discuss ways to make our infrastructure safer, more equitable, more sustainable and everything else you can imagine. To learn more about TransportationCamp DC and to register, please visit

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Equity, Transportation, and Mobility Transportation has a significant effect on the way our communities are shaped and the economic prosperity that they generate. The only way to move around prior to the 20th century was on foot, so power and wealth were concentrated in our city centers and others were pushed out from the center of economic activity. However, the economic activity required a workforce, which required many laborers to live close to the economic center in crowded and squalid conditions. Not wanting to cohabitate in these spaces, those of means leveraged transportation innovation to move outside the economic center, but maintained speedy and accessible means to reach the economic center to continue to expand their wealth and power. From the streetcars of the 19th century to the urban highways cutting through our community fabric, this mindset proliferated into transportation systems planning from the late 19th century to the present day. Black and Brown communities had their communities divided in the interest of speed and convenience for the affluent and were systematically shut out of the decision-making table. In addition to accommodating the urban highways at the expense of vibrant Black and Brown communities, municipalities went further by replacing vibrant communities with parking lots and garages.

Why a Conversation About Equity? Up to this point in our industry’s history, the focus on transportation, mobility, and parking management has focused on the vehicle and how to efficiently move and store it. However, our communities and the way we move are evolving. Additionally, the way we think about mobility needs to evolve to be cognizant of the person over the vehicle. People of different walks of life, abilities and disabilities, and community aspirations and goals move about our communities for different reasons. Furthermore, there is a need to recognize systemic barriers, processes, guidelines, and stan-

pay-to-park transactions

via their smart phones. We listened and responded by introducing AIMS MobilePay.

• Compatible with iOS, Android, or even via a •

desktop, AIMS MobilePay (aka: AMP Park) lets your customer find a parking space in your AIMS service area, pay to park, manage their account, and more... All with their smart phone! Like all our innovations, AIMS MobilePay benefits you, too – with new revenue opportunities and a host of operational advantages.

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dards in our industry and how we peel out the divisive and oppressive aspects and recast them to be inclusive for all. Lastly, there is a need to right the wrongs in our communities and enhance opportunities for safe, accessible mobility choices, especially towards communities of color that have been historically sidelined from accessing those safe, accessible mobility choices.

Smart Growth America’s Equity Summit Smart Growth America (SGA), a nonprofit organization focused on advocacy, thought leadership, and technical assistance, gears its work toward a vision of a country where no matter where you live or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. SGA deeply believes that improving racial disparities is at the core of a smart growth approach. But what does that mean? How does it work in practice? And how can smart growth advocates do it better? In January 2021, SGA held a three-day virtual summit to discuss

how to center improving racial equity in smart growth work. The summit featured short keynotes explaining important basic concepts, and three separate deep dives on promoting more equity in housing and land use, why strong Black and Brown businesses are key to neighborhood vitality, and how to right the wrongs of past damaging transportation decisions and promote restorative justice. Returning again on January 11-13, 2022, SGA is reconvening the equity summit that is aimed to delve deeper into the intersectionality of equity within transportation, land use, and economic development in our communities. To learn more about the Equity Summit and to register, please visit ◆ BENITO O. PÉREZ, CAPP, AICP, CTP, CPM, is the policy director with Transportation for America. He can be reached at benito.perez@

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EXPERTS It’s almost a new year! If you could pick a resolution for the industry for 2022, what would it be?

Brian Shaw, CAPP

Executive Director Stanford Transportation We should make a point to get back together with one another. I recently hosted a parking technology vendor for a campus tour and it was so great being able to talk about parking, technology, and the future with them. I didn’t realize how much I missed that. Try to get to at least one or two conferences in 2022, host potential vendors, and take time to visit your clients.

Christina Jones, CAPP, MBA Consultant Walker Consultants

Create at least one new professional networking connection per month. We meet new people almost daily in our industry, but are we taking the time to listen, grab their business card, share ours, and really connect with them? IPMI and regional organizations offer great opportunities to connect with those who are either facing similar challenges or may have solutions we haven’t yet considered. At the very least, it is one more friendly face at the next webinar, roundtable, or conference.

Jeff Perkins CEO ParkMobile

Every organization in the parking industry has access to a lot of data. But are we really doing anything with it? My resolution for 2022 would be for the parking industry to turn all this data into real actionable insights that can help drive smarter decisions to improve the parking experience.

Casey Jones, CAPP, PMP

John Hammerschlag

I’ll be traveling a lot this coming year and I plan to visit as many of the “top” ice cream purveyors as possible. Check this link for the list.

To leverage our parking operator’s business intelligence tools and technology recommendations for the development of responsive product offerings and pricing strategies as well as to maintain reduced manpower expenses resulting from our COVID experience.

Director, Customer Success FLASH

President Hammerschlag & Co., Inc.

/ HAVE A QUESTION? Send it to and watch this space for answers from the experts.

The opinions and thoughts expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of the International Parking & Mobility Institute or official policies of IPMI.


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Our Unique Second Chance to Make

A Great First Impression

Why asset owners and managers should prioritize excellent customer service now more than ever—and how to do that for different types of parkers and parking operations. By Andrew Sachs, CAPP


S THE COVID CRISIS CONTINUES WINDING DOWN, the parking industry has been given a sec-

ond chance to make a great first impression with the customers and institutions we support. As offices, schools, restaurants, venues, and tourist attractions continue reopening and welcoming back workers, students, and guests, parking operations will once again fill up with cars. We have an opportunity to make the most of drivers’ fresh perspective—and we can do that by reframing the understanding of parking. It’s no longer a commodity; today, parking is a service.

