Over-Communicating a City’s New Parking Plan

Park Burlington


Studies showed that parking in downtown Burlington was ripe for improvement. Changes were designed, approved and scheduled to roll out beginning in Fall of 2014. As project leader, The Burlington Business Association (BBA) knew that Burlington employers, shoppers, diners, residents and visitors needed plenty of advance notice before smart meters, rate increases and new parking hours went into effect. A new website, emails, outdoor signage, windshield stuffers and print ads had to appear simultaneously. Each point of contact needed to communicate why, what and when improvements were coming. Plus provide step-by-step instructions for smart meters, FAQs and opportunities for consumer feedback.


Direct Design was awarded the project and put it on an accelerated timeline. As a result, all materials were ready to print or post within four weeks of the project start date. Using a content management approach, we were able to make critical changes to every component when the launch date was postponed due to installation delays. Materials were delivered on time for all venues and media.


In online surveys and two well-attended public meetings after the parking changes were implemented, more than 95% of respondents rated the communication as Very Good or Excellent. Complaints to the Burlington Department of Public Works customer service line, which was posted online and in printed materials, saw only a slight increase in the days and weeks following rollout. City officials and the business community were very positive about the strategy of “over-communicating” the Burlington Parking Initiative.


Burlington Parking Initiative 1


Burlington Parking Initiative Woman