The Broken Windows Theory

By Cody Clark

Before I began working in the parking department of my company, I was working in the security field.  I completed a course at the Nova Scotia Community College Truro Campus for Law and Security.  Within this course I learned a great deal and have applied it to the field of parking operations.  One topic I would like to outline today is the Broken Windows theory.  Regarding this theory in Law enforcement, the studies that I personally have seen argue that there is not enough data on the subject.  There is no concrete or decisive way to attribute this theory to an actual decline in overall crime rates.  In this article I will summarize the Broken Windows theory itself and describe how I believe we as employees or owners can apply this theory to the day-to-day functions of parking lots.

The Broken Windows theory in its essence is referenced directly in its name.  The theory at its base is that if an area (or in our situation a parking garage/lot) looks derelict or has visible signs that crime has been committed (such as broken windows), it will inadvertently attract additional or more serious crime.  To avoid this, pro-active policing of small crimes, i.e., theft, property damage and vandalism, creates an air of lawfulness, and deters such an increase.  Knowing what the Broken Windows theory is, at its core, we can now apply this quite easily to our everyday operations.  Ensuring all graffiti is removed or painted over and that any damaged or broken equipment is repaired in a timely manner.  Doing these tasks quickly and effectively will help paint the picture that your parking garage is monitored and well maintained.  A big thing that…

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Cybersecurity and Parking

By Chelsea Webster


What affects 1 in 3 Americans, costs trillions of dollars annually, and is a complete mystery to most people?


Why You Should Care About Cybersecurity

There are close to 400 cyber-attacks every single minute in the US, which affect 1 in 3 Americans every single year. It costs companies an average of $15.4 million annually to manage hacks against them, with total annual damage estimated at $6 trillion by 2021.

The point of these stats is not to make you paranoid, but to highlight how real, common, and far reaching cybersecurity threats are. It’s also to get you to take one more step in your thought process and connect cybersecurity to your vehicle – your connected car – knowing that online threats are targeting people everywhere. It should get you thinking about how many cars there are, how big a target market that represents for hackers, and what you can do to protect yourself and your vehicle.

The Connected Car

So, what exactly IS a connected car? A connected car is any vehicle that has wireless connectivity to the Internet and/or other devices, like a satellite or an auto manufacturer or another vehicle or pedestrian. A connected car collects, sends and receives information, processes it, and actions it or alerts the driver to information that requires human action. The image below from the Future of Privacy Forum is a great visual explanation of some of the components.

What Data Does a Car Collect?

Your vehicle is a nosey piece of machinery. It collects external data on traffic, road conditions, signage, markings, weather, and lots more. It also collects a boat load of internal data on you through cameras and microphones. That data can be anything from eye movement to driving habits. The connected car…

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Best Practices for Securing Parking Facilities

By John Mosebar

The parking industry is moving rapidly to contain costs, primarily by creating unstaffed facilities through the automation of ticketing and payment processes. Pair that with a large number of patrons and vehicles in easily accessible facilities and it’s easy to see why parking lots and garages can become magnets for criminals.

Crimes range from theft of property and vehicles to violent assaults against patrons. Fortunately, nearly all parking facility owners and operators feel a very real need to protect their patrons. Security is also an important issue with drivers. Surveys show one-third cite safety as a top factor in choosing where to park their vehicles.

Providing security has become easier with tried-and-true tools and procedures. But there is no one-size-fits-all security plan as parking facilities vary widely by size, type and location. For a parking operator, the process should begin by choosing a security integrator with proven experience securing parking facilities.

Security Tools 

All-hazards assessment – Don’t spend money on security before first analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the facility. Check out the surrounding neighborhood and traffic patterns. Monitor patron’s daily routines. Identify
danger zones such as remote areas of lots and garage stairwells and elevators. This will help create a plan to allocate money for the right equipment, where it is most needed.

Then here’s a look at some of today’s best security tools solutions.

Audio intercoms – Build audio intercoms into entry/exit gates and ticket dispensers to provide instant two-way communication with an offsite security guard or facility operator.

Emergency stations – Although most parking patrons carry their own mobile phones, those devices can’t be counted on in many subterranean or concrete structures or even outdoors during severe weather. Mobile phones also are often the first target of thieves.

Emergency towers, wall-mount boxes or flush mounted stations are effective when placed throughout garages…

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Small Changes

Policy-makers are waking up to the fact that cyclists and pedestrians have to be protected if multi-modality is to be a success. As a result, there is a thriving market in vulnerable road user detection but technology choice is an important factor in its success. Here, Q-Free TDC’s Colin Reekie talks about initiatives currently under way in Scotland.

Vulnerable road users — the collective term for cyclists and pedestrians — present traffic engineers with especial challenges. They are small, often numerous and often to be found in traffic monitoring situations which have complex geometries and occluded lines of vision. Modern bicycle design also means they have very little metallic content, which makes the use of inductive loop technology for their detection problematic. Bicycles are also highly likely to come off second-best in a collision with a car or larger vehicle.

Globally, as governments look to reduce overall numbers of those killed and seriously injured on roads whilst also looking to reduce transport’s environmental footprint, there is increasing recognition of the need to detect and protect vulnerable road users in crowded, multimodal traffic environments. This has implications both in terms of the types of technologies used and how it is deployed.

Q-Free TDC is currently helping local authorities in Scotland to monitor how they are supporting UK Government efforts to increase numbers of cyclists and build more sustainability and fitness into personal mobility. The national goal is to have 10 per cent of traffic in the UK be cycle-based by 2020, and so there is a real need to have specific data on how and where people are cycling.

Specifically at three sites in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, Q-Free TDC has provided a solution which has already been in successful operation for over a year in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. This so-called ‘Copenhagen Solution’…

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Snow and Ice Summit

By Tony DiGiovanni

Slip and fall claims are a serious threat to your parking operations just like they are in the snow and ice management industry. The snow industry represented by Landscape Ontario and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) received a shock a number of years ago when an insurance carrier decided they were no longer interested in insuring snow operations because of the financial risks. Even though members collectively paid millions of dollars, the insurance company decided not to renew. This was a wake-up call. Risk management has become the number one priority for the ice and snow management sector.

In April, a Snow and Ice Summit was organized by the CNLA risk management committee in order to bring together all stakeholders in a common effort to deal with the issue. The Canadian Parking Association was at the table to hear from other stakeholders and to provide insight from its members’ perspective.

The summit began with an introduction by Gerald Boot (Chair). He spoke about the challenges of slip and fall claims and how the situation will get worse unless we work together to find solutions. It is no longer possible to download all the risks to the contractor through “hold harmless” clauses in the contract. Eventually insurance rates will become exorbitant, or in some cases insurance will be impossible to get. The issue affects all stakeholders.

Lawyer Robert Kennaley gave a lawyer’s perspective on the issue. He stressed that if all stakeholders joined together we would have the opportunity to improve best practices, save money, do better with environmental stewardship, save crumbling infrastructure and improve safety and quality of life. He talked about the problems of transferring risk to the contractor. One-sided agreements do not work. It is expensive to transfer risk. It encourages more salt use and therefore costs….

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