Changes to Expect In the next two years, demand for parking will rise, not from the lows of 2020 but from the highs of 2019. Even if work-from-home and/or hybrid work arrangements is a lasting trend beyond what we’re seeing now, long-term lease agreements mean businesses have strong financial incentives to bring workers back to ­already-rented spaces. Combine that with the benefits of in-person collaboration, and companies have compelling reasons to call workers back to the office on a full- or part-time basis. But the future will not look like the past. Work-from-home offers managers greater flexibility to maximize the value of their real estate commitments. With flex scheduling, 50 employees can work in an open bullpen safely slotted for 25. Workers will continue to return, but their needs will be different, and as we’ve seen already, smart parking operations will be prepared to support those workplace adaptations. We are also seeing a great deal of pent-up demand for concerts, live sporting events, entertainment, and anything that allows us to come into contact with others. As proven in the second half of 2021, while the “new normal” life may look different, people are antsy and happy to get out and about. On top of the re-entry of existing drivers into the parking world, by some forecasts, next year, there will be almost 10 percent more licensed drivers in the U.S. than there were in 2019—about 234.5 million people total. Whether these drivers rent, share or buy cars, we can reasonably expect more traffic on the roads and an increased need to park when they arrive at their destinations.




Searching for Seamless As veteran parkers continue returning to regular driving and new drivers begin parking for the first time, parking facilities that prioritize service will be in an ideal position to make great “first” impressions. And a continued emphasis on service will convert first impressions into lasting loyalty. We have to adapt a PaaS (Parking-as-aService) mentality. This critical methodology shift is true for operations in many sectors: university, municipality, commercial, airport, or residential. What does PaaS and “good service” mean for parking operations? While touchless has been the buzzword for quite some time and safety and sanitation will continue to be a priority for years to come, the focus in parking now should be on “seamless.” Touchless is safe. Seamless is easy. We need to optimize for ease in every step of the consumers’ process. For example, touchless parking experiences that rely on smartphone apps are excellent from a safety standpoint but thinking in terms of touch alone isn’t enough. But many apps do not function in smartphone operating system backgrounds and can result in a traffic jam if a parker needs to actively access their phone app at every entry and exit. Apple is notoriously stringent in iOS. A similar seamless app experience employs technology that automatically vends the gate regardless of the smartphone app’s status. This speeds up the process not just for the individual customer but also for those in line behind them. Minimizing that wait and getting parkers home sooner makes our customers’ lives better.

How Can We Adapt? Every community and every parking operation has different needs, opportunities, and resources so no one solution will fit everyone. As an asset owner, manager, and consultant, I have been using and evaluating several products and services that could add to the best possible seamless customer service. The good news is that there is a lot to choose from. Despite the hard times that have hit us all, the bad news is that now is the time to commit time, money, and resources to upgrade operations to the PaaS reality. Parking operations don’t have to overextend to upgrade. Develop a phased PaaS plan focusing on the items with the biggest bang for your operation’s buck first and then tie future items to clear revenue marks. As the pandemic switches to a lingering endemic, we are in for a bumpy return. Politicians will likely continue hitting the economic stop and go buttons as infections fluctuate. But over time, oscillations will flatten, and the situation will

While touchless has been the buzzword for quite some time and safety and sanitation will continue to be a priority for years to come, the focus in parking now should be on “seamless.” Touchless is safe. Seamless is easy. We need to optimize for ease in every step of the consumers’ process. improve at a steady pace. A thoughtful plan will take fluctuations into account and spend some of the capital that comes in at the high points, so by the time COVID is in the rearview, the parking operation has been fully optimized for a service mentality.

What Can We Do? There are many ways to optimize the parking experience; the magic mix of services will differ by the type of parker. What is most valuable for a monthly business parker (or to a company subsidizing parking for employees) might not be the same as what a tourist family would want.

Monthly Parkers Monthly parkers are the bread and butter of many parking operations and there is much that can be done to improve their experience:



Seamless Interactions: If you still require monthlies to stop at a gate, roll down their windows, and wave a plastic card while a line forms behind them, now is the time to reevaluate. Consider upgrading to a gateless, LPR, Bluetooth or app-based remote access system. Pre-COVID, one of my operations, a premium fully staffed office location, was upgraded with LPR. We retained the HID passkey as a backup, offering reassurance in the rare event of a misread (2 to 5 percent). Staff keep their eyes on the gates, so they can quickly resolve those issues. Another operation is implementing a Bluetooth app-based approach that takes care of new customer signup and payment processing. Another cost-effective option may be to remove gates and use a roving LPR camera to monitor access. Pricing Flexibility: Workers are likely to start returning to offices in fits and starts. Offering flexible monthly packages, such as a flex pass for 10 days of parking a month at two-thirds the standard monthly rate, will provide savings to workers returning part-time and generate a larger rate of return. Unstaffed Concierge Services: It’s time to think about services that we can offer to provide value to our monthly parkers. For unstaffed locations, Amazon lockers and electric charging stations can be easily implemented. Though Amazon will not pay rent, devoting space in a lobby or area by a pedestrian entrance to an Amazon locker can add value for parkers. Reports predict electric vehicles (EVs) will comprise 10 percent of global passenger vehicle sales by 2025, so now is the time for parking operations to begin offering charging operations. Level 2 slow charging will be sufficient for most monthly parkers who park for a full workday. At my operations, monthly parkers receive five hours of free charging as part of their parking pass (and the option to pay for more). Full Service Staffed Concierge: Fully staffed locations should consider upping their game to offer concierge services that include package acceptance, dry cleaning, and meal delivery. Parking attendants can accept packages on behalf of monthly parkers and place packages in the car for parking customers as they exit, communicating with the parker via text to ensure the process runs smoothly. The ability to drop off a bag of dirty laundry in the lobby on the way into work and pick it up from the parking attendant would be a huge time saver for the typical office worker. Coordinating this is as easy as making an arrangement with a reliable dry cleaning operation. Parking operators can charge a rent to the dry cleaner for access to


