Parking in The Holy Land!
History of Parking/Project Spotlight

Parking in The Holy Land!

In 1995, the team of Parsons Brinckerhoff and Rich & Associates were awarded the design of the new Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv Israel. The project scope included the design of two (2) parking garages, a new roadway system, signage and security systems. We were also responsible for planning and designing state of the art access and revenue control systems, including vehicle count systems with dynamic signage.

The Rich & Associates’ team arrived a day or two later than the Parsons’ team and we all met at the same hotel in downtown Tel Aviv. Discussions that evening planned out the next day’s activities and included updates to some of the protocols during our stay. One piece of advice we were given was not to tip any of the waiters at any eating establishment by putting it on the tab because it was a common practice there to tip in cash.

The first meetings were held at the airport facility aviation department, and subsequent meetings were switched between aviation at the airport, and the engineering and architectural offices in downtown Tel Aviv. The local Engineer was Del and the local Architect was Shlomo Aronson & Associates. The whole stay in Tel Aviv during this and other trips, introduced both teams to a new type of security that we had not yet experienced in the states. For example, we were advised to be at the airport 3 hours prior to our flights scheduled departure so that all of our bags could be checked and we could be questioned. The roadway system on the way to the airport had a security checkpoint before you even entered the airport grounds. The team tended to drive together to the airport in the mornings, and during the evenings we would usually meet up to cover the days activity.

The initial design was to put the garage parallel to the terminal building which meant there would be a long façade of the garage facing the terminal. As more schemes were developed, the local architect decided that there should be a garden in this area so that all visitors in the baggage claim and transportation areas could view the garden.

To achieve this garden, we changed the design from one long garage, to two garages perpendicular to one another so that the garden could be developed in between both garages.

In Israel during this time, everyone had military experience as both male and female citizens were required to serve. During a meeting in the local architect’s office, the architect was interrupted by his secretary who came in and told him that he was needed on the phone immediately. The architect came back into the meeting, put his pad down on the table and said he had to leave because his tank division was called up regarding something going on near the border. The architect had been called on to active duty and left the meeting immediately.

As part of the design of the garage facilities, we were responsible for the signage, the operating equipment, the functional planning, the lighting, and the security systems. We requested discussions with the security guards who were going to be active in the garage to go over security camera locations and the voice operated emergency systems. The security guards asked a question in the meeting about where to place the cars they towed, I told them we had space next to the garage to store these cars. Their response was “you don’t understand, the cars we tow tend to blow up, so we need an area with a blast fence around it to tow these cars!” Following that, we asked about additional security measures at the airport and it was pointed out that there were hatches in the walkways leading to the terminal building which opened up to an underground area. We asked what the underground area was for, they said it was a blast area for suspicious bags that had been left unattended or possibly contained explosives.

The conditions we were working under made for a very interesting project overall. The trips back and forth to Tel Aviv, each trip lasting approximately one to two weeks, gave me some personal time to explore many things in Israel and for that I am very grateful. One experience in particular that I really enjoyed, was taking a cable car up the side of a mountain in Southern Israel to tour Masada and then stopping to go in to The Dead Sea. I was also able to explore cities like Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Jericho, which really made this project a once in a lifetime experience. In review of this project, I started to reminisce on other projects I have done, and realized that I have had the pleasure of traveling to 14 different countries to work on projects. There were about 6 other countries that we had done designs for which I did not travel to, one of those countries being Saudi Arabia. I was advised not to go to Saudi Arabia because my passport had shown many visits to Israel.



Royal Oak Construction
Project Spotlight

Royal Oak Construction

Construction has been underway on the new 550-space 11 Mile Rd. Parking Structure for the City of Royal Oak, MI. The Rich & Associates’ team provided parking consulting, architectural, and structural engineering design services for this project. Here are some images of the new 550-space parking structure as it rises out of the ground today!

My Colombian Adventures! Told by Richard C. Rich.
Project Spotlight

My Colombian Adventures! Told by Richard C. Rich.

“Early in our firm’s history I had the opportunity to work on a number of parking garage projects in downtown Cali, Colombia, South America. It all began in 1967, when I received a call from New York asking if I would be interested in a parking project in Cali. Since I was already working on a parking feasibility study in Lima, Peru, I agreed to take on the new project in Cali. So, in 1967 I flew to Cali, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful cities in the whole country of Colombia.

This new project was part of a development in Downtown Cali that was to be done for the Hotel Aristi. When I arrived, I met with one of the brothers who owned the hotel named Walter Aristizabal. Walter ended up being a very good friend of mine until his death in 2006. Walter and I became such good friends that I even spent 5 consecutive New Year’s Eves at his home in Cali. I would continue to visit Walter at least twice a year, from anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks at a time, up until 4 years before his death.

