Yesterday I joined about 100 parking pros from across Southern California at the Julie Dixon organized quarterly meeting (or maybe its semi annual) that invites anyone who wants to come and talk parking. Topics were requested when we signed in (fill in a topic on a 3×5 card and Julie would throw it out to the group) and information rained down.
Some random memories:
LPR — License plate recognition — a number of organizations, cities and universities are toying with using LPR to speed up entrance and exit times and ease permit issuance. Nothing is ‘on line’ yet but will be soon. Chris McKenty of Sentry reported on LPR at the MGM and said they were tweeking it almost daily to help it read the various plates seen in Vegas including Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, California and even those from as far away as Florida and Canada. He said they were up to a 90% read rate and used tickets as a back up for those not read. Nice to hear someone tell the truth about LPR.
Dynamic Pricing — Peer Ghent of the city of Los Angeles told about the success of dynamic pricing in Downtown LA. Revenue is up, he gets few complaints (his phone number is on the meters) and it seems to be working well.
Someone asked about “On Street Parking Reservations.” After the laughter died down, it was agreed that it was illegal, but that on street valets could get a variance.
Enforcement tools brought a lot of discussion. Key was that at least half of those present used smart phones as input devices rather than purpose built ticket writers.
I, of course, caused some consternation when the topic of Smart Cities came up. I opined that I felt it was a term in search of a definition and that it could be a marketing campaign for big companies like Conduent (Xerox), Google, Siemens, IBM, Apple, Microsoft and the like. At lunch Ann Muenster-Nuiry of Conduent introduced herself and I agreed to meet to find out all about what they were doing in this area. Yikes. It was noted that often sending data to individuals happened long after the fact and therefore was not as helpful as it could be. I commented that typically the technology was bid at low prices and there wasn’t enough money to truly make things work properly.
Oh and we discussed Pay by Cell and Peer noted that although LA had a program, it was used in less than 1 percent of the transactions. Julie asked how many in the room had pay by cell and how many had more than 5%. No one did. I noted that LA didn’t promote it at all and when I asked, found that only about half those present who lived in LA even knew the program existed. Peer glanced at me with some disdain.
Julie puts on a great event. Contact her at Julie@dixonresourcesunlimited.com to get on the mailing list for the next one.