customers and/or charge consumers a small handling fee. During the worst days of the pandemic, my company initiated a free meal service for anyone in need, called Heart of the Park. Many of our monthly customers who worked in nearby restaurants and entertainment venues were suddenly out of work and in need of support. We raised money from the community, partnered with a restaurant, and the garage became the distribution point for chef-made meals. After a few months, demand for free meals waned, but people started asking to buy meals—and RocketGourmet, was born. Now, we are working with great restaurants that prepare meals designed to travel and be finished at home. The parking garage is the pickup point, and so far, customers are thrilled. Payment and Account Management: If your payment and account management process is not as simple and effective as paying for an order on Amazon, now is the time to upgrade. This task often wastes management time and frustrates customers. There are many options available, including services from most PARCs manufacturers. I work with two ­system-agnostic SaaS products that can pair with most PARCs systems. Communication: In an era of simple email marketing software and sophisticated smartphones, many parking

Reports predict electric vehicles (EVs) will comprise 10 percent of global passenger vehicle sales by 2025, so now is the time for parking operations to begin offering charging operations.



U.S. Commuter Parking Activities YOY Change

organizations continue to send poorly worded PDFs; I frequently hear complaints about this from colleagues from outside the industry. This failure has real costs: I personally know several corporate leaders who cite poor parking management as a factor in the decision to relocate offices. To optimize customer and partner communications, keep them brief, make sure they are well-written, and consider newsletter services that are easy to use and provide analytics reporting so you know what works.

Transient Parkers According to Smarking’s Business Industry Benchmark, U.S. commuter parking activity was ~68 percent down, year-over-year, at the end of 2020 but up 12 percent up from the late-March beginning of the pandemic. By summer 2021, we saw tourism and other social activities increase. Restaurants, entertainment, and sports venues pulled out all the stops as they welcomed customers back and parking operations. Parking operations should be prepared for more of this and more people going back to regular life activities. Seamless Access: Transient parkers will benefit from minimized parking touchpoints. Some suppliers offer

Bluetooth-enabled upgrades that create swift and easy touchless entry, exit and payment. When deciding on a product, consider who has more customers interested in what your operation offers. Not only are customers willing to try Bluetooth access and payment, but once they adopt the technology, they continue to use it. Don’t be surprised if customers start to avoid operations that fail to keep up with the competition to make the gated experience as seamless as possible. White label and branded operator options also exist; when considering these, try out the apps to understand how easy (or not) they are for parkers to download and navigate. Special Rates & Community Partnerships: Money talks for transient parkers, so deals, especially when tied to a local activity or venue, are welcome. Plus, partnerships with local businesses are great for marketing and community relations. Online Booking: Life happens online and for transient parkers, online booking can be a part of a seamless and touchless parking experience. An easy-to-navigate online tool is key to a pleasant booking experience; if parkers find it easy to book and pay for a spot, they will turn into

The Curb

An easy-to-navigate online tool is key to a pleasant booking experience; if parkers find it easy to book and pay for a spot, they will turn into repeat customers. repeat customers. There are many great providers in the space. I recommended integrating with several as each appeal to different consumers and allowing the parking customer to use the app of choice makes their experience that much richer. Dynamic Pricing: I have utilized several dynamic pricing engines in different facilities. As transients emerge, dynamic pricing is a terrific way to attract new customers. If you are worried about cannibalizing your existing customer base, you can relax. The statistics show that aggregator-based dynamic pricing brings in the value shopper, while those who are willing to pay the full price are looking at factors beyond price. Most importantly, the increased traffic at flexible online rates generates higher revenues than less traffic at a fixed price. Combined with a robust PaaS approach, the result is that customers drawn in by discount price at a slow time will return to pay higher rates at a busy time. PEV Fast Charging: Several big EV companies are expanding their paid charging networks and are willing to sign long-term leases for parking spaces. They collect the revenue and parking operations collect the rent with the bonus of increased traffic—and many states have subsidies to offset the initial costs associated with charging. This model will continue to evolve, but now is the time for parking operations to begin laying the infrastructure.


There is a lot of exciting research and work being done about managing and monetizing the public curb space to achieve the highest and best use for this valuable space. As we’ve seen a lot as curb use and strategy has changed the past 18 months, thoughtful planning can reduce traffic congestion and improve the consumer use experience. There is too much to mention here, but I encourage you to look into Urban Freight Lab at the University of Washington and the Open Mobility Foundation. Also, look into the automated kiosk TNC zones employed by the City of Las Vegas in the downtown district. The zones are just a small piece to emerge from the city’s well-thought-out 2016 Master Mobility Plan. These sources will provide some excellent fodder for rethinking your curb priorities and offer some excellent insight into incorporating top-notch service into congestion-busting measures. The pandemic has acted as an accelerant for forces and evolutionary trends that were already in play before 2020 blindsided our best-laid business plans. Now, we need to be prepared to adapt as new patterns emerge and impact our audience’s needs. Regardless of location or sector, the service paradigm has to be a driving force at the very core of where we lead the parking and mobility industry. ◆ ANDREW SACHS, CAPP, is president of Gateway Parking Services. He can be reached at



at the Zoo

New ways of undertaking parking technology studies make a big difference in what participants learn. The San Diego Zoo proves it. By Bill Smith



ARKING UTILIZATION STUDIES have been an essential element of urban

and facility planning for decades. By measuring parking use for areas of a city, a campus, or private parking owners, parking studies give owners the data they need to make informed decisions about whether new parking assets need to be developed, how to optimize existing parking resources, and whether shared parking opportunities exist. A comprehensive study will tell owners not just how many vehicles are using their parking, but which days are busiest and when peak demand occurs on those days. This is vital information for managing parking assets.



