A fellow in Omaha got a ticket for parking there on Saturday (He’s not handicapped) and a judge threw it out. Here’s the deal — It’s always a handicapped parking space, but between 8:30 AM and 5PM M-F there is a three hour limit. At other times there is no limit.
But unfortunately that is not what it says. The city says it has changed the signs a number of times in the past few years but has never been able to come up with a solution. They are going to try two signs next. I’m sure that will solve the problem.
How about trying this:
This is always a Disabled Parking Spot
Between 8:30 AM and 5 PM M-F
They can park for 3 hours only.
All other time, the Disabled
can park as long as they like.
So if someone held a gun to my head and said “spell Cincinnati, or die,” then I’d be dead. You can’t always rely on spell check, but it saved me today, and I can finish this post.
Some other good news related to Cincinnati is that its honorable Judge Robert Winkler has delayed the leasing out of the city’s parking garages, lots and meters pending a vote from its residents. It’s a $92 million parking plan, and the city needs the money yesterday, however, it seems correct to have the locals decide. Maybe they will vote “yes,” maybe they will vote “no,” but they ought to have a say in the situation. I like to see a government official acknowledge the value of the vote.
Read the rest of the article here.
Cincinnati’s city council was trying to push the plan through using an “emergency” exemption and says more than 300 firefighters and police officers will have to be laid off if the parking plan is not carried out.
It’s typical of a government entities to threaten the services we see as most critical in order to get their way. Too bad the people can’t vote on which government employees will get the axe – I bet few would miss the city council.
Michael has send in a piece on “What the Steamship and the Land line can tell us about the Decline of the Private Car.” You can read it here. Basically it says that all technology has a shelf life and just as the buggy whip, the sailboat, and the telephone land line, private cars will slowly fade away.
Let’s take a look at the article’s examples. The steamship replaced the sail boat because technology gave us something that would cross the seas faster and safer. However we didn’t stop crossing the seas, in fact I’m certain that the gross tonnage of freight carried by steamship has far outreached that carried by sail. Boats are still there, they provide the same service, but they do it with a different technology.
The telephone land line is similar. Cell phones replace a landline but they don’t replace people communicating with one another. We could say that landlines replace telegraph lines, or for that matter, smoke signals or the Pony Express. It didn’t replace communications, just the way we do it.
The difference between private cars and say mass transportation is related to freedom of choice. The car means that I can go anywhere I want any time I want. I’m not restricted by train schedules, bus schedules, or the like.
Much of the freedom we enjoy is related to the use of private vehicles. How I purchase food, where I work, when I work, what entertainment I enjoy, where I can spend time in recreation, are all related to the private vehicle. How much time I can spend arguing over a particular topic is directly related to whether I have to catch the last bus or train, or whether I can simply drive home when the discussion is completed.
The economics of my life is related to my ability to go shopping in big box stores and get the benefits of scale. I can pop down to the supermarket, maybe five miles away, and save on my purchases. A can of tuna fish costs a lot less at Ralph’s than at a 7-11.
So unless we see a paradigm shift in how society lives its life — which many social scientists are attempting as we speak – the need for private transportation will continue and the need for individuals to have places to park it.
That’s not to say that the private car won’t change. Compare a Model T to a Toyota Camry and you can see a huge difference. However the actual use of the vehicle has changed little.
Which begs the question, is the freedom that private vehicles give us a good thing. You will note that most people who want to do away with them live in urban centers. So they can easily walk to the market, the concert, or the ball game. Public transportation is ubiquitous and cheap.
However if I live 50 miles out of town and want to go to a concert, ball game, or even the supermarket, what now?
Will the private vehicle change — yep — it will become self driving, it will become less polluting, it will become more comfortable and safer. It may even fly. But just as the steamship and the cell phone, I’ll just bet that the reason for its existence will survive the technology shift.
The Parking Industry Exhibition 2014 will return to its home at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare adjacent to Chicago’s International Airport and across the street from the Stephens Convention Center which housed the event this year.
Although the event was a great success we decided to move back for a number of reasons.
1. PIE 2012 seemed crowded at the Hyatt because we didn’t have access to the hotel’s grand ballroom. IN 2014 and for the next two, we have reserved 21000 square feet of carpeted 23 foot ceiling floor space for PIE. So we will have the same amount of space in the same shape as 2013.
2. With all events in the hotel, it will be much easier for attendees to network. Seminars will be a short escalator ride away, restaurants and bars are inside the building, and there will be no need to walk ten minutes to get from seminars, exhibits, and your hotel room.
3. The hotel has many different sizes of meeting, seminar, and lecture halls that more closely meet the needs of PIE’s educational component.
4. The grand ballroom is located adjacent to the loading docks so vendor personnel can easily bring their exhibit equipment into the hall. For those with hand carry ‘drop off’ its less than 75 feet from the curb to the exhibit hall entrance.
4. The entire exhibit hall is carpeted so there will be no expense for exhibitors for carpeting (not a small amount).
5. The foyer area outside the exhibit hall is conducive to receptions and networking events.
The goal of PIE is to put people who want information about parking together with people who have that information. By having all activity in the same building with the hotel rooms, it means that more time is available to everyone for that informal and formal networking activity.
