The National Parking Association (NPA) announced the winners of its second Innovation Awards at the Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, October 8.
After taking office in 2008, Mayor Gregory Ballard of Indianapolis, Ind., set out to realize his ambition of revitalizing his city through technology and infrastructure upgrades. Parking played a key role in turning this vision into reality.
The mayor had three goals—increase revenue for the city, improve the customer experience for residents, and boost sales traffic for the city’s retailers.
He would accomplish this by bringing a public-private partnership (P3) to Indianapolis to modernize the city’s thirty year old parking system. ParkIndy, a team of local business including Global Parking System Inc., Denison Parking, Xerox, Even Times, and Sease & Gerig Associates, was selected to manage the city’s parking operations for 50 years.
Texas Tech University’s Transportation and Parking Services (TPS) staff has always been on the cutting edge of parking management, operations and technology. And now, they are NPA’s 2013 Innovative Organization of the Year.
In August 2010, TPS implemented TechPark, a software program that manages all student, faculty, staff, visitor and bicycle permits and accounts and TPS’s license plate recognition program. Since, then Tech Park has expanded its capability and grown more advanced each year.
Students, faculty and staff manage vehicles, permits and citations through their My Parking Account, a feature found through the TPS website. TechPark receives updates from the university system that manages student and employee information and accounts.
LPR cameras are in all patrol vehicles and campus entry stations. They identify not only whether or not a vehicle has a valid permit for the specified lot, but also if the vehicle belongs to a student, faculty or staff member, or visitor.
The University of California, Davis Medical Center campus in Sacramento has transformed itself from a sprawling suburban-like campus to a compact and efficient urban medical center. A key support element in that transformation is structured parking.
The 7-level Parking Structure III adds 1,200 spaces, the latest in seismic design, advanced parking technology, individual parking stall availability indicators, and a lots of natural light in the interior for safety and security.
Suspended over the precast concrete structure, a louvered shade screen veils the building from the street and creates privacy for the adjacent patient rooms. Made of nearly 4,000 extruded aluminum fins, each blade is rotated at a distinct angle designed to reflect light inside the structure.
When the board of Brookfield Properties decided to invest more than $40 million to revitalize one of their premium West Coast properties, the assignment was given to attract more dynamic retailers and a wider variety of eateries to one of the most central addresses in all of downtown Los Angeles. Nestled between two skyscrapers, FIGat7th is part of a landmark complex that needed to compete with other, newer buildings downtown.
Known as the “Spaghetti Plate,” the nearly 400,000 square foot parking structure was 11 floors of ramps, entrances and exits that were confusing to everyone, poorly signed, poorly lit and charging higher hourly rates than the average retail shopper would pay.
Parking Design Group was brought in to identify bottlenecks and prevent conflicts from so many additional parking operations involving the new retail guests. With the anticipated increase in volume, the “spaghetti plate” had to be transformed into a more user-friendly facility.
“We see safety as the new green,” says Warren C. Vander Helm, managing partner, Parking Design Group. “Sustainability includes providing a safe place for folks to park and the incorporation of new ideas surrounding the protection of walkways, pay stations, wayfinding and signage.”
“We revamped the entire garage and created a 500-space retail component that is monitored around the clock, has been repainted and features increased lighting,” VanderHelm says. “The whole package of improvements has resulted in decreasing engine emissions, contributing to the sustainability of the facility and providing a much more pleasant user experience.”