RADITIONALLY, parking studies have been conducted by hand, either by a parking consultant or

local volunteers. The individuals doing the study follow a route to measure occupancy and total space utilization. Typically, data collection is conducted on various days and various times of day to offer a snapshot of how parking assets are utilized and when peak parking demand occurs. Study participants also measure, as best they can, how long cars tend to stay in particular spaces and how often spaces turn over, thus providing an idea of how those spaces are used. While hand counts have long been the norm, pneumatic lines and loops can be useful tools for supporting hand counts. The lines and loops are located strategically on city or campus streets, as well as exits and entrances to parking facilities, and as vehicles drive over them the equipment records the activity. These traditional parking study approaches are incredibly valuable to owners, but they are also very resource intensive. Hand counts can require many hours on the part of consultants and volunteers, and they are only as accurate as the people doing the counting. Fortunately, technology can streamline the process, making it more accurate and cost-effective.

Smart Cameras, Better Data Automated counts are a vast improvement over hand counts because they aren’t limited by the availability of people to conduct the counts, and there’s no risk of human error in the process. Automated car counts utilize Intelligent Cameras located in strategic locations. The cameras, which are traditionally used in parking guidance, count how many cars enter and leave a parking zone or parking facility. That data is transmitted in real time to cloud servers, where it is immediately compiled and analyzed. The data can be compiled in any manner required by a parking consultant, municipal or campus parking administrators, or parking owners and operators. All that’s required is to log into the cloud application and set parameters. The application then immediately provides the requested data. With just a few key strokes, it’s possible to find out how many vehicles entered and left a parking zone or facility, how long they stayed, even what part of a parking facility they used. Parking consultants, administrators, or owners can get data for any range of dates, time periods on a given day or across days, or for individual areas within a parking zone or facility. Because the data is transmitted to the cloud every 15 seconds, there’s no need to send staff to collect SIM cards at the end of the day, as you do with pneumatic lines and loops. When consultants, administrators, or owners set up the cameras, they can just leave the equipment alone to do its job. As an added benefit, the cameras can be used to provide additional security as video surveillance tools. Since the cameras are always recording, if there is an accident or crime within the parking lot, investigators can turn to the video footage to see what happened. If desired, owners and operators could even establish a “hot list” to track license plates that are barred from a particular parking facility.


Intelligent Cameras are typically leased for the purpose of conducting car counts over a finite period of time. However, some cities, organizations, and private owners may prefer to purchase cameras so they can continuously monitor parking utilization in the parking facilities. This way, they can access parking data whenever they need it, at a moment’s notice. The cameras are relatively inexpensive and for organizations and owners who need constantly updated data, the investment may make sense.

San Diego Zoo One of the first studies utilizing Intelligent Cameras is underway right now at the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. The zoo, which is located in Balboa Park in San Diego and houses more than 12,000 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies on 100 acres, is the most visited zoo in the United States, hosting about 4 million people every year.

Some cities, organizations, and private owners may prefer to purchase cameras so they can continuously monitor parking utilization in the parking facilities. This way, they can access parking data whenever they need it, at a moment’s notice.

EXPERIENCE, RELIABILITY, The study, which is being conducted by ACE Parking, is utilizing three systems. A camera is located at the north entrance, one at the south, and the third is located at a short-term drop-off curb to monitor pick-up and drop-off activity. The project, which began in July and will continue through September, is designed to determine peak parking times and traffic volumes at the park’s entrances and exits. The immediate purpose of the study is to help develop strategies for reapportioning parking spaces to allow the zoo to resurface and stripe the 3,011-space main parking lot to improve parking flow and operations. The results will also provide a snapshot of parking trends to allow the consultants and zoo administrators to develop short- and long-term parking plans. They will also be able to use the data to create financial models to help the zoo better manage the financial side of their parking. “The system is able to analyze real-time, daily and hourly traffic in and out of the park as well as parking lot occupancy,” says Chris Scheppmann, EnSight Technologies’ managing member; his company is providing the cameras. “Even though the study isn’t complete, we are already getting a picture of the parking and dropoff trends that the park sees every day, and throughout the weeks and months.” Traffic ingress and egress times at each entry and exit is a particularly important trend. Through the study, participants are able to determine what days and times parkers are utilizing the different ways into and out of the surface lot. Ultimately, this data will help the partners better manage the zoo’s parking resources and it will help the zoo improve traffic flow in and out of parking areas to improve local traffic patterns. “We are already starting to see some surprising results,” says Scheppmann. “Part of the study is intended to improve the zoo’s parking branding in the busiest parking areas. The assumption going into the study was that the south entrance was, by far, the busiest entrance. However, we are finding that the north entrance is almost just as busy and not as well branded. That data will help [study participants] realign the signage leading to both entrances.”

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A Step Forward The use of Intelligent Camera technology represents an important step forward for parking studies and car counts. The technology provides much more precise and targeted data, eliminates the risk of human error, and should reduce the cost of parking studies, since it doesn’t require significant staff time to conduct counts. And as the San Diego Zoo’s ongoing project demonstrates, it can be used for studies of all sizes, including large ones where many vehicles are being counted. ◆ BILL SMITH, APR, is principal of Smith-Phillips Strategic Communications and contributing editor of Parking & Mobility. He can be reached at or 603.491.4280.

