Jim Hunnicutt — RIP

I received the release below from the IPI on the passing of Jim Hunnicutt.  I didn’t know Jim well. I ran into him at various conferences but he struck me as a true gentleman. He seemed to seek me out and chat, if only for a few minutes. He had great stories about the origins of the parking industry and his involvement. Jim Hunnicutt was a legend, a true parking professional. I will miss him.

IPI founder James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, passed away on September 6, 2012. He remained active since IPI’s founding in 1961, even attending the 50th anniversary IPI Conference & Expo in Phoenix this year.

Jim Hunnicutt was a pioneer in parking and transportation, and began his career in Chicago after graduating from the Yale Bureau of Highway Traffic in 1954 and earning a degree in civil engineering from Auburn University in 1950. He continued from Chicago to Nashville, Tenn., where he became general manager of the Nashville Parking Board.  While in Nashville, he became one of the founders of the International Municipal Parking Congress (now IPI). Jim served as president of IPI and was selected as Parking Man of the Year in 1976.

After Nashville, he went to Maryland, serving as chief of the Montgomery County Bureau of Parking, which was the second largest municipal parking authority in the nation at that time. He then began his private consulting practice in 1966. His company merged with Allan Davis Associates in 1995, which is now a division of Tighe & Bond Consulting Engineers, from which he retired.

Jim ran his private practice, Hunnicutt & Associates, Bethesda, Md., for more than 30 years. There, he specialized in parking services that included some of the world’s largest airports, including O’Hare in Chicago, SeaTac in Seattle, Baltimore/Washington International, Dallas’ Love Field, Pittsburgh International Airport, Schiphol in Amsterdam, Frankfurt am Main Airport, and many more. He also redesigned the then-new Fleet Center parking for the Boston Celtics.

Jim had an overriding belief in the essential nature of parking. He believed that cars and providing spaces for cars was fundamental to a nation’s growth and the American dream.  Providing spaces for a family’s car was providing space for the family and their growth.  Parking was a family issue to Jim–an opportunity to provide a way for a family to know where it was going. The car opened the way for the freedom of a mobile society and he believed that as parking professionals, we provide a safe space for families and their destinations.

In 2002, Jim was presented Auburn University’s Outstanding Alumnus Award for Civil Engineering. That year, he was also named one of Alabama’s top 10 living civil engineers of all time by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Alabama Chapter, in honor of its 160th anniversary. Jim authored technical articles for a number of different publications. He also penned the parking chapter in two separate editions of the Transportation Engineering Handbook, as well as two chapters of IPI’s Parking 101. He spoke at numerous parking conventions and technical meetings, testified before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives while considering parking legislation, and lectured on traffic and parking at six colleges and universities.

James M. Hunnicutt’s contributions to the parking industry cannot be overestimated.  He was a charismatic, personable, and funny person who traveled to more than 300 countries during his lifetime. He was a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Navy in the Philippines, a patriot, and a loving father.

He will be deeply missed.

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