The Hotel Aristi project consisted of a parking garage for the hotel along with a new apartment building on top of the garage. The site for this new garage was approximately 170 feet by 170 feet. Because Walter wanted apartments on top of the garage, I designed a central 70-foot diameter ramp for down-bound traffic to use as an exit out of the garage. I then wrapped a sloped parking module around all 4 sides of the garage for the inbound traffic to take upwards to enter the garage. This design gave us a center section in the garage that allowed columns to be built outside of the rectangular section of the spiral ramp which in turn supported upper level. This design was similar to other garages I had previously designed here in the United States. Rich & Associates was responsible for all of the grades and functional planning on this project. The garage was completed in 1970 with a provision to add one more floor of parking between the apartment house and the garage which they subsequently added.

After the completion of the Hotel Aristi, I went on to design four other garages in Cali, Colombia. I remember walking around one job site in particular that was in the early stages of construction and seeing an area where some small shops and residences were demolished to build a garage. I noticed a hole that had been dug measuring about 6-8 feet in diameter and at least 3 feet deep. I had no memory of a foundation being built in that area so I asked the owner why that hole was being dug. The owner told me that the Calima culture and the Quimbaya Civilization were known for burying their gold and jewelry in various locations in Downtown Cali. So, before any construction began on a site where gold and jewelry had possibly been buried, people would come in and dig for these treasures. These treasure hunters would in turn give a large percentage of whatever they found to the site owner.

*A map of where the Calima Culture and the Quimbaya Civilization were known to bury their gold, along with what some famous gold pieces discovered in Cali looked like.

On another memorable trip to Cali, one of the clients I was doing business with said a man asked him who had designed his garage. My client told him that I designed the garage, and the man said he was going to get ahold of me. When I met up with the man, I noticed that he was dripping in gold necklaces, gold chains, and gold bracelets. After talking, the man said that he was not the principal of the company, that he was only a representative and that I would probably never meet the principal. Out of curiosity, I asked the man who the principal was and what kind of business he was in. He gave me the name of two brothers who were in the pharmaceutical business as principals for this new project. I agreed to take a look at the proposed site, gather some information and come up with a fee for the man. Later that evening, I had dinner with a client of mine and his wife. During dinner, I mentioned the meeting that I had earlier that day. They were curious as to who the owner of this new project was so I gave them the name of the two brothers in the pharmaceutical business. They looked at me and told me that those two brothers are the biggest drug dealers in Cali and that I should never meet with them or their representative again because the DEA was watching their every move! I gave the representative the highest fee I could think of and told him I was no longer interested in doing the job.

During another one of my trips to Cali, at a social event at Walters house, a lot of our friends were gathered around and one man said to me ‘do you know why you get along with us so well?’ I said ‘No, why?’, he said ‘you never talk politics, you don’t talk religion, and you eat anything we serve you, you don’t even ask what it is.’”

The aerial pictures below of the Aristi Hotel and Parking Garage with Apartments on top were taken by me (Richard C. Rich) on May 8th 1975. I owned a Hasselblad 500 EL motor drive camera that was fitted for aerial photography, it could take film back 70mm pictures for 2 ½” x 2 ½“ negatives. I used this camera to take pictures of existing conditions during feasibility studies when we didn’t have access to the appropriate aerial photos in the city where we were doing our study. This camera was fitted for aerial photography because it had a U-shaped control mechanism allowing you to hold the camera in the bracket and push the button to take the pictures. When in Cali, I asked Walter if he could arrange for a pilot and an airplane to pick me up at my hotel in the morning so that I could take aerial pictures of all the projects I had done in the area. It was slightly overcast the morning the pilot picked me up, so the pilot drove me to his house near the airport to wait for the overcast to clear. The pilot had a strong and unique accent, I asked him how many hours in the air he had, and he told me that he flew 60 fighter missions during the war. I then asked him what kind of an airplane he flew and he said a Messerschmitt 109 which meant he was part of the Luftwaffe. We stopped at the pilot’s house which was adorned with many memorabilia of World War II, he was a crop duster now in Cali, Colombia. We then went to the airport and he told me not to expose the camera until we were in the air because it was illegal to take pictures without permission. The whole side came down on the right-hand side of the airplane so you really had to be strapped in.


Park Your…Elephant!?
Project Spotlight

Park Your…Elephant!?