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Achieving Excellence


IPMI congratulates its newest CAPPs: professionals who exemplify industry knowledge and excellence. E APPLAUD LOUDLY whenever an industry professional achieves CAPP

certification—it’s recognized worldwide as the leading credential in parking and mobility for good reason. CAPPs represent the best of the industry, advancing the profession and leading with innovation, professionalism, and expertise, and they’ve achieved a high and impressive level of knowledge and expertise. The newest CAPPs were recognized on stage at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo in Tampa, Fla., earlier this month and we present them here—please congratulate them with us!

Hannah Adeponu, CAPP





Scott C. Bauman, CAPP



Diana W. Alarcon, CAPP

LaDonna Bemus, CAPP




Jeremy R. Alleshouse, CAPP

Robert Browand, CAPP

Charley DeBow, CAPP


Cha’ssem Anderson, CAPP

Matt Davis, CAPP






Nathan Donnell, CAPP

Varena Harding, CAPP

Heather Matthews, CAPP




Jovan Douglas, CAPP

Neil Hart, CAPP




Austin Friesen, CAPP

David Horn, CAPP



Melissa Morgan, CAPP T2 SYSTEMS




Hughie C. Galbreath, CAPP

Christina M. Jones, CAPP



Jonathan Kemp, CAPP

Tavris S Parker, CAPP



Cynthia Lang, CAPP

Zachary Pearce, CAPP



Chris Lechner, CAPP

Matt Penney, CAPP




Michael D. Godfrey, CAPP

Kristen Locke, CAPP

Benito Omar Pérez, CAPP


Rodney Gomez, CAPP



Amanda Long, CAPP



Jada Hahlbrock, CAPP

Dane Lyon, CAPP






Mike Maromaty, CAPP





Elvis Reyes, CAPP

Mark Schleyer, CAPP




George Richardson, CAPP

Kyle Sergott, CAPP

Dustin J. Turner, CAPP



Casey S. Robinson, CAPP

Becky C Smyth, CAPP

Jeffrey Van Allen, CAPP




Hal Robinson, CAPP

Adrianne Spann, CAPP

Michelle Wahl, CAPP





Joshua Rossnagel, CAPP

Brandy Stanley, CAPP

Derrick Walker, CAPP




Britton Stansell, CAPP

Patrick Ward, CAPP


Mark Santos, CAPP

Josh Stone, CAPP



Philip Savino, CAPP

Michael Stumbaugh, CAPP









Rachel Young, CAPP SP+


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MIGHTIER than the SWORD By Bill Geraghty, CAPP


How LPR could have been used to bring down the Son of Sam

BETWEEN 1976 AND 1977, New York City was terrorized by a serial killer infamously

known as the Son of Sam, later to be identified as David Berkowitz. Berkowitz was responsible for the killing of six young people and wounding of seven others. In response to the killings, the New York City Police Department launched the Operations Omega Task Force to hunt down the suspect whose identity remained unknown throughout the investigation. On July 31, 1977 in Brooklyn, (the date and location of the final murder) a major break in the case occurred when an eyewitness came forward to report that police officers were writing parking tickets near the scene of the crime that evening. One of those parking tickets was issued to a cream-colored Ford Galaxie that was illegally parked in front of a fire hydrant. Authorities eventually determined that this vehicle belonged to Berkowitz. Ten days later, after working with the Yonkers Police Department, the

Omega Task Force detectives finally arrested Berkowitz. While all credit must be given to the dedicated police officers and detectives whose tireless efforts solved this case, one can’t help but wonder if modern day advances in technology, namely license plate recognition (LPR) could have been used to identify potential suspects sooner, limiting the brutality and duration of these types of pattern crimes. After all, it was a license plate on a parking ticket that eventually led to Berkowitz’s capture.


The Possibilities Fast forward to today and many parking enforcement duties have shifted away from traditional police department responsibilities. However, parking enforcement’s role in helping determine the successful outcome of a criminal investigation has not. Consider: No other individual does more routine patrols of a downtown area or college campus than a parking enforcement officer (PEO). Throughout the course of their daily routine, PEOs are continually seeing and interacting with vehicles that are parked on local streets and in off-street parking facilities. The parking industry’s shift towards license plate enabled parking (LEP) has only helped increase the frequency of these patrols thanks to the efficiencies gained by putting PEOs in vehicles equipped with LPR technology as opposed to just having PEOs on foot. LPR allows cities, universities, airports, and private operators to more efficiently enforce both paid and permit-based parking, as well as easily identify parking

scofflaws which can yield a significant increase in revenue. However, if an agency decides to just stop there, they are missing out on another huge benefit that comes from that parking agency’s use of LPR technology. Since we have already admitted that the PEOs are most routinely circulating throughout downtown areas and college campuses, these agencies should absolutely be leveraging the PEOs’ ability to provide additional insights that can help to keep communities safe – while at the same time not compromising the personal safety of that officer. This capability now exists by a technology that is known as “blind alerting.”

