Buff Brown's alarm clock buzzed at 4:30 a.m. the entire week of Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, 2006. He woke up and got dressed each day before he started the task that required him to wake so early, surveying downtown Bloomington's three parking garages.
Brown, the founder and president of Bloomington Transportation Options for People (BTOP), chose the 5 a.m. shift to survey how many cars were parked in the parking garages.
"At 5 a.m. it was pretty dead, and it was dark and cold," said Brown of his survey experience. "There was a cleaning guy the first day at one of the garages who saw me and asked me what I was doing, and after that he didn't bother me for the rest of the week."
What Brown was doing was gathering data that went into BTOP's groundbreaking 2006 Downtown Parking Garage Survey. This survey's results generated a community discussion about downtown parking. But the discussion has not transformed into tangible actions, according to Brown and BTOP.