In 1957, Enco Engineering and Richard C. Rich designed a multi-purpose complex for the Dayton Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This new structure was built to replace an obsolete 400-car attendant parking garage, warehouses, and retail stores. Built to provide for a 700-car, self-service parking deck, this new structure included retail shops on the east side of the first floor, warehousing in a sub-basement, delivery truck docks in the first basement, docking and loading space for large trucks on the west side of the first floor, and warehouse space on the mezzanine. The garage was constructed as a sloped-floor, 60-degree angle parking with a spiral down ramp. At the time, the supporting columns of the open area parking decks were designed to support two additional floors.

Subsequently, in 1963, the Dayton Company requested designs for expanding the use of the structure, including additional parking levels and a top floor exhibition hall. It was determined that a 20,000 square foot Exhibition Hall, seating 2,000, could be added above the additional floors of the already existing parking garage.

The exhibition hall, which is also a clear-span structure, was built with large folding doors to separate the interior spaces and has been used for a wide variety of functions. This new area has a complete stage and dressing room unit, and a large loading door opening from the parking deck area. It connects directly to the store, and also with the parking areas.

Here is what Richard C. Rich recalls from the 1963 requests to expand the structure to accommodate for a top floor Exhibition Hall.

“In 1963 I got a call from Daytons Department store in Minneapolis (having done the original garage in 1957) they requested I re-design the structure to accommodate for two more floors of parking. They also asked if they could put an exhibition hall on the top (8th) floor. We had several meetings regarding the exhibition hall and agreed that there would be sufficient strength on the already standing building to support their new requests. They wanted to connect the new exhibition hall to the 8th floor of the already existing department store.

During the discussions we asked what kind of exhibitions’ they were going to be hosting in the new hall since they requested sliding doors so they could partition off the hall and use it for multiple functions. The discussions led to the talk of bringing in a circus to the new exhibition hall which led to the question of what kind of animals will be in this circus. The reply was elephants and other types of animals. I asked how they were going to get the elephants up to the 8th floor of the store and they said they were going to walk them up the parking floors. I looked at him and said I would have to check that out because I didn’t know how much an elephant weighed, but judging from their size it was going to be more than the sloped floors of the garage could handle. During our break I called the zoo and asked what a typical circus elephant weighed, they told me give or take 8,000lbs. Since an elephant will have two feet on the ground at any one time, it would be 4,000lbs of footprint at a time, far exceeding the live load of the parking floors. I went back to the meeting and suggested that walking the elephants up the parking floors would not work and would result in large cracks in the floors. We decided to put an outdoor hatch on the back side of the building, so that if they ever had the big elephants they could lift them by crane and slip them in the back side of the building.

We went ahead with the project and designed the entire building with the interior exhibition hall. During the actual operations they decided it would be too much to bring the elephants onto a crane and into the back of the exhibition hall. The circus decided to bring in baby elephants which caused a minor uproar. Because they were taking the baby elephants up the passenger elevators and up to the exhibition hall, as you could imagine, they spent a lot of time cleaning up the large deposits of dung in the elevator that were left behind from the elephants.”


*The Minneapolis multi-purpose parking structure as basically designed and constructed.


*The complete additions which increased the parking facilities and the Exhibition Hall which increases the utilization of the structure.


*Interior of the Exhibition Hall with mechanized partition in place for smaller exhibits demonstrates the many possible combinations of usage available, one large hall or a group of smaller areas which may be used simultaneously, large folding doors were installed to separate spaces within the Exhibition Space.


*Public acceptance of facilities of this type is obviously indicated in this use of the Exhibition Hall.



*This is a page from Mr. Rich’s project journal from 1958. This image details the price per square foot and price per parking space ($2,426) in which it cost to construct Daytons Dept. Store parking garage in 1958.


Industry News

Fall Industry News!

Here’s what’s currently happening in the parking industry!

  • Passport, the global leader in mobility solutions has announced a $5M investment to expand their PlatformThis platform will help connect multiple modes of transportation and payments, and provide a way for cities to understand, manage, and collaborate with an increasingly complex ecosystem of mobility services. New modes of shared transportation, from ridesharing to dockless scooters, hold a promise for improving how citizens move around their cities, but cities across North America need new tools and systems to effectively manage these emergent modes of transportation. Passport has set out to partner with municipalities to create a bridge between city infrastructure, like curb space, and private sector mobility companies that interact with people using that space.