Crime and Cars According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, more than 70 percent of serious crimes in the U.S. involve the use of a vehicle – either before, during, or after the crime has been committed. Furthermore, a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows many property crimes in the U.S. occur in parking garages. One can quickly determine that the vehicle



What if in the 1970s, the New York City Police Department had been able to query license plates scanned within the proximity and date of each heinous act by David Berkowitz? intelligence data that is gathered through parking operations is paramount to helping support safer communities. Going back to the Son of Sam case, what if in the 1970s, the New York City Police Department had been able to query license plates scanned within the proximity and date of each heinous act by David Berkowitz? Would they have been able to generate a “common plate report” after the second or third incident that could have yielded an investigative lead earlier on and possibly prevented further violence? One can only speculate on what may have been different. The good news is that today no speculation is required. LPR data from PEOs can and should be accessible to law enforcement agencies with permissible purpose to use that information as part of a criminal investigation. Data sharing should be simple, and it should be easy to both audit and control. At the same time, the parking agency that generated that LPR data should, at all times, have full control and remain the ultimate owner of that information. They alone should decide who they share their LPR data with, and what the retention period of that information should be. Fortunately, modern day LPR solutions allow for such a scenario to exist. When discussing LPR technology, there is often a healthy debate over privacy concerns and the use of LPR data. However, one must remember that there is no personally identifiable information (PII) contained within a traditional LPR detection. Instead, the LPR detection is made up of an anonymous serious of letters and numbers, combined with geo-location and date/time stamp metadata, plus some vehicle images. Only with permissible purpose can a law enforcement agency or a parking authority query a license plate database (typically maintained within a state’s department of motor vehicles) to extract registered owner data. Therefore, the vast majority of plate data that is captured via LPR will never be tied to PII unless the vehicle owner or operator commits a crime or fails to pay an outstanding parking violation.

Real-world Results In recent times there have been many cases where LPR data that is shared by a parking agency to local law enforcement has resulted in a successful outcome. These examples include:

A city in Texas has recovered dozens of stolen vehicles by receiving real-time alerts from LPR detections that are generated by their local PEOs. As the PEOs’ LPR-equipped vehicles drive the city streets, a mirror copy of their LPR detections are seamlessly run against a hot list that is managed by the local police department—all without the PEO being alerted or distracted from their responsibility of enforcing the local parking regulations. The police department actively responds to the stolen vehicle alerts while the PEO safely continues along their enforcement route. After an Amber Alert was issued in the State of New York, a shared LPR detection from a parking lot patrol a few towns over ultimately led to a six-month old baby being located unharmed and brought home to his mother. The detection also led to the timely arrest of the child’s abductor. When a police department in Massachusetts stopped a stolen vehicle, a historical search of shared data from a private parking operation at a local mall showed a recent scan of the stolen plate. CCTV video from the mall on the date of the LPR scan also showed clear images of additional suspects that were part of a larger auto theft ring. This led to positive suspect identifications that resulted in multiple arrests. In the State of Missouri, by working with local law enforcement, a mall property owner’s decision to share their LPR data led to a huge break in a case of organized retail theft that spanned multiple properties and jurisdictions. This was also a great example of a public-private partnership between the two agencies. Whether they realize it or not, PEOs play a vital role in the safety and security ecosystem as the very nature of their job responsibilities requires them to be on constant patrols. A unified approach to LPR applications can assist local police agencies to make their communities safer while also bolstering day-to-day parking operations. The use of LPR technology in parking will only continue to increase as cities, towns, universities, airports, and private operators seek ways to increase operational efficiencies while decreasing costs. Furthermore, in a post-COVID world LPR will increase in popularity due to its ability to bolster contactless payments and frictionless parking. By leveraging the full spectrum of LPR’s benefits, these agencies will yield higher returns on their investments—all while helping to keep our communities, campuses, and facilities safe from the everyday threats that are out there. ◆ BILL GERAGHTY, CAPP, is executive vice president of sales with Scheidt & Bachmann USA. He can be reached at


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Highlights from the IPMI Blog

Return to Work–Maybe? By Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

Ready for more? Read IPMI’s blog every business day in your daily Forum digest email or at blog. Have something to say? Send post submissions to editor Kim Fernandez at

We’ve been waiting forever. The return to the office. Some already clamoring to get back to full-time life. Some deciding that stayat-home was forever. Some that just want a little bit of both. Based on projections in early summer 2021, we were all circling Labor Day as that date that we figured out the working world and went into some hybrid pattern and we’d know how everything would shake out. Then that thing we won’t talk about reared its ugly head and sent that target further into the future. Now, here we are moving deeper into the fall and things are starting to clear up. Large office and commercial tenants are refocusing that target and looking to get things moving in some fashion. So, what are we as parking professionals supposed to do? Why, get out there and innovate. It’s what we do! Now is the time to start thinking about how you want to position yourself for that return to work and how you want

to begin to create a new parking world. In Sacramento, Calif., they are using prepaid parking reservation technology and reduced daily rates to begin to provide flexible options for returning commuters. Rather than pay for an entire monthly permit, you pay for what you need. In Birmingham, Ala., they are working hand-inhand with companies to evaluate data and craft a program that works with everyone, identifying trends and adapting space to serve ever changing needs. On numerous university campuses throughout the country, they are focusing on daily parking models to account for folks who just don’t come to campus every day. The IPMI Research & Innovation Task Force is currently working to document how our industry is responding and innovating. If you or your program is trying new approaches, we want to hear about it. Email us and let us know how you’re handling that return to work.

BRETT WOOD, CAPP, PE, is president of Wood Solutions Group and co-chair of IPMI’s

Research & Innovation Task Force.


Real-life Experience with Van-accessible Parking Stalls By Diane Santiago, CAPP

As a paraplegic who drives a ramp van, whether I am driving to a hospital, college, airport, or shopping area, one of my biggest anxieties is driving to a parking facility and looking for a vanaccessible ADA stall–especially if I am driving alone. Many lots do not have sufficient accessible stalls in general, let alone van-accessible stalls. The difference between a regular ADA stall and a van stall is the size of the access area. Van-accessible stalls have an 8-foot access area and regular ADA stalls have 4-foot access areas. I’ve even been in parking lots that have no access areas next to the stall (what are the parking lot managers thinking?). In case you are unaware, the access area is important to give customers with walking disabilities extra room to open the car door or, in the case

of ramp vans, an area for the 5-foot ramp to deploy and then space for the person to exit the ramp in their wheelchair without running into the neighboring parked car. Without the access area, I am unable to exit or enter my van. Keep this in mind when restriping your lot with ADA stalls. I’m sure many of you have lots with the exact amount of regular and van-accessible ADA parking stalls required by law, but keep in mind you can always go above and beyond by adding a few extra stalls or at least additional vanaccessible stalls. The ADA community will really appreciate it. Here is a U.S. Department of Justice download explaining the required number of ADA stalls, size of the stalls and access area next to the stalls.

