In CAB Corner, we ask a member of our Customer Advisory Board (CAB) to share some insights about their life as a parking professional.
To kick off 2018, we caught up with Melissa Yates. Melissa is the Access and Parking Manager for the City of Boulder.
How did you end up in the parking industry?
I was in project management and applied to a project management position in the parking industry. I thought it would be easy! ;) Turns out, even though I built roadway bridges, it has been the most challenging and rewarding work.
What excites you about working in parking?
Parking is like this "hidden industry" in plain sight. People don't really think about us, but we are always there. I feel privileged to work in the parking industry. Every day brings something new. The advancements in technology, for example, are increasing at an exponential rate. It's exciting to watch this unfoldment and apply it to my parking programs in order to make the customer experience better and to make decisions based on real-time data.
What's been the biggest challenge of your career?
The biggest challenge today is finding the bandwidth to put all the options offered on the table and then combine the best parking technology with upcoming "mobility as a service" demands. What is the right step forward in creating best practices regarding on-street parking for transportation network companies and autonomous vehicles?
What's the best advice you've received?
The best advice I have received is to not take parking too seriously. Professionals that stay in the industry do so because they love it. In loving it, it can become very personal and consuming. Take the time to step back, breathe, and know that we belong to a very supportive network of colleagues that are just a phone call away. Have fun with it and enjoy the journey!
What are you looking forward to in 2018?
I am looking forward to creating the next steps for Access and Parking for the City of Boulder to implement next steps for our neighborhood parking program; perhaps including the installation of neighborhood micro mobility hubs, pushing forward with a few gateless garages, and introducing demand pricing on-street.