  • Airports introduce loyalty programs and discounts to compete against Uber and Lyft – Airports throughout the U.S. are taking a cue from airlines, launching or developing loyalty programs of their own. They include free parking after they use an airport lot for a certain number of days. Some airports are also trying to make airport parking more convenient by allowing drivers to reserve a spot close to terminals. These are some of the measures airport executives are considering to encourage travelers to park in their lots and garages, as ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have surged in popularity. Parking is an important source of revenue for airports, sometimes second only to the fees airports collect from airlines like terminal rent and landing fees. Airports are now scrambling to protect this key income stream as more travelers opt to leave their cars at home and take an Uber, Lyft or shuttle to the airport.


  • The first self-driving shuttles to hit the streets in Columbus, OH.May mobility, a Michigan-based start-up will operate the shuttles. “This pilot will shape future uses of this emerging technology in Columbus and the nation.” Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther says. The shuttles will start running the route this week (September 20, 2018), without passengers. The three shuttles will start accepting passengers in December. May Mobility plans to operate the vehicles from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, said company CEO Edwin Olson.


  • Domino’s testing self-driving pizza delivery – Ford and Domino’s are testing out a specially-equipped Ford Fusion that comes not only with self-driving technology but also an oven. To get their pizzas, customers will have to enter a number on the touchpad, then a back window will lower, revealing the pizza. Over the next five weeks, randomly selected customers around Ann Arbor, Michigan, will be offered the option of getting their pizza delivered by the hi-tech “driverless” car.

What we’ve been up to!
Project Spotlight

What we’ve been up to!

The Rich & Associates Planning Team has been busy this summer! We added an additional four stops to our roadmap with studies in Flagstaff, AZ., Boyne City, MI., Adrian, MI., and Ypsilanti, MI.
  • In Flagstaff, AZ., we spent a full week in July conducting a parking study update consisting of 48 blocks in the Downtown area!
  • In Boyne City, MI., we conducted a week-long study at the end of June reviewing parking pertaining primarily to the downtown area, and will be making recommendations to meet the communities current and future needs.
  • In Adrian, MI., we will be assessing the current and future parking conditions of Downtown Adrian to provide the city with improvements to their parking system.
  • In Ypsilanti, MI., Our team will be working to create a long-term, sustainable parking strategy including a supply and demand assessment; recommendations for both infrastructure and parking system management; recommendations to develop, deploy, coordinate, or support alternate modes; and a financing and implementation strategy.

If you think the Parking Industry isn’t exciting…think again!
History of Parking

If you think the Parking Industry isn’t exciting…think again!

A Northwest Airlines jetliner returned safely to Miami after it was hijacked from Milwaukee to Havana, Cuba, with 60 passengers aboard, by a man armed with a hatchet and claiming to have a bomb hidden in his briefcase“.

This is the opening line to an article published in the 1971 edition of the Milwaukee Sentinel. One of those 60 passengers aboard the hijacked flight to Cuba was our very own president, Richard C. Rich. We’re back this month with another one of his once in a lifetime stories from his first 55-years at Rich & Associates. If you thought the Parking Industry wasn’t exciting…think again!

“The plane, a Boeing 727 landed in Miami after being in control of the hijacker for about 8 hours. Architect Richard C. Rich, 39, was on his way home to his suburban Detroit home from Nicaragua, where he is doing Architectural work, when he stopped in Milwaukee Thursday to visit his parents”…Here is what Richard C. Rich recalls from his unplanned and unexpected trip to Cuba!

“People may think it’s pretty boring doing parking garages but being in the industry has really afforded me some experiences that otherwise couldn’t be. One of the most exciting was a return trip from a project in Nicaragua.  I decided to stop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to visit my parents on my way back to Detroit from Nicaragua. I spent the night in Milwaukee and my parents drove me to the airport the next morning. I got on the Northwest flight to Detroit, sat in the second row in first class and the plane took off.

Everything seemed normal until there was some kind of commotion coming from the back end of the plane. The next thing I knew there was a man standing at the doorway to the cockpit with a hatchet in one hand and a briefcase in the other, demanding to talk to the captain of the airplane. I think it was the flight attendant that got him on the intercom, told the man to be calm and that we had to land in Detroit to get refueled.’

Some of the people in first class with me left for the back of the airplane once the hijacker approached our section. Two or three of us remained in first class. I figured I paid for first class so I might as well stay there, since it wasn’t going to be any different in coach. But I seemed to be the best target sitting in the second row so I asked the hijacker if I could move a couple of rows back and he said ‘OK’.

When we landed in Detroit there was quite a bit of discussion on the plane. The captain parked the plane in a field far away from the terminal and I could see activity around the airplane from my window. The captain and one of the crew came back to talk to the hijacker when he said that he wanted to go to Algeria. They explained to him that we were on a Boeing 727 and that this plane didn’t have enough fuel, even with a refill, to get to Algeria. So they asked him if he had a second choice like Cuba, and he said ‘yes’. The plane was refueled and we left for Cuba. I don’t remember much discussion after that.

