Magazine

After 20 years in the parking business ...

Some things I've learned:

By David R. Fairbaugh

* Everyone thinks they have a right to free parking.
* No one ever got a parking ticket they deserved.
* Every woman whose car is "booted" is a single mother late to pick up her child and has no money.
* I have never been able to adequately define what the media refer to when they cite the dreaded "parking hassles."
* Parking is the only business I can think of where cities openly compete with the private sector.
* In most small and mid-size cities, you could rename "on-street" parking to "restaurant server" parking.
* City-hired parking consultants are often no more than well-paid researchers who provide data to support the desired conclusion.
* The better the marketing, the larger the operator.
* If colleges didn't subsidize parking, they could cut the number of vehicles on-campus by half.
* The same thing is true for hospitals.
* It is impossible for the owner of a Corvette (or Porsche) to park in one parking space.
* Poorly paid parking attendants can make great money.
* Anyone who tows a trailer into a parking garage should be checked for the common-sense gene.
* Car dealers never tell their customers that the brand-new mega-SUV they just bought will not fit into a normal parking garage.
* There is no such thing as a "garage-stretcher"-- for above-noted irate mega-SUV customer.
* After installing a new maximum-height clearance bar, you will receive at least a dozen phone calls for you to raise it "because it hit my vehicle."
* A Ford Expedition is considered by its owner a "compact car" when jammed into a compact parking space.
* Access cards make lousy pacifiers, dog chew toys, ice scrapers, etc.
* There is no such thing as "Free Parking."

David R. Fairbaugh of Preferred Parking Service, Charlotte, NC, is Parking Manager for Lowe's Motor Speedway. An IPI award winner and NPA CPFM, he has a patent pending for CyberPark, the industry's first interactive parking selection and enrollment Web site.

Article Abstract from January, 2006




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