Why I love Parking


Why I love Parking

Parking can be a complex process. Sure, you can just open the gates and let people park, but in doing so are you doing a disservice to your asset, and to the parkers themselves. The fun part is finding out just who is parking in your facility, determining how you can serve them better, and while you are doing that, increasing the bottom line revenue.

I love parking because when it works well, it is seamless. People don’t spend hours talking about how good the parking was at a certain place, but they certainly spend hours talking about how bad it was. I may talk incessantly about how good the food was at a certain restaurant, or how great a certain concert or movie was, however you will seldom hear me talk about how great the parking was. If it was great, it was invisible.

However, if it sucked, bring out the torches and pitchforks.

This is what I love about the industry. If we do a good job, no one notices. That is a good thing. Lack of parking, or difficulty in parking means that we have failed. It is important that we think about what we do, and predict when parking will be difficult. Then we must set out using our ‘little grey cells’ to fix the problems before they occur. Simply shrugging our shoulders and saying – “there are too many cars and not enough spaces” doesn’t cut it.

When I was training in the army, we rotated as company commanders. There were three platoons and each one had its own bus. When we got on the buses the platoons were in order, 1, 2, and 3. But when we got off, the buses were parked in a tight area where when the platoons came off, there was chaos and the commanders struggled to keep the platoons in order.

I noticed that if we simply let the platoons come off and line up as they could, there was no chaos, everyone had a space, and the off loading took much less time. So when it was my turn in command, I tried it.

The monitors who watched the event were puzzled. They complimented me on the fact that the off loading took much less time and lacked the normal chaos, but couldn’t understand how I got the platoons ‘out of order.’ That little bit of outside the box thinking was confusing to the military mind. Of course the platoons being ‘out of order’ made no difference in any way, and in fact made the entire day run smoother.

There is a stretch on the 405 that has been a terrific bottleneck, with traffic slowing to a crawl. There was seemingly no reason for that phenomenon. I was puzzled. Then I noticed that next to the freeway was a huge billboard with a scantily clad woman hawking beer. A few weeks later the billboard was changed to a pitch for dog food with everyone fully clothed. The bottleneck mysteriously disappeared. In the future, the traffic engineers asked to approve the advertisements along that stretch. Problem solved.

It’s fun solving those kinds of problems. And parking is full of them. The event ends and cars back up five levels in the structure. The street can’t take the cars fast enough. If you step back and look at the problem, you see that the traffic light on the corner is holding the cars back. If you increase the ‘green’ light there by one minute, you find that cars are pouring out and the structure is emptied in half the time. A quick and fun solution.

We installed a central pay system in one garage. When the parker got to exit, they were to put the paid ticket in an acceptor, the gate would open and they were off. We were concerned that they couldn’t get the ticket into the acceptor quickly enough so we put staff in the lanes to ‘help.’ You already know the problem. Long lines developed. We stood back and watched the exit and the solution was obvious. We removed the ‘helpers,’ had one person hiding behind a column to assist when needed, and sure enough the exit lines disappeared. It was fun to solve these problems.

Parking is fun. It’s sad when ‘we have always done it that way’ doesn’t work. But working through the problems, getting folks moving, can be exciting, and yes, fun. I love it.


Picture of Team BRIZZO


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only show results from:

Recent Posts

A Note from a Friend

I received this from John Clancy. Now retired, John worked in the technology side of the industry for decades. I don’t think this needs any

Read More »

Look out the Window

If there is any advice I can give it’s concerning the passing scene. “Look out the window.” Rather than listen to CNN or the New

Read More »


Send message to

    We use cookies to monitor our website and support our customers. View our Privacy Policy