DIANE SANTIAGO, CAPP, is manager, landside operations, at the Port of Seattle.

The Paths to Procurement: Implementing Digital Strategies for the Future By Mollie Bolin

When city leaders are preparing to procure new or updated mobility solutions, they often ask questions such as, “How do I write a request that opens a bid up to a wider range of respondents?” “I have an urgent need–is there a way to speed up my procurement process?” Or, “Am I approved to procure through a purchasing alliance?” Every city has a unique set of parking, mobility, and enforcement needs, and with those come different approaches to procurement. The traditional RFP method is no longer the only option and over the years, the industry has started to see an increase in procurement via purchasing alliances. This trend can be attributed to a number of reasons, but most commonly, cities are leaning toward this route to increase the flexibility in what they are procuring for and speed up the overall procurement process. Many municipalities are unaware that they are already a part of (or fall under the umbrella of) an alliance. Alliances, such as the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA) and the MOLLIE BOLIN is an account executive with Passport.


Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), can offer preferred pricing and additional products and features that may not have been included in a traditional bid. Conversely, a traditional RFP may elicit responses from companies a municipality may have not expected to respond, especially if it is written with updated and accurate requirements. Whether a city opts for the traditional RFP method (like the City of Portland, Maine) or the purchasing alliance method (like the City of Chelsea, Mass., and the City of Key West, Fla.), the modern curb space continues to rapidly evolve. Now more than ever, it is vital for cities to consider re-imagining the procurement process, how their overall parking management system is structured, and what is needed to accomplish for both short- and long-term goals.

/ Verra Mobility to Acquire T2 Systems VERRA MOBILITY signed an agreement to acquire privately held T2 Systems from leading software investment firm Thoma Bravo for $347 million on a cash-free and debt-free basis, plus an additional up to $9 million related to an impending asset acquisition by a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of T2 Systems. T2 Systems is a leading provider of parking solutions in North America, with nearly $80 million in revenue and approximately $21 million in adjusted EBITDA expected in 2021. Verra Mobility will fund the all-cash transaction with a combination of current cash balances and accordion features in existing debt. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter. T2 Systems provides an integrated suite of parking software and hardware solutions to universities, municipalities, parking operators, healthcare facilities and transportation hubs. Verra Mobility plans to operate T2 Systems as a distinct business unit. “This acquisition complements our portfolio of urban mobility technology and allows us to continue growing revenue while diversifying our customer base. At just under 3.7x leverage at the end of Q3, this allows us to put our significant cash flow back to work for investors,” said David Roberts, president and CEO, Verra Mobility. “With the rapid growth of ride-sharing and last-mile delivery, cities need innovative solutions to solve traffic issues and optimize curbside management. Verra Mobility’s photo enforcement solutions coupled with T2 Systems’ parking technology will put us in a strong position to help cities adapt to these emerging complexities.” “The combination of our unified parking and mobility management platform and Verra Mobility’s expertise in intelligent trans-

portation systems will help deliver a streamlined transportation experience,” said Adam Blake, CEO, T2 Systems. “We are grateful to the Thoma Bravo team and excited to join the Verra Mobility team as we continue to innovate and improve the customer experience.” “We are proud of what we accomplished in partnership with Adam Blake and the entire T2 team over the past five years. Today the company has a broader product offering, improved operations, and a stronger base of customers,” said A.J. Rohde, a Senior Partner at Thoma Bravo. “With T2 Systems’ leading technology platform and the support of their new strategic partner, Verra Mobility, we look forward to watching T2 during its next chapter of growth as the leading provider of parking technology solutions,” added Matt LoSardo, vice president at Thoma Bravo. During Thoma Bravo’s ownership, T2 Systems significantly grew its recurring software revenue, closed two add-on acquisitions, signed an additional asset acquisition, and introduced several new products. T2 Systems serves more than 1,900 customers with a wide range of parking management solutions that includes curbside management, mobile payments, contactless transactions, and transportation demand management. The company offers a centralized, open platform covering the entire parking and mobility ecosystem. The T2 Link™ unified platform provides customers with a central source to manage their entire parking operation including third-party integrations. Shea & Company is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to T2 Systems and Thoma Bravo during the transaction.

IPMI Welcomes Kristin Vitello, CAPM, to Staff IPMI IS HAPPY TO WELCOME Kristin Vitello, CAPM, to its staff as member engagement program manager. She will work as a liaison, providing support to all of the diverse association programs and services IPMI has to offer. Vitello holds a bachelor’s degree from Widener University, is a Certified Associate in Project Management and holds a master’s certificate in applied project management from Villanova University. She has worked primarily with not-for-profit organizations in project management and educational leadership. “I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work at IPMI as the employees and volunteers are extremely passionate and enthusiastic about the industry,” she says. “I feel a strong connection with the culture and the values of this wonderful organization. One word comes to mind and that is ‘serendipity,’ a happy coincidence of good fortune that came my way. I look forward to doing great things together!”