See you at the Hyatt March 16-19, 2014.
I know I’ve been remiss in getting information about the 2013 edition of the Parking Industry Exhibition out to you but there you go. I felt that my quotes might be a little too self serving, so I waited until we got some reaction from exhibitors and attendees.
More than 900 parking professionals turned up at the Stephens convention center in Chicago two weeks ago. Over 600 were attendees and 300 exhibitor personnel. They attended more than 40 seminars, addresses, receptions, and exhibit activities over the three days.
Here are some of the comments we have received:
“PIE was executed flawlessly with each audience in mind. As an exhibitor, we appreciated the attention spent ensuring that vendors and clients had ample time to interact and knowledge share — Also Mixers were a blast.”
“Quality attendees. Quality booth space, Quality Staff. We love PIE!”
I was pleased with the quality of the educations sessions and especially how they were scheduled so as not to coincide with exhibit hours.”
“Very good international traffic”
PIE 2013 provided us with an excellent opportunity to develop relationships with parking professionals and stay abreast of the latest parking industry trends. ”
The relationships that are good for our business are always solidified here at the PIE show.”
“PIE has the intimacy of a regional show but the traffic of a national show.”
“PIE show brought in great, high quality professionals. The show was very well organized with great content in the general sessions, with both relevant topics and knowledgeable speakers. The venue was great fit for the show. ”
“Boot camp was a great orientation of all the nuances of the parking industry. Meeting several ‘competitors’ was actually very beneficial for advancing our enterprise.
“This was our first year at the PIE show. We were very pleased with the amount of contacts we were able to make. We very much look forward to attending more PIE shows in the future.”
“PIE gives us a unique chance to learn more about our customer’s concerns with substantive learning session and many opportunities to talk with parking managers in an open and relaxed environment, ”
“The PIE show managed to provide an effective way to learn more about parking and what’s happening in the industry. Its a great place to dig deeper into the needs of parking managers.
“The location is the key. The other shows are coastal, PIE is easily accessible. There are more opportunities to meet people from all over the country.:
There you have it. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
See you in Chicago on St. Paddy’s Day next year. Why would you want to be anywhere else?
It’s hard to imagine a place with more parking than the Las Vegas area. Every casino and venue offers parking for millions. I don’t know how there could be parking issues in that city, except maybe the finding of a large gypsy compound tucked into one of the back corners of the Bellagio garage.
But there are parking issues including this technology and equipment blunder. Read more.
In 2012, thousands of tickets issued in City Centre Place office building (not on the strip) were successfully contested. Enforcement officers there had to print a manifest detailing who had paid and who had not, but by the time they finished printing and wrote tickets, parkers had paid. Many tickets were cancelled.
City officials want to make parking easier and write fewer tickets so there are changes in the works including new meters and more payment options.
It doesn’t matter what kind of system you put in place – in any given endeavor – if you don’t walk through the process you’re going to have problems. My question is, how was this issue not foreseen?
New street signs in Manhattan have revealed a whole lot about what the average parker needs in terms of the language and design of a parking sign, as well as attitudes toward current signage, however paranoid they may be:
City Councilman Dan Garodnick began agitating for simpler signs in 2011 because his constituents (quite reasonably) had been grousing about them. We asked Garodnick if any of these angry drivers felt the city was intentionally trying to trick them, to which he replied: “Yes yes yes yes yes! That was part of the sadness of all of it – that people actually think that the city is deliberately trying to confuse them in order to give tickets. And that perception alone is a problem.”
Read more here.
“Jargon” is a word that defines 1. the language, especially the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group; 2. unintelligible or meaningless talk or writing; gibberish; 3. any talk or writing that one does not understand; 4. pidgin; or5. language that is characterized by uncommon or pretentious vocabulary and convoluted syntax and is often vague in meaning.
Except for “pidgin,” all of these definitions describe what people think of street signs. Of course, the signs make sense to parking professionals, but they can be gibberish to the rest of us. And because we are fined for not understanding this gibberish, we begin to think the situation is unfair, or even malicious.
Parking professional who create signage know exactly what they are saying, I’m sure, but don’t always convey what they mean. If they do convey what they mean, they sometimes do it in a way that confuses everyone else. The worst mistake you can make with regards to any communication, is to assume that it has occurred. And I’d like to say I made that up, but it was one of my college professors.
I once saw a sign outside an auto mechanic’s garage. It said:
“No parking, trespassers will be violated.”
Maybe they meant it, and maybe they didn’t, but I think the writer should stick to fixing cars. There may never be a perfect parking ordinance sign and there certainly will always be people too dumb to understand even the simplest directions, but there’s still room for improvement.
We’re just going to call Chillicothe a very, very small town. I’ve been reading about its city leaders’ plan to remove 47 downtown spaces and add two lanes to Main Street. Read more here.
The residents and business owners are up in arms over the parking, but city officials say several of its intersection have become extremely dangerous. Not only are accidents there higher than the national average, but the federal government is somehow paying for 80 percent of the improvement, and that’s an offer nobody could refuse.
