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Midwest Parking Resource Forum Launched at PIE 2019; Municipal Parking Managers – Don’t Miss This Major Event

This is an event where parking managers from cities of all sizes can come together and discuss common problems and solutions. Moderated by Julie Dixon of Dixon Resources Unlimited the program mirrors similar extremely successful events she holds in Northern and Southern California. The informal discussions allow for the airing of problems and offering of solutions. Over 100 cities are expected.

Take an afternoon, bring your successes (and Failures) and discuss. Whether you are a line enforcement officer, police official in charge of parking, a parking department manager or line parking manager, this Forum is for you. Bring your managers, your senior staff, or come alone. It’s a great way to spend a Monday afternoon. Vendors, you are welcome if you want to hear how your services are seen by the people who use them.

Julie Dixon has over 27 years of parking and transportation management experience, Julie has been directly supporting municipalities throughout the United States. She has extensive knowledge and hands-on experience with the solicitation, development, deployment, operation, and maintenance of solutions ranging from municipal parking programs to automated enforcement systems.

She has been responsible for establishing policies, defining objectives and delivering on initiatives for municipalities of all sizes, working at all levels within the administration, enforcement and adjudication processes. In October 2012, Ms. Dixon founded DIXON Resources Unlimited with a goal of directly supporting municipal parking programs.

The Forum will be held in conjunction with the Parking Industry Expo on Monday, March 12, at 1 pm at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. For more information, contact Julie at julie@dixonresourcesunlimited.comor register now at www.pieshow.parkingtoday.com  Its Free.

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Do you Lack Original Thought?

We live in a world of clichés. Our businesses are surrounded by them. An article in “Fast Company” posted on Parknews.biz lists five that we use every day, and most likely use them to cover for the boss. Consider.

  1. Let’s circle back on this” – Its indecisive. It means you don’t know what to do so let’s do nothing.
  2. “We need to manage expectations” – Right – we are failing and this is a gutless way to say it. Be honest.
  3. “Let’s think outside the box” – This one is ok but needs guidance. What is the ‘box’ and what lies ‘outside.’
  4. “Let’s blue-sky it” – This is unclear. There is no box, no real scope of the discussion. The result will be vague and a lot of wasted time.
  5. “That’s not on our radar screen” – This suggests that the boss is ducking the question rather than responding to it. If it’s a good idea, then put it on the agenda or explain clearly why its not a good idea.

We use clichés freely and frankly we should consider the definition of the word: “a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.”


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Mobility is more than a Service; MaaS includes Smart Parking as well – PIE 2019

One of the highlights of the Smart Parking Symposium being held as a part of the Parking Industry Expo 2019 this March in Chicago will be a presentation by senior policy advisor Jack Opiola on Mobility as a Service.

He will bring attendees up to date on how MaaS is affecting transportation not only in the US but also in cities around the world. He will contrast and compare MaaA activity in areas as varied as Atlanta, GA and the entire country of Portugal, and describe just how MaaS differs in Europe and in the US. He will describe how in car technologies will evolve to include Mobility and how MaaS is a ‘push pull’ evolution, involving opportunities, economic growth, productivity, user choice, demands & acceptance

Jack Opiola brings over three decades of experience as a project manager, expert consultant and senior policy advisor to local, state, national and international transportation agencies and private clients in the area of advanced technology for enhanced, integrated mobility with value added Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) applications.  

He is dedicated to transforming Highway/Motorway Transportation into a sustainable funding model through “user pays ” policy and road charging by distance combined with value added services, also called Mobility as a Service. It is a 50-50 proposition – 50% technology and 50% payment and pricing platforms to manage demand and provide a common account methodology to simplify our mobile lifestyle.  Jack sees the synergistic fit of CAV and ITS through Road Charging as the creation of a rational funding mechanism to sustain transport funding into the future as well as the technological applications to integrate seamless transport for mobility from A to B and beyond.

The Smart Parking Symposium brings PIE 2109 to a close. The half day event will be held Thursday March 14 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Log on to www.pieshow.parkingtoday.com for more details and to register.

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Smart Parking Symposium Slated for PIE 2019

SA Smart Parking Symposium is scheduled for Thursday, March 14, 2019 winding up four days of the Parking Industry Expo being held March 11-14 in Chicago. This half day symposium offers parking professionals insight into the continually changing landscape of the Smart Parking and Technology. Join us to hear how cities and service providers from across the country have worked together to implement new and innovative transportation and parking policies and services.