/ Parkopedia and MXNavi to provide parking payment services to Honda drivers in China

ParkHub Launches CurbTrac in San Luis Obispo PARKHUB was selected by the

HONDA DRIVERS in China will be the first to find nearby available parking via voice assistance and pay for their parking via integrated services, as Parkopedia partners with telematics technology firm, MXNavi. The new partnership will allow the automaker to provide industry leading parking and payment solutions as part of its latest generation Honda CONNECT infotainment system. Honda will be the first automaker in China to integrate Parkopedia’s parking payment service directly into the vehicle head-unit, allowing drivers to find parking nationwide and pay for sessions at more than 6,000 parking facilities. Honda drivers will be able to pay for their parking via in-car express parking services, or through in-vehicle QR codes that are displayed on the infotainment screen. By scanning the code with their smartphone, drivers can seamlessly pay for parking with Alipay or WeChat Pay. Number plate recognition then enables seamless entry and exit for drivers. Honda CONNECT 3.0 will be installed in new models in China, debuting in the recently launched 11th generation of the Honda Civic and new Accord models, enabling software over-the-air updates (SOTA), voice recognition technology and an AI intelligent assistant. By incorporating Parkopedia’s patented dynamic parking space availability service, the in-vehicle intelligent voice assistant is able to

provide drivers with parking recommendations near their destination that are likely to be available at their estimated time of arrival. Hans Puvogel, COO at Parkopedia, said, “We are delighted to partner with MXNavi to bring Parkopedia’s dynamic parking via voice assistance and payment services for the first time to Honda drivers in China. Our combined market-leading connected vehicle management solutions allow us to ensure automakers provide drivers with seamless parking user experiences.” Sun Huaming, general manager of the Connected Navigation Division of MXNavi, said, “MXNavi is committed to providing drivers with a smart travel experience. By cooperating with Parkopedia, the leading connected car parking services provider, we reduce parking stress for drivers and create a seamless and convenient user experience as part of our digital connected services in the vehicle.” Parkopedia is partnering with a growing number of parking operators across China, helping them to reach their customers easily and providing comprehensive parking solutions for drivers. Parkopedia can either provide a deeply integrated direct payment experience using license plate recognition and automated payments with Alipay and WeChat Pay or display payment QR codes in the car for frictionless payments.


City of San Luis Obispo, Calif., to power the city’s mobile parking payment program. ParkHub’s CurbTrac platform will allow the city’s visitors and residents to easily pay for parking through multiple options, including PayByPhone, HonkMobile, ParkMobile, and IPS. “We are excited about our new partnership with ParkHub,” said Gaven Hussey, City of San Luis Obispo’s parking manager. “Our goal is to make parking at any of San Luis Obispo’s parking spaces as easy as possible. The CurbTrac platform allows us to do so by offering our customers multiple payment options.” ParkHub’s CurbTrac solution helps cities, universities, and parking operators streamline parking with flexible payment options. By centralizing data from multiple applications, the platform increases operational efficiency, promotes contactless payments, and drives revenue. “We are delighted to work with the City of San Luis Obispo and help serve the parking public through the CurbTrac solution,” said Charley DeBow, CAPP, ParkHub’s SVP of Business Development. “It’s outstanding to see destinations with so much to offer take proactive strides to improve experience and empower visitors.”

Passport welcomes Catherine Dunwoodie as VP Client Success PASSPORT announced Catherine Dunwoodie has been appointed vice president client success. In this role, Dunwoodie will be responsible for expanding a robust customer success department, ensuring operational excellence while driving clients to gain additional value from their investments in Passport’s product solutions. “I’m thrilled to announce the addition of Catherine to our organization as she fills a vital role leading our client success teams to increase customer satisfaction while expanding product integration,” said Doug Rogers, Passport CRO. “At Passport we focus on improving and

advancing the overall customer journey, and Catherine has a proven record that will help take us to the next phases of our customer-centric approach.” Dunwoodie was most recently with Paycor as senior director of strategic alliances, while previously serving as leader of client success and director for its HR Center of Excellence. Prior to that, she served in various customer-centric roles at Vantiv, EMCOR Facility Services/Viox Services and EPIC Technologies. Dunwoodie holds a B.A. from Miami University. “I’ve been impressed with Passport’s

approach to the market and this is an excellent time to join the company to drive continued growth and long-term ­customer relationships,” said Dunwoodie.


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/ ParkMobile Announces Partnership with University of Louisville, Offering Parking Reservations for Football Games ParkMobile is now offering contactless parking reservations for University of Louisville football games. This football season, students, faculty, and visitors will be able to reserve parking via ParkMobile in 500 off-street spaces in advance of games. This is the university’s first partnership with ParkMobile and will help reduce traffic congestion on gamedays. ParkMobile has over 28 million users, is available for both iPhone and Android. Reserving a parking space is quick and easy. A user can view a full list of upcoming events with all the available parking options. To

make a parking reservation, a user searches for the event venue in the ParkMobile app or website and selects the space they’d like to park in. After the user books the reservation, it can be redeemed at the location using a mobile pass in the ParkMobile app or a printed permit. Parking reservations are available for all home games this season. ParkMobile’s partnership with University of Louisville expands the company’s footprint in Kentucky, marking the ninth venue in the state. ParkMobile reservations are also used to provide a streamlined event parking experience at other venues in Lou-

isville, including the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky Expo Center. “We’re excited to welcome ParkMobile to The University of Louisville by offering the reservation feature on football gamedays,” says Gary Becker from University of Louisville. “Allowing fans to reserve parking spots prior to gameday will alleviate stress and reduce traffic on campus.” “University of Louisville is a new market for us and further grows our presence on university and college campuses” adds Jeff Perkins, CEO for ParkMobile. “The reservation tool is a great way to make attending football games as stress-free as possible, so we are delighted to welcome University of Louisville to our team.”


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State and Regional Events Calendar MARCH 2 New England Parking Council (NEPC) Municipal Forum Worcester, MA

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