Posted in Beyond Parking on May 04, 2010
I just ran across an interview with Tom Vanderbilt who writes the blog "How We Drive"Â and wrote the book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)," and I had to share it.In the interview, Vanderbilt talks about the psychology of driving and the many false impressions drivers use to operate their vehicles. I have always been fascinated with the behavior of driving and how when a person gets in that enclose bubble we call a car, they become a different person. Why does that happen?Well, Vanderbilt has spent a great deal of time researching this phenomenon and many other...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Apr 23, 2010
It is hard not to be cynical when writing about transportation/transit funding in Georgia, but I will do myÂ darnedestÂ not to interject cynicism into this update. Recently, there has been a glimmer of hope in the long fought battle to get the State to step up with some leadership and money. Just last night, at the eleventh hour, the Georgia State Legislature voted and approved a measure that would allow 12 designated regions around the state to tax themselves for transportation improvements.As reported in the AJC:The bill would divide the state into 12 regions. A â€œroundtableâ€ of local el...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Mar 19, 2010
Transit agencies across the country are struggling to make ends meet and are being forced to cut service. Too often, their hardship is treated differently from departments of transportation. For example, I often hear that transit is a subsidy, while roads are an investment. Here in Atlanta, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Agency is in especially dire straits, and the state treats it like a red headed stepchild (MARTA is the only major transit agency in the world that does not get state funding).In today's AJC, Jim Durrett, a MARTA board member, explains that when transit services are cu...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Mar 11, 2010
I often think about how the design of a street can eleicit a feeling from those who use it similar to the way a piece of art or architecture elicits a feeling.Â Unfortunately,Â most people using a street do not know why they are feeling a certain way. They just know they are.
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 NewsÂ 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 i...
Posted in Beyond Parking on Mar 01, 2010
When I left the Perimeter Transportation CoalitionÂ (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 p...
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 â€“ such as carriage houses â€“ ...