Parking Does Have an Impact, A PIE 2022 Seminar


Parking Does Have an Impact, A PIE 2022 Seminar

Yes, your industry does make a difference. How well we do our jobs is important. Can we take the emotion out of parking and show just how we add to the overall worth of our communities? 

Parking as an economic development catalyst has been a tag line, but what does it really mean? 

We recognize we have been an intricate part of economic growth and impact, but how do we share our contributions without the emotions that can evoke. We have been facilitating and supporting economic growth since the first car we parked. Think of a destination where parking does not provide your first and last impression. 

Further, think of a time where having little or no access to parking changed your travel decisions and options. Our industry has worked hard to overcome the shadows of anonymity because it is “just parking.” 

We have pushed to reduce the commodity view given by many and have done it because of the greater value we offer. 

Over my 33 years in the industry, I have been afforded with the opportunity to work in the many disciplines provided in our space.

The early beginnings taught me the Three-Ps of Parking (parking, pricing, and politics) and how emotional the topic can be when we talk about running an efficient business. I have also been involved in multiple public-private joint venture development projects (brick and mortar) to know the nuances and challenges presented to a government enterprise trying to provide a great service at an excellent value. 

We have always quipped that “parking should be friendly, but not free,” but it is the one service which continues to be highly subsidized because there is a lack of political will to value the assets and access we manage. 

As a result, we have always had to work harder than most to support our profession and our jobs. 

Parking is much more complex than parking a car in a safe, affordable, and accessible place. It provides economic vitality and a resource for how we store our cars when we move within our cities using our vehicles. 

The complexity of managing such dynamic and/or, at times static, real estate asset gives us an opportunity to be a key player in the mobility eco-system that occasionally suffers from its identity and proper representation. 

What else can we do to manage such an infraction in a time where it has been demonstrated that parking managers and operators played a significant role over the last two years in addressing one of the world’s largest pandemics? 

Loading and unloading, pick-up and delivery, restaurant outside sitting, testing sites, etc., were all managed by the very people in charge of the very humble “parking space.” 

Let us then accept our vital roles and importance in “parking,” without the emotional fanfare to recognize the importance of our roles and the impact it has on daily lives. 

I am reminded every day we are in an industry which affords us an opportunity to make a vital impact in the daily lives of millions of consumers. 

The key is how we execute on our roles to provide a seamless and equitable experience. 

Wednesday, May 18

Article contributed by:
Roamy Valera
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