Sponsored by Arrive, the program will include:

Mobility as a Service  – Jack Opiola will bring us up to date on how MaaS is affecting transportation not only in the US but also in cities around the world

AI and How its transforming Smart Parking and Smart Cities – Dr. Subhash Challa will walk us through the latest developments in AI and Machine Learning Principals

Michael W. Lowder, retired Director, Office of Intelligence, Security and Emergency Response will shed light on how the DOT manages transportation and security issues impacting parking in cities, airports, universities and parking operations throughout the U.S.

Making the Smart Parking Smarter

Join Verizon Smart Communities for a conversation on future-proofing your Smart City investments and to cost effectively deploy Parking, Mobility, Lighting and Public Safety solutions. The key is to protect investment with the ability to add sensors and build new features onto existing infrastructure as technology advances. 

Plus: A major presentation on “The Last Mile” and the difficulties of bringing high tech solutions to market

The Parking Industry Expo is being held March 11-14, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Find it on line at pieshow.parkingtoday.com. Contact: Eric Abel, eric@parkingtoday.com or +1 310 390 5277 ext. 1

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Please Don’t Tell Me What to Do – Colleen at PIE


Have you ever had a boss who typically barked orders and then got frustrated when the results didn’t magically appear?  We believe one, fundamental principle may be missing in this communications style:  he’s likely forgotten he’s leading adults.  

As adults, we don’t usually like to be told what to do.  No matter how big or small the ask, employees will decide for themselves whether or not a) they will actually do it and b) the degree of effort they’ll put into completing it.  There’s a leadership theory that demonstrates the ratio between quality of results and the degree of individual effort.  It illustrates well that those individuals who receive direction only will choose to basically, just show up.  They’ll exert the minimum amount of effort needed to complete the task and move on, not super concerned about their performance, or lack thereof.

On the other side of the coin, those leaders who figure out how to both align work with skill set and the best way to involve each individual to go above and beyond to reach that common goal, usually see the results they originally envisioned.  The first part is pretty straightforward: recruiters help hire people, accountants manage the finances, sales brings in new business, etc.  The second part is a bit more tricky.  It involves the leader truly understanding each personality, modifying his own communications style to be heard in equal measure around the table. 

If you want to learn more how to be that leader, in terms of influencing others to achieve your objectives, then join me for a lively discussion at this year’s PIE Show and Exhibition on March 13th where you’re learn a bit more about your own personal style and as importantly, how to read others’ profiles to best be heard, everytime.

Colleen M. Niese

Principal, Marlyn Group


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Let’s Share Data

I just read an article where some local governments are considering requiring private companies to share data they have acquired as an adjunct to their activities. Uber and Lyft are fighting the legislation.

The ne’er do wells. How dare these companies spend billions developing a business and then not give away information they have acquired to their competitors and to the local governments. How can they be so selfish?

My guess is that those promoting these ideas never had to make a payroll.

For example, in San Francisco, one of the 10 guiding principles that must be met by all mobility service providers is in the area of accountability: “Service Providers must share data for the city and public to determine the services’ benefits and impacts on transport and whether or not the services’ meet the city and county’s transport goals.” However, legislation addressing data sharing is not without controversy, as evidenced by the rules proposed by the District of Columbia:

A log of trips performed by private vehicle-for-hire operators utilizing the digital dispatch services of the private vehicle-for-hire company in the District, including, for each trip, the point of origin and destination, the date and time of pick-up and drop-off, the stationary time at pick-up and drop-off, the fare paid, whether the trip was on a private or shared service, and the number of passengers in the vehicle.4

Uber and Lyft fought against this draft legislation. Arguments on the other side were that data can be shared with a city of regional government without releasing it to competitors.

If cities want the data, fine. Let them either collect it themselves or pay for it. Uber and Lyft are using that data to refine their operations and make their services better for their customers, thus increasing their volume and then, shudder, profits.

Then there is the competitor’s issue. I have determined that I can parse my data in such a way that it helps me create a better company. My competitor has not. Am I supposed to give that information to my competition? Am I to believe that the government can keep a secret? Please…


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World of Concrete

When I tell my friends I’m attending the “World of Concrete” trade show, they usually dissolve into a spasm of laughter. What could possibly be interesting about concrete. It starts soft, it gets hard, you drive on it, end of story.

