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.

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.

The 11 Mile Rd. Garage is Underway!
Project Spotlight

The 11 Mile Rd. Garage is Underway!

Design is nearly complete and construction will soon begin on the 11 Mile Road Parking Garage in downtown Royal Oak!

This new parking garage is being built by the City of Royal Oak to support the Royal Oak City Center (ROCC) Development plan. The ROCC plan includes a new 130,000 square foot office building, a new City Hall, a new Police Station and a central park, all in the center of downtown Royal Oak. The seven (7) level public parking garage will provide 580 spaces to support the development plan. Construction is expected to start in late Spring 2018. Rich & Associates is the prime design firm providing parking consulting, architecture and structural engineering design services.

The 11 Mile Road Parking Structure is the third parking garage designed by Rich & Associates for the City of Royal Oak in the past 18 years. The first project is the award winning Fifth & Lafayette Parking Garage completed in 2001. The other project is the 2nd & Center Street Parking Garage completed in January 2018.

The Bee’s Knees!
Not Parking

The Bee’s Knees!

In honor of Earth Day this month, we sat down with our own Sally Rich to learn more about life as a beekeeper on her organic, Eco-friendly farm here in Michigan! What most people don’t know about Sally is that when she isn’t at Rich & Associates, she is taking care of her 18-acre farm that is home to cows, chickens, bees, and her dog Molly! Sally prides herself on her organic, all natural, home-grown, Eco-friendly products and the positive effects they have on the environment!

How long have you been a beekeeper & what influenced you to start beekeeping?
Mike and I started beekeeping in 2005 when a friend of ours had us keep their hives on our property. We then went on to start keeping our own hives. Naturally, the raw honey was what enticed us to start beekeeping, but I also found that while beekeeping our flowers and small vegetable garden seemed to be more abundant.

What methods do you use to keep your honey & other products organic?
Producing organic products was a challenge we endured early on. We recently ended up moving out of our old home where we had kept our bees for the last 6 years. Due to the amount of pesticides and weed killer the surrounding neighbors were using we ended up losing all of our hives, so we bought a little 18-acre hobby farm in the urban city and started over. I don’t use any chemicals on the lawn or my flowers. I provide a clean water source so they don’t have to seek water from puddles on the road, etc. We also provide plenty of clover, fruit trees, wild flowers, and berry bushes in an attempt to provide them enough so they don’t have to travel too far to forage.

What methods do you use to keep your honey & other products Eco-friendly?
We plant bee friendly plants and trees. When they swarm we follow the swarm and collect it to create another hive. This allows us to build on our hives with out going to an outside/unknown source for new bees.

How many hives do you have and how much honey can one hive produce?
We currently have 4 hives and at this time each hive has 3 boxes.
It’s hard to say exactly how much honey one hive can produce because it varies. The hives we use are called Langstroth and we can add boxes as the colony grows. Each box can hold 10 frames. This past fall we harvested only one box off of 3 of the older hives to leave them honey to winter over. The 30 frames produced over 5 gallons of honey.

What’s the most fulfilling part of a beekeeper’s job?
The honey! And the challenge of keeping our property organic.

Have you ever been stung?
Only once when I was clearing around the hives with sheers and I accidentally knocked one of the boxes over. The bees thought there was an intruder. Aside from that one time, I cut the grass, clear around the hives, and replace their water dishes regularly without protective gear. I think they recognize that I’m not a threat.

What are your favorite bee-friendly flowers or plants?
My fruit trees and berry bushes. Not only do they provide for the bees but us as well.

Not Parking

National Puppy Day!

March 23rd is National Puppy Day!

Colleen Paige founded National Puppy Day in 2006 in the hopes of improving the lives of puppies everywhere by encouraging adoption and celebrating the unconditional love that puppies bring into our lives! Here at R&A we consider dogs to be puppies at any age!
To bring awareness to the holiday and promote Colleen’s message we’ve put together images highlighting some of the staff pups here at R&A!

The Garage at 2nd & Center is now open!
Project Spotlight

The Garage at 2nd & Center is now open!

This new structure was built to replace the open parking lot at 2nd & Center Street in Downtown Royal Oak, MI.

Rich & Associates worked alongside the City of Royal Oak providing parking consulting, architectural and engineering design services. The 2nd & Center Street Garage was successfully completed in January of 2018 and features 521 parking spaces and 5,725 square feet of retail space. The project also included streetscape improvements on 2nd and Center Streets, and provisions to connect to the existing Center Street garage. This is the second parking garage designed by Rich & Associates for the City of Royal Oak in the past 20 years.

Project Spotlight

500 Pearl St. Mixed Use Parking Structure

Mixed-use structures are a great way to combine functional parking architecture with other uses. Rich & Associates is excited to announce massive progress on our project in Buffalo, New York. The project is a new 12-story mixed-use structure includes a 109-room hotel, 28 apartment units and 30,000 square feet of commercial office space. The first 6 stories of the development will be a 390 space parking structure with 12,000 sf of retail and restaurant space.


The new 12-story structure will internally tie into the existing 4 story Buffalo Christian Center Building, will be repurposed to complement the uses in the new structure including the use of the existing pool, a large banquet facility, lounge and meeting spaces. The proposed façade will screen the lower levels of the building to effectively conceal the structured parking within. Open terraces and curtain wall glass dominate the upper floors dedicated to the office, residential and hotel uses.



Responsible for parking consulting and architectural contract documents of the parking structure, we are proud to work with other talented firms on the project including lead architect – Kideney Architects, Tredo Engineers, High Concrete Group, Precast Services, and Lechase Construction.

Project Spotlight

Opening Day X2

Tiger’s Opening Day has been Detroit tradition since April 25, 1901. Every year Tigers fans flock to Detroit to celebrate the baseball holiday. 

This year, Rich & Associates is proud to announce that parking near Comerica Park just got 900+ spaces better with the opening of The D Garage that sits just next to the stadium on Montcalm St. As part of The District Detroit development, The D Garage is designed to support event parking at area sports venues as well as daily parking to support shopping and business in the area..

The District Detroit is a 50+ block mixed-use development which includes the Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Detroit Red Wings and Pistons. Little Caesars Arena will be surrounded by an exciting mix of retail, restaurant, office and residential developments creating a walkable destination for people to live, work and play, and park!

Working closely with Olympia Development of Michigan and Street-Works Studio, Rich & Associates served as prime design firm providing parking consulting, architectural and structural engineering design services on The D Garage.