May 24, 2010

U. of Kentucky wins award for innovative parking practices


Don Thornton, University of Kentucky’s director of Parking and Transportation Services accepting the International Parking Institute’s 2010 Parking Organization of the Year award, from Kim E. Jackson, CAPP, Chair of IPI’s Professional Recognition Committee, at the IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas on May 12, 2010.


The University of Kentucky's (UK) Parking and Transportation Services department was recognized as Parking Organization of the Year for employing innovative parking practices, which included the use of social networking.

Innovative parking practices utilized by the Lexington-based university included use of Twitter to provide real-time parking information, as well as a 24-hour radio station that provides information on visitor parking, construction and weather delays.

Ride Home Express chartered buses are available for students who live up to six hours from campus, and seasonal shuttles provide transportation to local airports during semester breaks.

Through their Special Needs Adoption Program, or SNAP, the parking organization provides bicycles for local needy children. In addition, Wildcat Wheels, is a program that encourages bicycle use by providing free bikes, along with repair assistance for students, faculty and staff.

"The recognition attained by the University of Kentucky's Parking and Transportation Services is a tribute to the efforts of our employees and the support of a university leadership that is sensitive to the needs of faculty, staff and students," said UK's Don Thornton, director of Parking & Transportation Services.

The award was presented by the International Parking Institute, a trade association representing the parking industry, which was founded in 1962. Members include professionals from cities, port authorities, civic centers, academic institutions, hospitals, airports, urban planners and commercial parking operators.

Honorable mentions were awarded to:

  • University of Georgia for use of an enhanced automated vehicle identification program for special events at the university; the success of their Remedy customer feedback system which  increases customer resolutions; and Operation SafeDrive which utilized professional auto mechanics to conduct safety inspections on student cards prior to academic breaks.
  • Philadelphia Parking Authority for a cooperative project with the City Center District which mitigated congestion and improved access and mobility and increased parking availability through a self-study process.
  • Winnipeg Parking Authority for changing the culture of parking in their city through the use of technology and innovation, including solar powered pay stations, pay-by-cell-phone and pre-paid meter coupons.  Curb-side how-to classes were used to help citizens learn the new payment systems and parking garages were upgraded using glass and light to provide a more welcoming parking environment.

"The parking organizations that win or take home honors share a proactive approach to working collaboratively with their university or municipality leadership to provide greater services for the communities they serve," said Shawn Conrad, CAE, executive director of the International Parking Institute. "These organizations set good examples for the entire parking profession."

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