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Storm Troopers from StarWars invade Imperial Parking’s booth at the Parkex 2011 held in the UK in April.

Opinion by JVH ParkingWars, and Peace

Isaiah Mouw and Matthew Clay lauded the TV series “ParkingWars” in theMarch issue of Parking Today. On

the same pages were my bon mots about the show and my feel- ings about it. The “Parking Vs. Pop Culture” authors quote its producers

and members of Philadelphia’s parking enforcement team. In all cases, everyone is sure that this reality series brings good things to parking. The producers, of course,

love it, and tell stories of how the show has changed minds and hearts about the parking industry. The PEOs note how people see them on the street and comment on their scenes in “Parking Wars.” People tell how watching the abuse received by the officers gives them an appreciation of what they are going through, and they pay their citations faster. The IPI, the industry’s largest trade organization, put the

That’s what Hollywood is all about, being bigger than life.

Authority has changed some of its policies since the series has been on the air. “Management doesn’t always have eyes on the street.…It’s helpful for them to see it.”Wow, what a testament to parking management. They watch people who have video cam- eras stuck in their faces, then adjust their policies to fit. As an industry, we have become starstruck. If Hollywood does it, it must be good. Isaiah and Matthew have written well about how pop culture feels about parking. Whether it’s paving paradise to “put up a parking lot” or the horrors of valet parking in “Ferris Bueller’s

Day Off” or losing a car in a parking garage on “Seinfeld,” or the horrible murders in the parking deck in “Fargo,” Hollywood abuses our industry to the hilt.And our members, and our organ- izations, seem to eat it up. The authors argue that Parking “wins” in each case, because

series on the front page of its magazine last month and gave a number of pages to one of its producers, who plied us with prop- aganda about the success of the show. The IPI obviously feels that all publicity is good publicity. Once again, I’m not so sure. The producer commented that the Philadelphia Parking


if you step back and look at the issue with rose-colored glasses, the industry seems to fair well. In every case, however, the theme was that parking and its venues are something to regard with a bit of a jaundiced eye. “Deep Throat” ofWatergate infamy didn’t meet theWashington Post reporters in a park but in a dark, shad- owy garage.

Parking Today

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