I usually carried a small camera on my business trips and I kept thinking ‘he appears to be accommodating enough to respond to us, I bet he would let me take his picture standing there with the hatchet and the briefcase’. But as chance would have it, my camera was packed away in my checked luggage.

When we landed in Havana, the Cuban authorities got on the airplane and the hijacker handed over the hatchet and briefcase. When they opened up the briefcase and handed it back to him, we all realized that there was no bomb. The Cuban authorities took the hijacker off of the airplane, and the next thing I knew we were ushered off of the airplane into immigration. We were questioned regarding our names, occupations, addresses, and a few other things. We were then ushered into a room that looked like it could’ve been a cafeteria. They were walking around selling some cigars and cigarettes, and we eventually had a meal. One of the flight attendants came over to my table and said ‘you better enjoy the meal, it’s going to be the most expensive meal you’ve ever had.’ She said that over in the corner there was somebody from the Swiss Embassy negotiating with the pilot for a ransom to be paid for the airplane to take off and I recall her saying it was going to cost something like $200,000.00!

After the meal, and I guess a successful negotiation, they put us back on the airplane and we took off for Miami. In Miami, we had to go through customs and immigration again. It was surprising to me that customs asked everyone who had purchased Cuban cigars to turn them over. Fortunately for me I didn’t smoke cigars so I didn’t waste any money. They asked all of the first-class passengers to come to a specific table. They called us by name and at that point I turned and went to a table where they had about 5 pictures spread out. They asked all of us from first class to identify the man from the pictures. I immediately recognized him and pointed to his picture. I was amazed how they had pictures of him so quickly. They then put us on another airplane to Detroit and there wasn’t much discussion during the flight. We finally landed in Detroit late or very early in the morning.”



Its Fall Already!?
Not Parking

Its Fall Already!?

The first day of Autumn is approaching us quickly as the first official day of the Fall Season starts on Sunday, September 23rd!
Here are some fun facts about Autumn to help get you in the fall spirit!
  • 1. The first day of autumn is known as the autumnal equinox. On this day, the number of hours of daylight and darkness are equal. This is because the sun is aligned with the center of the Earth between the north and south of the planet. The other equinox occurs in the spring, which arrives in the third week of March in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • 2. In Greek mythology, autumn was the time when Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld. During this time, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, was distraught and the ground grew sparse and cold. When Persephone returned in the springtime, plants and life bloomed anew because of Demeter’s happiness.
  • 3. Those who live closest to the equator, which is the center of the planet, never experience the season of autumn. Around the equator, the temperature remains consistently warm.
  • 4. Yellow, orange and variations thereof always reside in the pigmentation of tree leaves, but they are overpowered by the abundance of green from the chlorophyll in the leaves. Come autumn, when the sun weakens and days grow shorter, the amount of chlorophyll in leaves diminishes, allowing the other pigments in the leaves to show through.
  • 5. Red and purple leaves are actually caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves.
  • 6. Fall is a peak migration time for many species of birds. During autumn, birds will fly to other areas seeking more hospitable climates. The Arctic tern journeys about 11,000 miles each way for its annual migration. That is like going all the way across the United States about three and a half times
  • 7. Contrary to popular belief, squirrels who have spent the entire autumn collecting acorns and other foods do not hibernate for the winter. Rather, they spend the majority of their time in nests they built to shelter them from harsh weather. When squirrels do come out in winter, they are usually tunneling under the snow to find the food they buried during the fall.
  • 8. Several cultures have ancient traditions that coincide with autumn. For example, the Chinese celebrate the Moon Festival to give thanks for a successful summer harvest.
  • 9. Halloween is a large part of autumn. The concept of wearing masks and costumes hails from ancient Celtic tradition. The Celts believed ghosts roamed on Halloween, and people wore disguises to hide from the spirits.
  • 10. You’re bound to see pumpkins as part of autumn decor. The pumpkin was first named by the Greeks. They called this edible orange item “pepon,” which means “large melon.”
  • 11. Evergreen trees will not lose their leaves like deciduous trees. Their leaves, also called needles, are covered with a thick wax. This wax protects the inner components of the needles, preventing them from freezing.
  • 12. Autumn also signals another colorful spectacle apart from the tree leaves. The aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, tends to be visible this time of year. This is because geomagnetic storms are about twice as likely to occur during the fall thanks to cool evening weather.

*Sources: Richmond Times-Dispatch Newspaper