Parking Plans and Schemes

In Uttlesford, near Saffron Walden, Essex, England, the latest parking headline reads “Cashless Parking Scheme Launched Across Uttlesford.” The area’s district council has taken on the latest in technology at the urging of residents and business owners.

It interests me how the English use the word “scheme” to mean “plan,” while in the United States, a “scheme” is most decidedly a venture of some crookedness, but that’s neither here nor there. This scheme is an honest one with honest intentions toward easing parking for locals.

Cllr Robert Mitchell, NEPP Joint Committee Chairman, said: “We are pleased to make hassle free cashless car parking payment available to Uttlesford’s residents and visitors. Online transactions for a host of daily essentials are the norm for many, so adding parking to the list is good news.”

The plan is comprehensive too, with payment options including a smartphone app, online portal, text or phone call. Users can manage their account online and add time to their meter from anywhere they get cell or internet service.

It’s hard to imagine parking with such ease, but if it works in Uttlesford, it can work anywhere.

Read the article here.

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Last Call for PIE Exhibitors!!!

We are going to press with the program for PIE 2014.  It will be distributed at the trade event plus sent to 18,000 parking professionals.  If you want to be included in the program, you must that’s MUST secure your booth NLT Monday Morning.

Call Carol at 310 390 5244 ext 8


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Permit Parking Restricts Residents, Too

People will do a lot to protect their parking – they’ll even shoot themselves in the foot. Residents in a Portland neighborhood are considering permit-only parking regulations for their streets to fend off parkers from a nearby rail line. For now it’s just the TriMet employees working on the line who are parking in the residential area, but the competition for space will only get tougher when the rail line is finished, and locals don’t want to be pushed off their own roads.

I don’t think they’ve ever experienced resident-only parking restrictions or they wouldn’t be looking at this as a solution. ‘Resident only’ means you, your friends and your family are going to meet with considerable inconvenience when they want to stop by for dinner or spend the night. And it’s only a matter of time before someone you care about gets a ticket on your street, not to mention the 4 times a year you will forget to hang your permit in your window.

Brookly neighbors are considering enrolling in a neighborhood permit system. They would tax themselves $60 per year for a permit to park near their own houses. Anyone else parking in the area without a permit would get tickets.

What makes more sense to me is a 2, 3, or even 4-hour limit on weekdays during normal business hours. Commuters will be limited by the rule and will use the lot provided them instead of parking in the residential area.

It’s always a muddle to my why people want their privileges to be diminished so those same privileges can be withheld from someone else.

Read the article here.


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Validate On Street Parking –

Brandy Stanley in Las Vegas has always been cutting edge and her on street parking program is no different. Not only has she installed pay by space in Sin City, but also a program for locating Lunch Trucks (a phone app) and other sundry features.

One of the larger law firms in the city came to her and said that wanted to pay for their clients on street parking. The word ‘no’ not being in her vocabulary – unless she doesn’t want to do it  — she sat out to ‘make it so.’

In the area around the firm’s offices, the Pay by Space machines have a little sign that tells parkers if they are going to a certain law firm, to simply remember their space number and give it to the receptionist in the lobby.  She then goes on line and pays the parking fee for the client. Neat, huh?

It won’t work unless you are pay by space, but there you go.

Brandy tells me they are busy in Las Vegas. Her staff is not only running parking in the public lots, but in some private ones, too.  She says that she doesn’t solicit this business and explains that her charges are higher than the private sector, but a number of off street owners seem to trust her operating expertise.  She is also in negotiations to take over enforcement in the city of North Las Vegas.

In her spare time, she is fighting a class action law suit that concerns the turning off of parking meters when there is no parking fee required. She tells me that the streets are well signed, and people who have driving licenses are required to be able to read. Plus, she points out, when she shuts the meters down, she gets innumerable calls complaining that the meters are broken. Go Brandy.



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Super Bowl Parking Always Makes the News

The big game is just days away, and already, stories about parking on Super Bowl Sunday are filling the news. It’s not just the congestion around the area that will make it hard for everyone to park – residents and football fans alike; it’s not just the happy limo drivers who say they expect a lot of business and tell the public the best way to avoid the pre-game parking quagmire is to give them a call; and it’s not just team sustainable encouraging everyone to use public transit to get to the stadium. There’s also the crazy crew selling fake tickets to the game and fake passes for the parking lot.

Two Philadelphia men were just charged with selling fake Super Bowl tickets and parking passes. According to the article:

Police recovered 59 counterfeit tickets at Daniels’ Queens apartment Monday, including 36 Super Bowl tickets, eight stadium parking passes, 12 tickets to the NFL Honors Party at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan and three tickets to the NFL Commissioner’s Party at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, said NYPD Lt. Chris Fasano, who headed the investigation following a tip from NFL’s security division last month.

