Parking lot humour can sometimes be hard to come by, but here’s something recently “dug up” by one of our long term subscribers.
Enjoy the rest of your week, from all of us at PTC!
Parking lot humour can sometimes be hard to come by, but here’s something recently “dug up” by one of our long term subscribers.
Enjoy the rest of your week, from all of us at PTC!
A Russian photographer has created a 360 degree image of New York City, captured from helicopter tours and stitched together to create a detailed 2D image, focused on central park and its surrounding skyscrapers.
It’s a stunning image and you can dream while zooming around the city skyscape on the UK’s Telegraph site here.
A nice story from Denver in the lead up to the holiday season, where the Denver Public Works decided to hand out 250 vouchers for $5 worth of parking.
In a nice twist, the parking officers, whose job is usually to dispense the fines, were tasked with handing out the vouchers.
Melbourne Airport is clearly in the midst of a kangaroo population explosion. Following the news of one getaway kangaroo in the Melbourne Airport car park in late October, another kangaroo was chased through the car park by police this week.
As police hopped the rescue, the kangaroo skipped away, eventually being sedated with a tranquiliser gun. Watch the car (park) chase footage here.
2012 has been another eventful year for PTC. Many new clients joined the prestigious names in our portfolio, including Perth Airport, Health Infrastructure, Adelaide University and Leichhardt Council. Many other previous clients engaged us to do new work.
Just to give you an idea, during the year we worked for these airports: Adelaide, Gold Coast, Perth, Townsville, Sydney and Mildura, these local councils: Christchurch, Sydney, Vincent, North Sydney, Orange, Parramatta, Penrith, Waverley, Leichhardt, Mosman and Victoria Park, as well as for Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney, UTS and UWS universities. Retail engagements were conducted for Lend Lease, Mirvac, Stockland, QIC, Fish Markets and Bunnings. On the property owner and manager side we worked for Dexus, Royal Randwick Racecourse, AMP, ISPT, Toga, CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle. Hospital projects included Westmead, Campbelltown, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and John Hunter, whilst logistics projects were carried out for Sydney Ports, Patricks and Orica, to name a few.
We would like to thank our new and on-going clients for the trust they continue to place on us and we look forward to a long and happy relationship with you all.
Following an engagement for a shopping centre car park review in Bogotá (Colombia) in 2011, we were recently appointed by the Chilean owners to carry out design and signage work on their flagship store in the heart of Santiago. The development includes around 4,500 parking spaces, which are expected to increase by a further 3,000 as new buildings are constructed on site. George Burton, Grant McLean and I were in Santiago last week to kick start the project and further visits will take place in 2013.
This year saw another successful convention organised on behalf of the PAA which brought together prestigious industry experts from Australia and overseas. After four years as the PAA Treasurer, I was re-elected to the PAA committee at the November AGM in the role of Vice President. My key interests over the next few years will be to further the interests of Women in Parking as well as to strengthen our working relations with other international parking associations.
The Wayfinding Forum, now in its fourth year of uninterrupted weekly blogs has continued to attract readership, with 308 people registered to receive blog updates, Views on the articles and blog posts on the website are attracting thousands of views every month (averaging over 5,000 visits and just under 10,000 views on pages on the website in a given month), from all over the world:
One of 2012’s highlights was the move to bigger premises in Cammeray last October. Not only does this give us much needed breathing space but will allow us to grow the team going forward and provide us with the opportunity to host client information meetings on a range of subjects.
Our team has continued to expand with the addition of Abdul Mohammad, an experienced Traffic Engineer and Transport Planner, Sunny Huang, recently graduated from Macquarie University with a major in statistics and Mihira Bodaragama who specialises in the application of CAD and Revit programs to design and signage reviews.
Sadly Peter Burrows left us in May after a long and brave battle with ill health.
I would like to take this opportunity of wishing each and every one of you a very happy Christmas together with your families and loved ones and may 2013 bring you joy and success in your ventures.
Parking & Traffic Consultants
Feel like the year has passed you by too? If you’ve been too busy to stay on top of the parking and traffic industry news every week – never fear! Here is our annual round-up of the highs and lows, and headline-making stories from 2012.
Parking and policy in Australia
This year saw Parking & Traffic Consultants partner up with Colliers International to release a white paper into CBD parking, exploring the demand, yield and pricing of parking across Australia’s CBDs as well as the latest technological and service trends we are seeing in car parks around the world. This year’s Australian Parking Convention was again a huge success, with over 77 exhibitors and two days of world-class international keynote speakers furthering our local industry.
In NSW and Sydney we have seen some big policy announcements this year, with the release of transport strategies, reports and policies, covering the state’s road, infrastructure, public transport and rail networks. Announced just last week, light rail is set to make a return to the harbour city along the main thoroughfare of George Street. NSW’s big transport saviour, the uniform Opal card, began rolling out this year as well; whilst census results reported that public transport usage is on the rise whilst private car usage is in decline in terms of average kilometres driven per vehicle.
