Is Parking Back?


Is Parking Back?

Is parking back? Will the recovery be a “V” or a lopsided “S”? The answers to these questions mean jobs, profit, and, in some cases, survival. Parking Today reached out to industry leaders and received encouraging news. In some cases, it was counterintuitive.

An owner in Chicago, for instance, is seeing parking in his facilities at 65 percent of normal. Not too shabby considering that two months ago it was in the single digits. This is in the face of only about 35 percent of the office workers that feed his garages have returned to work. “It’s fear of riding the trains,” he said. Many of those coming to work are driving and helping in the garage occupancy.

The vast majority of workers in downtown Chicago ride the Metra. And most of them, who are coming to work, are now driving. “We have companies we have never heard of calling up and asking for parking spaces.”

Of course, his garage in Galveston that supports the cruise ship industry is a different story. “We haven’t parked a car since March, and probably won’t until the fall.”

Chicago’s experience may be different from Los Angeles, where rapid transit is not so pervasive, however operators, particularly in the hospitality end of the spectrum are seeing an uptick. We are told that high-end destination hotels near the beach are selling out and people aren’t taking Uber and Lyft, but driving themselves, and that’s good news for the valet industry. Hotels that cater to the business traveler don’t see the same kind of increase. They will be slower to rebound.

Smarking reports the following: The rebound is happening slowly but surely. Miami commuter parking was back to almost 70 percent of same time last year, Austin 60 percent+, Boston 60 percent, Chicago 50 percent+; On street parking has been back to 50 percent for
4 weeks nationwide, and online parking searching is back to
50 percent.

The bottom dropped out on the 15th of March. We are now four months into this (I know it feels like four years) and things are turning around. If we can just keep our betters from screwing it up, we will come out just fine.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it’s the ‘little things’ that really get under your skin? Minor inconveniences or simply things that catch your attention that bug you. For instance:

When I sit in our living room, I look out the window and see a short palm tree. One of the fronds is yellow and dying. It needs to be cut off. I have been staring at it for months and thinking about it, but have done nothing. The other day I put down my book, got a saw, and went out and cut the damn thing off. Took maybe four minutes. Now I can look out my window and not see that damn frond. My world is a better place.

For at least the past three years, my shower has had a slow running drain. I have tried everything – you know, snakes, Drano, clearing out hair, and nothing seemed to help. Finally, it got so bad I couldn’t clear it and I called a plumber. Half an hour and $75 later and I have a clear running drain. No water backing up, no standing in soapy water. Life is good. I actually stand there and watch the water circle the drain. It’s wonderful. Why didn’t I call the plumber three years ago?

We have a princess flower tree in our back yard. It has been leaning over so badly I have had to tie it up to the garage, but it was still leaning and looking like it should be removed. Finally, I simply took a board, placed it under a branch, and now it is getting straighter. Once a week I move the board a bit and by the end of summer, I’ll have a straight tree. Dollars invested $0; Time invested 4 minutes.

We have a gizmo on our TV so Robyn can listen without bothering me, and another gizmo so I can hear through my hearing aids when I want to. However, to make this happen, I had to create a series of wires and connections that look roughly like the snakes in the Well of Souls in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The problem is that there was a bad cable. Every time the cleaning lady came (once a week) she dusted around there, and the gizmos didn’t work. I would shake the wires and it would start to work again. Finally, I decided to fix it. I was able to determine which one of the cables was bad. Also, that much of the snake pit was unnecessary. I went into my box of cables, found the ones needed, and replaced everything. Time taken, 20 minutes. Money $0. All is right with the TV world.

There are probably a dozen more of these ‘little things’ around. But I will tell you, fixing the four above has made the quality of my life much greater. These are minor changes. They took no time and very little money. I’m going to start on the car next. Probably take a small investment, but it will be worth it.

These weren’t things I dwell on, but things that when I saw them, they bugged me. Now they don’t. I know you probably fix things like this as a matter of course. More power to you. Fixing little things is easy and important. It gives you time to think about more important things. It only took me three quarters of a century to figure that out.

Article contributed by:
John Van Horn
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