How do These Stories Affect Me?


How do These Stories Affect Me?

I was chatting with a friend the other day and commented that Parking Today was attempting to bring more international stories about parking to its readers. She surprised me by saying “I’m sure the stories are interesting, but how do they affect me?”

I was stunned into silence. Are Americans really so parochial? Is there nothing to learn from other societies or cultures? Is this the only place one parks cars? Could we help others with our experience? Could a tech company want to know about emerging markets in Africa or Asia?

I glanced through the October issue and found the following:

  •             Peter Guest from the UK talked about electric cars and how the British government was dealing with charging stations. It seems there was a lot to be learned from their problems in that area.
  •             There was an article on exterior screens that added security and beauty to parking garages in Adelaide, Australia. The company was bringing their product to the US.
  •             The article on parking in India by Paul Barter points out how the country is going from virtually no parking management to some of the most complex, including dynamic pricing. It shows some of the pitfalls using such policies have. Those pitfalls could also occur here.
  •             PT’s African Correspondent Shem Oirere reported on the University of Cape Town and its struggle with limited funds for new parking structures and its rather primitive approach to the use of permits. I wondered how many consulting firms and tech companies might want to call on the University and others like it to offer help. They need it. And may be willing to pay for it.
  •             The UK’s Helen Dolphin wrote about using 3D pavement marking for crosswalks. Seems they are really ‘neat’ but might create more problems than they fix. Food for thought for street managers in US cities.

In one issue, there are five different stories that could bring fresh looks at parking issues here in the US. Why try things here when they have been tried other places and their success or failure have been so well documented.

Are you a vendor of parking tech. Would it be nice to know that schools in emerging countries have real issues that you could fix? Would it be nice to know that countries like India and Kenya have major parking activity going on right now in which you could become involved?

I talk about being in the arena. Is it just possible the arena is larger than our own block, neighborhood, city, state, or yes, even country? This month Peter brings more insight into all things parking in the UK, Astrid reports on how the Australians approach parking at their bi annual parking convention (maybe some technology we haven’t seen yet here in the US), Shem reports on the fact that the Kenyan Rail Corporation is going out to bid on parking management and controls at 33 stations between Mombasa and  Nairobi. That might be something our PARCS and operators might wish to track.

Yes, the articles are interesting, but they also bring new ideas and possibilities to readers who find that being in the arena is rewarding and just a bit exciting. Yes, these stories can affect you, if you let them.


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John Van Horn

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