Every year Super Bowl-goers break records for the price paid to park near the stadium. Every year the people who live near the game site get creative and sell parking privileges on their lawns and in their garages for a premium. Every year somebody does something illegal to make a buck off Super Bowl Parking.

It’s the biggest game of the year and parking mania is the second act. Go team.

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I fought the law, and the law won

An Australian man recently got a $110 ticket for stopping at a yellow curb for 3 seconds. He was letting some family members out of the car outside of a local shopping mall. Now he’s shocked and appalled. According to the article:

Greg Bahr said he didn’t see a council officer, but received a $110 fine in the mail.

“There’s two lanes there and an island,” Mr Bahr said.

“Where I stopped there’s no way you’re creating a hazard and everybody was doing it.

“I was there for three seconds, put my blinkers on, and they hopped out – a $110 fine for stopping for three seconds.

People are always shocked when enforcement officials don’t agree with their idea of “not hurting anyone.” But breaking the law is breaking the law.

I’m not saying I agree with the policy of ticketing people who need a place to unload passengers and can’t find one – the mall should consider that accommodating these shoppers instead of punishing them will bring in a lot more money. But I also don’t agree with people who break the law and act like a victim when the fine rolls in.

In this case, the law won and the shopper lost. The mall might lose, too, if it’s patrons decide it’s too much trouble to get inside. The win-win is a legal loading zone.

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A New Approach to Campus Parking Congestion

At California State University, Northridge, parking officials are hoping to reduce traffic congestion with the Zipcar program. The program offers rental cars to be used from the campus for about $8 per hour. According to the article:

“The program is meant to benefit CSUN students as well as faculty and staff in lowering gas emissions, parking congestion and [it] encourage[s] students that do drive to take public transit,” said Natalie Torlano, vice chair of environmental affairs for Associated Students.

The plan is that students who need to use a car during their school day will take public transit to campus and rent a car from there instead of driving their own car. The rental fees include gas, insurance and a mileage deal of 180 miles a day.

The university is trying several tactics to address parking problems. It offers shuttle service, and students are offered a significant parking permit discount for the shuttle lot. And engineering students at CSUN are working on a smartphone app that directs students to available parking.

“All of these programs are supported by the university in order to prevent building new structures that would in turn increase parking fees. State law prohibits educational funds from being used for anything but student tuition, parking has to support itself.”

I think this is a great idea. I know I could have used a rental car a hundred times when i was an underclassman living on my university’s campus. It’s great to see an organization get creative when it comes to solving its budget and parking issues.

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No overnight parking violators will be prosecuted

The headline above is the exact wording on a sign in a parking lot for Stewarts in Frankfort, NY.

At the convenience store in Frankfort, the sign doesn’t seem to be causing any trouble, officials said. Stewarts spokeswoman Maria D’Amelia said the way the sign is designed is an attempt to keep things simple. “It’s pretty standard phrasing for this type of sign,” she said. “We would expect that it’s understood what it means.”

The way its written it can only mean one thing. If you park overnight, you won’t be prosecuted.  Period.  How can it mean anything else.

Although, assuming the last sentence in the quote above is accurate, maybe it can.


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Off on a Trek

The next two weeks will be full of airports and hotels for me. I am joining Marilyn Etheridge at our upcoming “meet and greet” cocktail parties to introduce the Parking Industry Exhibition to folks in Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. Unfortunately I have a commitment I couldn’t break during the Houston event so I won’t be at that one. The dates are:

Jan 21 — Atlanta

Jan 22 – Houston

Jan 28 – Washington DC

Jan 30 – Chicago

Feb 5 – Los Angeles

We will have cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and lots of good talk.  The events are being held in the early evening, usually 6-8 pm. Marilyn and I will be full of information about PIE 2014, the networking, the seminars, the exhibits and yes even the St. Patrick’s Day party. We already have over 200 attendees signed up for the five meet and greets but room for some more. If you want to join us, you need to contact Marilyn ( and she will be sure you get an invite.

See you and Delta Air Lines around the next couple of weeks.



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Jan 24 Last Date to be Listed in PIE 2014 directory!!!

Carol tells me that there are only a few booths left for PIE 2014.  If you are planning to exhibit, you should contact her now.  There are two reasons for that.

1. Be included in the show issue of Parking Today. Not only is it the formal show program, but it will be sent to 20,000 parking pros nationwide.  Don’t be left out.  Deadlines for the show issue is next week. You must sign up by Jan 24 to be included in the program.

2 Get the best possible location on the show floor.  There are only a few good ones left.

Contact Carol today


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