Forty-seven spaces lost is probably a lot in a town of 1,500 – just like four lanes must seem like a a pretty wide street, or in the words of one Chillicothian:
“….Bruce Arnold also questioned the project, saying four lanes would create “a speedway” for motorists.”
I briefly lived in a city that had one stop light. These days I live in an area where 8 lanes is no big deal and 4 is normal. Small towns are nice, but big ones are just as nice. Either way, it goes to show parking issues are found everywhere and on every scale imaginable.
My buddy Dennis Burns over at the IPI Blog is talking today about how to change the topic when the media comes after you about parking issues. He says that we should take a positive tone and refer to all the great accomplishments parking has made. He refers to a briefing card prepared by the IPI that gives potential answers to questions from a hostile media. Fair enough.
Unfortunately, the briefing card speaks from the point of view of the parking industry, and not from the point of view of our customers.
It speaks to technology, to the need for more parking professionals involved in parking decisions, it blames garage design for backups at exit, notes that parking tickets aren’t punitive, and so forth. You can read it for yourself here.
What if we stepped back and looked at this from the point of view of the person parking, not from the point of view of the person who runs the garage.
The parkers frankly don’t care if some hotshot designer didn’t work on the garage, they just care that they had to wait. They don’t care that the technology they used to pay was world class, they want to know where the money went. They don’t really care for the reasons they got a citation, they just know they didn’t like it.
Its like talking about a new radar system Delta is using on its 777 when their passengers are asking about surcharges for baggage.
I just think we may be missing the message. If I could be sure the money made from parking actually went to pay for streets or parks of police, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad about renting a few square feet of space for $5 an hour. If I could see the results of the technology (like wayfinding red/green lights) then maybe I would feel better about my parking experience. If the solution to the long lines was a different way to collect the money and it was instituted, then the lines would go away and I wouldn’t be concerned about it.
Parkers care about the moment. They care about the few minutes they take paying, they care about the instant they receive the citation, they care about how easy or difficult it was to park or whether the space was available.
I know the Delta passenger doesn’t want the plane to crash, but some things are assumed. It they worried about that they never would get on the plane.
When we talk about fancy technology or reasons for citations or why you have to pay, we are talking to ourselves. I don’t think we are talking to our customers.
Sure they hear us, but does it make any difference. In the blog responses below, writers note that parking makes money, a lot of money, and that most people don’t care about anything and won’t change.
I’m a little more optimistic that than. People may not be able to change, but they can understand, and feel better about the process. Our streets are better because I paid for parking. Or better, money from this parking operation helped pay for the new wing on the Children’s Hospital. If my first citation was a warning, maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad when I got the real one next time.
By talking about what we are “going to do” or “it would be great if we did” it means nothing. If your garage is dark, light it. If people back up, fix the problem, if its dirty clean it.
There are cities out there that really work to get their parking problems solved. I have been to universities where they worry about the most minor problems and then solve them. They communicate with their customers and it makes a difference.
I know that these issues are difficult. But problems like this are solved at the neighborhood level. Sweeping rules don’t work everywhere. We need to think globally, but act locally.
If I change the tone of the discussion with the media, the discussion is still there, and the reporter feels stonewalled. He knows that he has personally experienced parking issues and wants answers.
Know your facts. Know your community. Know where the parking problems are and what is being done to solve them. If nothing is being done, say so. Then go out and solve the problems. One by one. Bit by bit. Things only get better when you take action.
Paul certainly hit a nerve in the post below. Five responses in a day is a new record, I think. Its probably because he is right. Clyde wants a ‘user fee’ but why should I care if all the money just goes into the ‘general fund.’ User fees pay for the service, however cities treat the money like a tax.
Read the one before, about the money collected in DC. Think about it. Potentially a billion dollars in one major city. We talk about how much is collected, but not about where its spent. Hmmmmm. Do we even know.
Sorry, Charlie, but organizations need to walk the walk, and stop all the talk. Communicate with the customers, the parkers, and stop fretting over ‘policy, “sustainability,” and technology. Where are the stories about how the money goes to the sidewalks, or the police, or the parks and rec. I don’t see any. I see self serving articles about what the organization is doing, not what you are doing in State College, or what someone else is doing in Peoria or Denver or Seattle. Wearing cute little pins doesn’t make “parking matter.” Stop talking about how good parking is or whining about how no “parking professionals” are at the policy table. Start telling the story about how the money generated makes for a better city, a better park, a better wing on the hospital.
Of course, the money has to go for that stuff to be able to tell that story, doesn’t it? Does it in your town?
Remember that one of the three legs on Don Shoup’s parking theory is to ‘return the money to the neighborhood from whence it came.’ Everyone is all hot to talk about the success of SF Park (heh) but who talks about how the money generated is going back into Cow Hollow or the Tenderloin to make Baghdad by the Bay a better, cleaner, safer city.
They aren’t because the money is going to try to keep the SFMTA afloat. So the people don’t care — they still want free parking, and hate it when they have to pay for it.
Go Paul. Keep it coming…