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from Page 53 Their Trends in Parking, referenced in their new release, was

the result of a survey of members. Fair enough. But if you want to find out what parking issues are, (and that may not have been the reason for their survey), why not ask the people who park cars. That’s what IBM did. The other day I spoke to a person who was frustrated by their

attendance at the IPI show in Pittsburgh. “It was all about sustain- ability, technology, and the like. That’s what people wanted to see. They didn’t seem to be concerned about ‘managing the process,’ that is how to actually ‘use’ the technology to solve problems that parkers have.”

The IPI’s ‘response’ seems to me to mirror this concern. They

talk about technology, sustainability, and the like, but just how do those things reduce frustration in the minds of the parker. Does a gizmo on a post or a new app actually help the parker, or add to the frustration? Do high tech enforcement techniques help ease frustra- tion or make them greater? I’m not sure I know. The parking pros I have spoken to feel that there is a need to

defend. I’m not sure that’s the best approach. One of the best ways to defend is to learn about your opposition and then use that informa- tion wisely. IBM PRFolks understand that parking as an activity (unless

you are with your girlfriend on Mulholland Drive) is universally a negative. Very few people think positively about it. So therefore they placed a spin on the survey that got results—Parking is Frustrat- ing. (I think I’ll read that because I’ve been frustrated by parking.)

PT BLOG Technology is wonderful, but it seldom is the answer. It’s how

the technology is used, the management of the process, that makes a difference. One poorly trained PEO or front office person or one bit- ter manager can reduce a million dollars of technology to dross with one throw away comment. Like it or not, we are in a people business. Yes, parking does

‘matter,’ but drivers already know that, and that’s the rub. It mat- ters a lot to them, right then, right when they need it, right when they get a citation, right when they are trying to explain their prob- lems, and in my case, right when I’m getting a citation for parking in my driveway. Has anyone in the public sector actually asked parkers what

frustrates them? They do in the private sector all the time.We talk about making surveys but do we really do them? Do we ask the right questions? Do we do anything when we get the answers? Some cities with successful parking program have done so. My guess is that is where we should put our focus. Sustainabil-

ity and technology will take care of themselves. JVH

You could have read these entries when they were originally

posted at Parking Today’s Blog – and commented, if you liked – by logging on to and clicking on “blog.” JVH updates the blog almost every day.

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                            

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