But to the 75,000 designers, consultants, craftsmen, builders, and developers that attend the event every year in Las Vegas, its something much more. Just looking at the list of seminars. The more than 170 classes cover everything from pouring to polishing, from repair to masonry, from decorative to mixing.

On display are huge machines that pump concrete hundreds of feet into the air and build roads, bridges, and yes, even parking structures.

I was fascinated when the city replaced the curbs around my block and I watched as the concrete came out of the mixer and was pumped into forms that moved with the mixer. It hardened almost instantly. I was told that this happened due to the mix of chemicals in the concrete. Pretty high tech stuff.

I’ll wander around and chat with a few folks that work with ‘mud’ and let you know what I find out.


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Your Item has Shipped

I ordered something on line. I didn’t realize I was ordering it from France. But so be it. I received the following note from the supplier:

You item has shipped.

On your tracking number, you can see that your package is shipped from China. Unfortunately, we can’t currently produce and send from France. The production, labour and storage costs are too high, and we don’t want to increase our sales prices and make you pay more. But don’t worry, our products are good quality.

Thank you for your patience and trust.

This company is apologizing for keeping costs down and ensuring you understand that the quality is high, even though its made in China. I’m not sure what this mean, but there you go

By the way, it was a shower head.


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Parking Industry Expo Updates Awards Deadline; Sponsorships Going Fast

The Parking Today Awards will be presented at the Parking Industry Expo during a special breakfast honoring the awardees. Those wishing to nominate potential awardees are welcome to go to the PIE web site, pieshow.parkingtoday.com for full details. The deadline for entry has been extended to midnight February1, 2019. More than 50 nomination have been received to date.

Nominations may be made by individuals, organizations, or commercial entities. The process is not complicated and is free. Winners and finalists will be promoted not only at PIE but also in upcoming Issues of Parking Today.

Five simifinalists in each category will be announced in late February. The winners will be presented at a special breakfast at 9 AM on Tuesday March 12, immediately preceding the opening of the Exhibition floor.

Awards categories include Customer Service Excellence, Technical Innovation, Best New Parking Structure, Sustainability, and Lifetime Achievement. Sponsorships for three of the five categories have already been taken. Organizations interested in sponsoring should contact Marcy Sparrow at marcy@parkingtoday.com. The final list of sponsors will be announced the week of January 21, 2019.

The Parking Industry Expo is being held March 11-14, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Find it on line at pieshow.parkingtoday.com. Contact: Eric Abel, eric@parkingtoday.com or +1 310 390 5277 Ext 1

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Yikes – 24 Hours is All You Have To Hire the Best – Take Recruitment to the Next Level at PIE 2019

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced job growth of 312,000 positions in December.  Two sectors with notable growth included Food Service and Retail – industries that parking competes with for top talent.   This makes the need for speed in hourly talent acquisition efforts more important than ever.  Imagine yourself in a foot race with competing companies to get in front of and hire top candidates first.

Initial candidate screening and the interview process are common drag points that can slow down recruitment efforts allowing talent to slip away to the competition.  Speed things up with a few changes to the process:

  • Make initial contact with candidates via text instead of phone or email.  This often gets a faster response and the success rate at actually speaking with a candidate quickly for initial screening will increase exponentially.
  • Establish a group interview program, so you can evaluate more candidates simultaneously and eliminate rounds of interviews and time involved meeting with each candidate one on one.  A huge side benefit of this approach is that when done well, this process allows for a more authentic evaluation of each candidate.

During my presentation at this year’s PIE Show and Exhibition on March 12th I talk specifically about tactics you can use to improve your hourly workforce talent acquisition processes, so you can fill open positions and focus on other priorities in your business.  Join me for this interactive session and take your recruitment efforts to the next level!

24 Hours.  That’s it.  Top hourly candidates will only last in your pipeline this long once they apply if they don’t hear from you.  If hiring frontline associates is a challenge for your organization, then attending this session at PIE is a must!  I will share both strategy and practical tips on hiring practices to ensure your process is productive and yields finalists you want to hire.  I will show you easy, fast ways to promote your employer brand, interview for both technical skills and behavioral traits and evaluate the finalists so you hire the right talent every time.  At the end of this session, you’ll be able to immediately put in play those best practices that change the hiring challenge to opportunity!

Victoria L. Pero

Principal, Marlyn Group


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