Looking back to the 1990s!
Project Spotlight

Looking back to the 1990s!

As we continue to reflect back on significant decades from our first 55 years, this month we are taking a look at some of our most influential projects from the 1990s! During the 1990s we had the pleasure of working with a number of large university campuses and a major airport!

The University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia. – Over a 30-year span, the University of Virginia had constructed and expanded several of the facilities on its richly historic campus. Demand for parking generated from the developments, along with campus population growth, had risen occupancy levels of campus parking to almost 100%. Rich & Associates was selected by the University of Virginia to prepare an implementation plan for the construction of new campus parking facilities. The project was divided in to two phases. Phase I – Site Analysis and Selection Study, and Phase II – Design and Engineering.

To complete Phase I, Rich & Associates implemented a site selection program to effectively analyze each potential site for proposed new parking. In collaboration with the University Project Building Committee, an Interactive Planning and Design Session was conducted on campus for one week. Working closely with the Committee, various campus officials and organizations, a site selection program was prepared for proposed new parking. Evaluation and selection criteria was developed by Rich & Associates, including long-term master planning objectives, cost, level of service, constructability, etc. It was also determined that new campus parking should meet the following goals:

  • To serve the overall parking needs of the University
  • To meet the long-term needs of the UVA community and its surrounding neighborhoods
  • To meet the plans and goals outlined in the University Facilities Master Plan
  • To maximize the number of parking spaces available on any site
  • To increase the parking departments revenue generation capacity
  • To allow efficient and pleasant vehicular and pedestrian access
  • To maintain the beauty and historic character of the University

Following the completion of a parking garage site planning study, Rich & Associates was retained by the University to provide design and engineering services for a new parking garage that was built as part of the expansion and renovation to Scott Stadium. Rich & Associates worked closely with the architects for the stadium expansion and renovation. The result is a unique precast parking garage constructed into the hillside.

The Scott Stadium garage features parking for 650 vehicles during special events at the stadium and during normal school days. The roof or top level of the parking structure was engineered to support parking for large passengers busses and television communication trailers.

Shortly after the completion of the Scott Stadium garage, Rich & Associates was retained to work with a team of local architects on the design and engineering of a second parking garage to serve the new John Paul Jones Arena. The new 15,000 seat arena primarily serves the University’s basketball program. The 1,000 space parking garage serves both the arena and other campus parking needs.

York University – North York, Ontario, Canada. – Seated on over 600 acres of land, York University had been growing steadily since 1963. Until recently, the University has been able to expand surface parking to meet its ever-increasing demand. The new construction will eliminate almost 1,000 valuable spaces and includes Seneca College (a new junior college), a football field, and a Hockey complex. These developments forced the University to take a serious look at the parking conditions on campus, and to plan for their first parking garage. The University selected Rich & Associates to develop a program for the parking and select a site (or sites) for the campus’s first parking garage(s).

Recognizing the concerns of many campus constituents with multi-level parking garages, Rich & Associates conducted on-campus Interactive Planning and Design Sessions. At these sessions, various campus groups were given the opportunity to voice their needs and concerns with the project, including security, accessibility, and the aesthetic impact. The information gathered during these workshops was compiled in a project program manual used in the site selection process. Rich & Associates then analyzed 17 potential parking garage sites. Working with the University, evaluation criteria were established, it included compliance with the overall master plan, vehicular ingress/egress, pedestrian access and safety, revenue generating potential, security, design efficiency, and relative cost.

Once the sites were analyzed Rich & Associates narrowed the options to three principal sites that conformed to the overall objectives of the campus and the goals of the campus master plan. As many as sixteen design schemes were developed on the three chosen sites. Each scheme included various options including educational/office space, an advanced technology center and a campus security office. The architectural relationship and impact on adjacent buildings was studied, as well as environmental impacts, including storm water management. Cost estimates for each scheme were developed and used as part of the overall selection criteria.

Since the completion of the parking master site plan, Rich & Associates provided planning and design services for three campus parking structures including:

  • York Lanes Garage – 350 spaces
  • Arboretum Garage – 750 spaces including 30,000 sq. ft. of space for the campus safety and parking departments and the campus computer lab
  • Student Services Garage – 1,000 spaces

Lester B. Pearson International Airport – Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Rich & Associates, Inc., as parking consultants to the lead engineering team, provided programming and functional design of a new 12,000 space parking garage as part of a new replacement terminal development project at LBPIA in Toronto, Ontario. Working as the lead parking consultant to the prime engineering consulting team for the parking and roadway infrastructure, Rich & Associates coordinated closely with the Airport and terminal design team specifically related to traffic flow of the parking garage, and vehicular and pedestrian circulation between the parking and new terminal.

Two distinct challenges faced the design team. First, was the phasing of one of Canada’s largest free-standing parking garages. Due to the need to maintain existing operations during the phase one construction of approximately 9,000 spaces, the team carefully studied various phase one plans that preserved existing access roads and buildings on a portion of the site.

The second challenge was to design floor plans and a circulation system to accommodate the segregation of varying user groups. The garage provides parking to airport employees, long-term and short-term parking, as well as rental car ready and return functions. The challenge was to segregate and control these types of uses on different levels within this massive 1,063 foot by 656 foot garage while maintaining efficient traffic flow and circulation on each floor and from floor to floor.