Melbourne’s transport centred mainly on bicycles and bike lane infrastructure, and Perth put their money where their mouth is and announced investment in bicycle lane infrastructure and a CBD parking terminus. Brisbane saw a lot of news about the introduction of paid parking in a number of parking lots, and the subsequent need to upgrade Park and Ride transportation facilities. The Queensland State Government changed in July, on the back of public transport overhaul, including the promise of a tenth weekly trip for free.
South Australian courts upheld a government decision to charge hospital staff for parking. Adelaide was revealed to be the most car-reliant city of all of Australia, whilst in Canberra public servants saw their free parking benefits abolished.
…. and from around the world
A big push in the UK this year came from consultant Mary Portas, calling for councils to abolish paid parking to revitalise the ‘high streets’ of Britain. We published a number of opinion pieces which demonstrate how paid parking actually is beneficial to these high streets, but perhaps the best counterargument was research that showed that the best economic return for the local high street shops was abolishing cars altogether and instead converting car parking to bicycle parking.
Still in Britain, one of the biggest parking logistics challenges, the London 2012 Olympics, appeared to have dealt with the increased demand flawlessly – with the exception of several private operators who took advantage of the extraordinary events by hiking their prices by up to three times the normal rates.
Parking requirements for residential and commercial developments have been under the microscope, with many car-dependant cities reducing the minimum parking requirements. However, it’s not all heading south. As cities including Melbourne, Canberra, Los Angeles and Sacramento all look to reduce the number of car parking spaces required with new constructions, Townsville in Queensland has increased their minimum parking requirements.
Tired of paying high rates for airport car parking, residents of Decatur, Indianapolis, received approval to build their own paid parking lot near their local airport, with all the revenues going back into the community. In the UK, pre-booking for airport car parking has taken off, with the majority of all airport parking now being booked in advance. Some operators in Australia are now introducing pre-booking as well.
Following the American trend of privatisation, New York City is considering selling off the on-street parking meters in the city to address a budget shortfall (let’s hope they do their homework and research the outcomes of similar ventures in other American cities). Also on the agenda for NYC has been the consideration of congestion pricing. Numerous expert reports and recommendations in Australia are also calling for congestion pricing both to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads, as well as finance other infrastructure projects.
Traffic and Transport
2012 was the year of some monumental traffic jams, with Brazil’s 250km and three hour gridlock dwarfed by Russia’s recent jam which lasted for three days, seeing drivers huddling by the roadside as a huge snowstorm closed motorways between Moscow and St Petersburg for a whole weekend.
London removed all bendy buses from service this year, whilst Sydney announced the introduction of double-decker buses. In France, cyclists were granted the right to legally run red lights, whilst Buenos Aries introduced a number of secure bicycle parking facilities to stem the tide of rampant bicycle theft.
In Atlanta, user-pay transit lanes were introduced on major freeways, whilst in the Netherlands a company will be developing and rolling out ‘smart highways’ – smart paint on the highways that give drivers information about the road and weather conditions ahead.
Transportation and urban planning
In 2012, planners turned their attention to life after cars (or at least the notion of not everybody owning a car). New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was famously quoted as saying that ‘roads are for transporting people; not for cars’, whilst The Economist published a lengthy report on declining car usage and ownership rates in developed countries around the world. Even car manufacturers acknowledged the forthcoming challenge, with talk of business diversification as population density in major cities spirals and the penetration of car ownership peaks and begin to decline.
Video has emerged as the medium for communication of key planning issues and policies. This year saw a number of great short films released on the topic, which we would strongly urge all of our readers and clients to take the time to watch. Our top three this year included:
Urbanized: a film about the design and development of cities
Saga City: a film about urban planning
And The Price of Traffic:: the first episode of a documentary series called Environmental Economics.
As always, TED contributed some great forward-thinking on the topic, with our 2012 favourite on ‘Building cities of the future’.
More than ever before, advancements in technology are having a huge impact on our industry. In 2012, apps were introduced for finding the cheapest parking, for sub-leasing private parking, for checking parking availability, for real-time parking pricing from variable parking zones and for valet parking.
Vehicle manufacturers are scrambling to be ahead of the curve, with Volvo introducing pedestrian sensing technology and airbags, Mercedes integrating Apple’s Siri voice command system, Ford introducing Traffic Jam Assist technologies and Nissan the first self-driving car.
In the US, the SFPark experiment continues, introducing the first fully variable parking rates, with the second stage of the trial seeing higher variability in the rates being rolled out. Following San Francisco’s lead, both Los Angeles and Washington DC announced that they would begin trials of variable ‘performance’ pricing this year. New York announced that they would begin testing of parking space sensors, and Westminster in London rolled out a fully automated parking sensor system.
