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Parking and Transportation – Blend Seamlessly or Afterthought

I was wandering around my local metro stop taking pictures for the cover of the upcoming issue of PT and was struck by how important it is that parking blend seamlessly into rapid transit. Cars are as much a part of the transit infrastructure as are trains, buses, scooters, Uber, bicycles, and feet. We are just ignored. And its time something was done about it.

The July issue of PT is our “Transportation” issue. In researching this topic I have attended events in Amsterdam, the UK, Las Vegas and Atlanta, one focusing the collection and transfer of money, another about Mobility as a Service (MaaS and two more with speakers who think they know about transportation.  In all cases Parking was greatly underrepresented.

However if you go to Rapid Transit stops in suburbia, and even some in downtown areas, there will be considerable parking. The goal, it would seem, should be to make the parking part of the commute as seamless as the train, bus, or uber part so commuters are attracted to rapid transit and out of their cars for the long haul. It may be difficult to get them out of their cars for the 20 minute drive to the station, but perhaps easy to entice them onto the train.

To do that, you need to work with the parking industry to create an environment where drivers want to park and ride. Which brings me to the topic of this blog:

As they said in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, “Don’t Panic.” PT is not dropping our main topic, that is parking. What I hope to do is place parking where it belongs, as a part of the transportation infrastructure. Whether its technology, operations, or the planning that must go into parking as a part of transportation, its time we moved from an afterthought to a headline.

Some think we know a bit about parking here at PT, but what do we know about transportation and how it relates? Well, not a hell of a lot, but we are learning fast. We are attending trade events, listening to presentations, asking for content, and hopefully beginning to understand just why we are outsiders, and how to get inside.

July will be our first attempt – Let me know what you think. Is this a good idea? Or should we dump it on the scrap heap of history and like the wise shoemaker,  “Stick to our Last.”

JVH

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