Posted in Beyond Parking on Mar 08, 2010
In the hyper competitive valet industry, the question of whether to pay the employees a minimum wage plus tips, tip wage plus tips, or have the valets work for tips only is always a quandary. At Lanier, we have chosen to take the high legal ground by paying minimum wage plus tips. Of course, this has resulted in Lanier having to pass on many of valet opportunities. But, let the buyer beware. Two recent articles, one in the National Restaurant News and the other in Service First Newsletter, point out that not only is the valet company potentially liable for underpaying the valets, but so too is...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Mar 01, 2010
When I left the Perimeter Transportation Coalition (PTC) to come work for Lanier Parking Solutions, many people asked how someone who worked so hard to promote alternative transportation could work for a parking company. I would say that I am a big advocate of paid parking, because it encourages people to think about the cost of driving trips, and as a result they may change their travel behavior (i.e biking, walking, transit, and carpooling). Ninety-nine percent of all U.S. driving trips end in free parking spaces, but when the economic and environmental consequences are considered, these pa...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Feb 08, 2010
As a transportation planner, I watch the Olympics from the perspective of how well the transportation system works as opposed to how well the athletes do. The Vancouver Olympic Games will be especially interesting to watch, since VANOC (Vancouver Olympic Committee) and the City of Vancouver have stayed true to a multi-modal transportation system that provides limited emphasis on the automobile while investing heavily in alternative transportation modes.
Posted in Beyond Parking on Dec 28, 2009
As a parking and transportation planner, I often have to explain how paid parking is a tool that encourages good behavior. This is especially true with on-street parking, where a fee encourages people to park more and drive less. By that I mean paid parking causes greater turnover of the spaces, resulting in an increase in the availability of spaces and the reduction of congestion-causing cruising.
Posted in Beyond Parking on Dec 11, 2009
Over the past year or so, I have heard a lot of talk about the next coming of electric cars. Automakers are rolling them out at car shows, and cities are building the infrastructure to support them. But I have yet to see a single electric car on the road. What is the deal? Are electric cars coming? From what I have heard and read, it appears as though they are coming, but slowly (see Electric Cars are Coming! and Top 10 electric cars coming to US in 2009/2010).Every time you bring up the issue of electric cars, someone is bound to point out that plug-in electric cars are not the environmental...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Dec 01, 2009
When you think about the architecture of parking garages, the term "eyesore" often comes to mind. It has not always been this way, and it certainly does not always have to be.A new exhibit House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. takes a closer look at parking structures past and future with a focus on their relationship between parking structures and the built environment."As soon as there were cars, there was a parking problem, and cities responded both by finding ways to fit cars into old structures – such as carriage houses – and ...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Nov 12, 2009
"Transportation for America," a not-for-profit that promotes sustainable transportation solutions, recently reported that over the past 15 years, 75,000 people in America have been killed while crossing or walking along our city streets. One might blame dangerous drivers or reckless pedestrains, but actually the study pins most of the blame on poor design."In fact, however, an overwhelming proportion (of deaths) share a similar factor: They occurred along roadways that were dangerous by design, streets that were engineered for speeding cars and made little or no provision for people onfoot, in...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Oct 29, 2009
I don't toot Lanier's horn often enough on this blog, but it has added some new services which I think drivers and non-drivers alike can enjoy. Lanier Parking Solutions now offers valet, shuttle, and luxury transportation to private consumers. These new services are invitations not only to park with Lanier, but to think of Lanier Parking Solutions for all of your transportation logistical needs. For information, see an on-site Lanier manager or call Ben Epstein at 770-880-7681.Lanier Event Solutions delivers access to metro Atlanta’s best valet teams and special event parking management. Our ...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Oct 12, 2009
Last Thursday, I saw Kenneth A. Small, Research Professor and Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of California, Irvine and Author of "The Economics of Urban Transportation" speak at the Public Affairs Forum hosted by the Federal Reserve of Atlanta. Mr. Small spoke about how congestion is imposing a heavy cost on urban economies and how the economic solution of congestion pricing will be the most effective in solving the problem.Congestion pricing is a simple theory that puts a price on congestion paid by the people who contribute to it. Congestion pricing uses off-peak toll disc...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Sep 02, 2009
How many times have you sat in traffic and thought, "If they just synchronized the traffic lights, all this congestion would go away."Well, a new game called "Gridlock Busters" from the University of Minnesota, Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, allows players to do just that.You can test your mettle in processing vehicular traffic through a network of intersections. As you begin at the bottom rungs of a city traffic department, you're encouraged and coached by a senior traffic group member to take on more challenging conditions as you climb the bureaucratic ladder.If on your watch...