Under a separate contract with the airport, Rich & Associates provided planning, design and specifications for new parking access and revenue control systems. The new system featured state of the art information systems, vehicle license plate identification systems, cashiered, pay-on-foot systems and smart meter systems.

Fast-forward 25 years to the second quarter of 2018.

Construction is nearly complete on another one of Dearborn’s newest parking garages! As design/build consultants to Devon Industrial Group of Detroit (DIG), Rich & Associates provided parking consulting, architectural and structural engineering design services for the second parking deck in Dearborn, MI. We are excited to be part of such a transformational project with Ford as they implement the modernization of their research and engineering corporate campus into a modern, green and high-tech campus!

Parking Deck Conceptual Design and Rendering by SmithGroupJJR

And They’re Off!
History of Parking

And They’re Off!

And They’re Off!

As many of you know this Saturday, May 5th is the 144th annual Kentucky Derby! In honor of this historical event, we’ve decided to look at some facts about the race, the way horses were originally used as a mode of transportation, when transportation evolved from a horse to a vehicle and how the vehicles created a demand for the parking garages and studies we are involved with today!

The Kentucky Derby, first held in 1875 at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, is the longest-running sports event in the United States. The mint julep, the Derby’s traditional drink, is wildly overpriced at $11 a pop. Connoisseurs of bourbon consider it a waste of good whiskey. On Derby Day the infield will hold around 80,000 revelers, making it Kentucky’s third-largest city, behind Lexington and Louisville. The 1¼-mile distance has been standard since 1896. The first 21 Derby’s were contested at 1½ miles.

The domestication of the horse dates back to around 6000-5500 BC and has had a significant impact of many aspects of human history and culture. Although there is much debate about the history of domestic horses, research indicates that horses were first domesticated by the Botai Culture of Kazakhstan. Primarily between 1815 – 1915 Concorde buggies were a primary mode of short-distance, personal transportation, while horseback riding in towns and rural areas was much less common.  Buggies required at least crudely graded main roadways, where horses could go almost anywhere. The growing use of buggies for local travel expanded, along with stage lines and railroads for longer trips.

In cities and towns, horse-drawn railed vehicles gave carriage to poor workers and the lower middle class. The upper middle class used buggies, as did farmers, while the rich had the more elegant 4-wheel carriages for local use. In the late 19th century, bicycles became another factor in urban personal transport. In the United States, hundreds of small companies produced buggies, and their wide use helped to encourage the grading and graveling of main rural roads and actual paving in towns which provided all-weather passage within and between larger towns. By the early 1910s, the number of automobiles had surpassed the number of buggies, but the use of buggies continued well into the 1920s in out of the way places.

As more and more people bought cars, the need for a place to park grew immensely. The first ‘parking garage’ dates back to the early 1900’s and doesn’t look like most garages we are familiar with today. Parking garages in this time were multi-car buildings which often mimicked the look of homes or multi-story commercial buildings. Sometimes parking garages were horse stables, where they would charge the same for parking a car as they did for stalling a horse. The first multi-story parking garage that we know of, was built in 1918.

The early parking garages were staffed with parking attendants who would park the car. In some cases, the car was placed on a platform with car lifts and would automatically be moved to an available parking space.

In the 1950’s there was a construction boom when it comes to parking garages with self-service parking garages. There were several innovations in the design and construction self-service parking garages. Most of what we see today in North America are self-service parking garages. However advancements in technology are leading to increased construction of automated facilities.


Project Spotlight

On The Road Again!

On The Road Again!

The Rich & Associates Planning Team is hitting the road this summer! With stops in Detroit and Saline MI., Arlington Heights IL., Coeur D’Alene ID., and Benson, NC., we’re sure to be traveling to an area near you! Our planning team continues to provide parking planning, needs assessments and long-term strategic parking plans for clients across North America.

Since 1963 Rich & Associates has produced over 500 parking plans for municipalities, hospitals, universities, developers, airports, and transit facilities. This experience includes parking demand and economic feasibility studies, operational and management plans, parking technology application plans, and existing parking improvement plans.

  • In Detroit, MI. our planning team is going to be working with a team studying the need and economic feasibility of a new parking garage to serve City Hall.
  • In Downtown Saline, MI. our planning team will be creating a custom plan to provide the future of Downtown Saline with a functional parking system that supports the economic vitality of the community.
  • In Arlington Heights, IL. our planning team is updating a parking study the firm conducted in 2002. The update will provide new recommendations on how to manage the parking supply to handle the increased demand and new development in the downtown area. We will also provide recommendations on how to make their current garages more user friendly, with recommendations on signage, wayfinding, lighting, security and overall pedestrian friendliness.
  • In Coeur D’Alene, ID. our planning team is returning to the area to conduct a parking study in a district called Midtown. We will provide parking recommendations on how to best manage parking in the current condition and provide several recommendations on how to manage parking as new developments come on line.
  • In Benson, NC. our planning team has begun a parking assessment study. We recently concluded public meetings and completed several tasks gathering key data that will be used in assessing and projecting parking conditions downtown. There has been interest in new development in the downtown and staff is looking for a “road map” to layout future plans to properly manage parking through the proposed growth.