2012’s ground-breaking technology (in our opinion) was, however, none of these. Near-Field Technology for mobile phone payments is closer to becoming a reality, and ubiquity of this technology will have a huge impact on the future proofing of access control systems being installed. Meanwhile, technology developed on the transportation side has resulted in the first tests of automated ‘road trains’, with individual cars linking up to become semi-autonomous convoys, will have a massive effect on commuting and highway traffic if it becomes a wide-reaching reality.
The environmental and sustainable movement
We’ve published many stories on alternative or sustainable methods of transport this year, as car ownership and congestion increases and reaches saturation point. Of greatest interest, the investment in electric cars by governments and private operators doesn’t seem to be stimulating the industry quite as intended, with electric car sales flatlining or declining in both the US and Australia, and a Pike Research report indicating that consumer interest is also falling.
In Australia and around the world, a bicycle renaissance seems to be taking place, with bicycle sharing schemes and investment in infrastructure (including dedicated cycleways, storage centres and security) becoming common across states and countries. At home in Sydney, the eternal debate over our cycleways may be drawing to a close, as a committee recommends completing them as a priority.
And on the lighter side…..
Our personal favourites include some great stories and photographs to wrap the year. We’ve seen some brilliant car park art, with highlights including a huge street art project in a Melbourne car park, as well as a beautiful commissioned project for a private residence in Sydney.
The Mayor of Ithaca, New York, turned his parking space into a park, a runaway kangaroo took up residence in Melbourne Airport’s car park, incredible breakdancing, a runaway car being found a month later in a car park; and even the discovery of the remains of King Richard III beneath a car park in London.
Our gong for best video of the year goes to a music video clip, set in a New York City intersection, called ‘Got More’, which we’d recommend watching if you haven’t seen the Escher-like animation yet.
On the weirder side of technology, we’ve seen foldable cars and shrinkable cars that squeeze into tiny parking spaces and a proposed ‘evacuated tube transportation system’, a capsule-based system that can transport each capsule at up to 6,500kmph. Technology that James Bond was using decades ago!
And the shortest-lived but jaw dropping story comes from the house-in-the-highway in China, where a man refused to move out of his house as protest for the low level of compensation offered. Chinese officials built an entire highway around the house, before he finally caved in and accepted government compensation to move out of his house.
To all of our readers, partners and clients, we wish you all the best for the holiday season, and we look forward to keeping you informed and entertained in 2013.
And to send the year off in style, here’s a short clip of Rita Hayworth (amongst others) dancing to the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”! Here’s to living it up these holidays.
Thanks to one of our consultants, Sunny Huang, a great video of the traffic in an intersection in Hanoi, Vietnam.
With 6.5 million people and around 5 million scooters and motorbikes (plus plenty of bicycles, cars, and cows), crossing an intersection is clearly not something that urban planners have tackled yet.
Following in the steps of the November 2010 Convention, the Parking Association of Australia held its 13th event at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre earlier this week.
The event was characterised by a high level of local and international speakers that had the delegates particularly riveted to their seats. The exhibiton, in Hall 6 was sold out with 77 booths occupied by over 50 suppliers of services and equipment which showcased the best in show. Comments from some international visitors indicated that the quality of both the speakers and the exhibitors was equal if not greater than some other events held abroad.
At the AGM, our Managing Partner Cristina Lynn was re-elected to the PAA committee, and at the first committee meeting she was elected Vice President of the PAA. Cristina has demonstrated her continuous commitment to this industry by spending the last four years as Treasurer for the Association and Chair of the organising committee for the 2010 and 2012 conventions.
A new initiative she spearheaded during the convention was a Women In Parking breakfast which was attended by around 50 people (mostly women working in the Australian parking industry). Cristina is confident that this group, linked to the US based Women in Parking association set up a couple of years ago, will continue to grow and prosper over the coming years.
See attached some photos of the event.
A ‘guerrilla gallery’ has been installed by photographers on Sydney’s Elizabeth Street, on the wall beneath Goulburn Street Parking station, with more than 40 works by six photographers.
Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, has thrown her support behind the project, and will call on Monday night’s council meeting to take all necessary steps to ensure the project is retained as a long-term public art project.
"Not all public art needs to be officially sanctioned or formally commissioned," Cr Moore said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"These photographs demonstrate how public art can transform the ugliest public spaces."
The city, which has long been known for its low tolerance for graffiti and street art, is currently developing a cultural policy that will help guide its approach to unauthorised public artwork. Cr Moore said the city had strengthened its commitment to public art over the past eight years.
This is one of our favourite video clips, which is particularly relevant to the holiday parking season. Click on the image above to watch.