Traffic, Transit & Parking in a COVID World – Webinar Topic
Wes Guckert, PTP
Despite many aspects of life beginning to return to normal, we will continue to see some longer-term side effects as a result of COVID. Wes Guckert, President & CEO of The Traffic Group, a leading traffic engineering and transportation planning firm headquartered in White Marsh, will touch upon a variety of areas where COVID has upended “normal life” and continuing to impact our daily routines.
One unfortunate aspect that seems to be lingering is the uptick in pedestrian fatalities as a result of extreme speeding. A recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate rose 20% in the first six months of 2020.
COVID has also impacted where we work, which has ripple effects when it comes to mass transit use, commuting, and the need for office and parking space. The parking industry continues to struggle as shopping centers remain emptiy and work-from-home becomes a way of life. In response to this and the growing reality that we are unlikely to ever return to normal (several recent surveys indicate that 80% of office workers want to continue working remotely 2-3 days a week), many garage operators are considering repurposing their facilities for other uses or giving up altogether.
Remote work is one of the trends that employers, workers, and commercial real estate owners all had to adjust to during the pandemic. It is expected that office property values could drop as much as 50% if work from home remains, based on a recent article in Connected Real Estate Magazine.
On the other hand, industrial commercial real estate pricing has hit $140 per sq ft. This has occurred at a time when many facets within commercial real estate are facing financial hardship. However, industrial development saw a boost in 2020, according to Commercial Edge and GlobeStreet.com reports.
In addition, e-commerce is hitting all-time highs, which is putting more delivery vehicle traffic on roads and highways.
While we are all doing our best to return to “normal,” there are so many aspects of life still in flux, making it hard to pinpoint exactly what the “new normal” looks like.