March Holidays!
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March Holidays!

• March 5th : Fat Tuesday – this is the day when people eat all they want because the next day, Ash Wednesday, symbolizes the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians.

• March 17th : St Patricks Day – this day is held in honor of Saint Patrick, the missionary who brought Christianity to the Irish people in the 400’s AD.

• March 20th : International Earth Day – celebrated on the Vernal Equinox, International Earth Day was initiated to make earth inhabitants aware of their responsibility to care for the planet. The Spring Vernal Equinox brings days and nights in equal proportions meaning it is the day when there is exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime.

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March Industry News!
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March Industry News!

There has been a lot happening recently in the parking industry so far this year! Check out the latest trending headlines about a delivery robot and the latest advances in autonomous vehicles!

5 Autonomous Cars Trends Everyone Should Know About In 2019

• Amazon has moved on as quickly as its same-day deliveries by announcing, almost concurrent with its breakup call to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, more than $1 billion of new funding for electric vehicles and self-driving cars. Read More Here

• Autonomous vehicles could transform parking as well as driving, new research suggests. Parking lots could house more driverless cars than human-driven ones, but autonomous vehicles could also lead to nightmarish gridlock if they slowly cruise the streets waiting for their owners, instead of paying to park. Read More Here

• Startups do it. Amazon does it. And now even Fedex is doing it — experimenting with robots for short-range deliveries. Today, the company officially announced its new FedEx SameDay Bot, which it says could help make “last mile” deliveries more efficient. Read More Here

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Winter Maintenance Tips!
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Winter Maintenance Tips!

With the temperature dropping and snow falling, it is important to keep up on the proper maintenance and service techniques to keep your structure healthy.
We’ve put together a list of tips to follow to make sure your parking structure is prepared for the cold winter months ahead!

  • Make sure HVAC systems are in proper working order
  • Inspect doors and windows for any gaps
  • Routinely inspect floor drains to ensure they are free from accumulated debris
  • Make sure any gutters along the roof lines of vertical cores remain clean and free of debris
  • Remove any standing/ponding water in and around the structure
  • Promptly remove ice and snow from entrances and ramps
  • Treat icy spots with de-icing solutions such as CMA or Calcium Chloride
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The Future of Driving!
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The Future of Driving!

By now we’ve all heard of self-driving (autonomous) vehicles and how they are changing the future of driving. But how will this affect the parking garages and studies that we do here at Rich & Associates? We looked at the pro’s and con’s of autonomous vehicles and how we think they will impact the future of parking!
Autonomous vehicles are typically defined as versions of modern-day vehicles that are capable of taking over for the driver under certain circumstances. The involvement of big auto makers in the development of these autonomous vehicles has peaked public interest in the self-driving vehicle trend. Autonomous vehicles operate by sensing their surroundings and using it to navigate the best route. These cars use a digital map which is constantly updated allowing the vehicle to adapt to changing situations, avoid obstacles, obey road signs, and travel successfully through unknown territories.
The Pros:
  • Over 80% of the car crashes in the U.S.A. are caused by driver error –  Autonomous technology could perceive the environment better resulting in less traffic accidents.
  • People who have difficulties with driving, such as the disabled and the elderly, would be able to experience the freedom of a car.
  • Commute times would be drastically reduced – autonomous vehicles would allow traffic to be coordinated more easily.
  • Speed limits could be increased ultimately shortening commute times.
  • A self-driving car could park itself after dropping off the passenger.
  • Self-driving cars mean fuel savings.
The Cons:
  • Driverless cars would likely be unaffordable for many people – likely costing over $100,000 per vehicle.
  • Truck drivers and taxi drivers would ultimately lose their jobs as self driving technology takes over.
  • A computer malfunction or glitch in the system could cause a worse crash then any human error.
  • Privacy concerns would arise – the cars would rely heavily on the collection of user information. Hackers could get into the vehicles software causing a big privacy and safety concern.
  • Certain weather elements such as heavy rain or snow could interfere with sensory technology.
  • Road infrastructure would need to undergo major upgrades to work in conjunction with autonomous vehicles.
  • How would police or other emergency vehicles interact with driver less vehicles in the case of an accident or crime – who would be at fault?

There are many other pros and cons, and certainly a lot of unanswered questions. Questions we get asked most frequently from our clients include:

  • Will the advancement of autonomous vehicles and the evolution of the car industry greatly reduce the need for parking in our downtowns, campuses and developments?
  • When will we will start to see reductions in parking demand?
  • What do we do if our downtown or campus needs parking today?
  • What would we do with our existing parking facilities?
  • What impacts will this have on revenues needed to pay off existing debt?
  • How do we design our parking garages to meet today’s needs and accommodate the future?

“There are no concrete predictions when the advancement in autonomous vehicles and the change in the mobility model will be wide spread. It is apparent from studying hundreds of articles and reports over the past several years, that the industry and industry observes have not reached a consensus on a definitive time frame when this technology will drastically change the way we get around.”

So, what, for example, is a city or town to do when parking is needed to sustain current and near term economic growth in their downtowns? What is a hospital campus to do when parking is needed to improve access to health services?

“We advise our clients that if there is no other means to mitigate the need for parking, move forward with building the needed parking lot or structure, and during the process, consider designing for adaptability.”

“Parking can be designed to be adaptable in a number of ways. Structured facilities can be engineered for future conversion to other uses such as office space or residential. We recently designed a hospital parking structure where a portion of the structure was eventually converted to medical office space.”

“However, as pointed our earlier, nobody knows when the global change in mobility will dramatically impact the need for parking. As you consider the various approaches to designing parking with the ability to adapt to this uncertain future, the initial cost premiums to do so should be weighed against project economics and the long-term benefits.” – David Rich

 

 

Sources: https://axleaddict.com/safety/Advantages-and-Disadvantages-of-Driverless-Cars

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National Gardening Week!
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National Gardening Week!

National Gardening week is recognized during the first full week of June (3rd-9th)!

When we think of summer, we think of sunshine, nice weather, and all of the beautiful flowers and plants that are finally in bloom! Nothing enhances being outside in the summer quite like the pops of color and wonderful smells from our favorite flowers and plants. Here at Rich & Associates, we have several employees that utilize this time of year to show off their own personal gardens! Read more to see images from the green thumbs we’ve got at R&A!

While the sun is high and the days are longer be sure to enjoy the beautiful landscape and warm weather while it is still here!



 


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R&A Summer Road Trip Tips!

It’s the start of summer, schools are letting out and families are making plans for summer vacations. Along with these summer travel plans comes the anticipated traffic we are all aware of when our summer travels include driving. With road trips becoming more popular each year, we are desperate to relieve the anticipated stress of traffic in any way we can. One of the best ways to reduce the stress that can come along with a long road trip, is to prepare beforehand and know what we are in for when in terms of the expected traffic on the road. Here are some interesting statistics about what we can expect to see during our summer road trips courtesy of santanderconsumerusa.com

  • 40 percent of drivers definitely planned to take a road trip by Labor Day and another 34 percent were considering it.
  • More than 92 percent would be willing to drive up to 500 miles for a vacation.

According to AAA.com, the old school family road trip (79%) and visits to national parks (51%) and theme parks (40%) remain the most popular types of vacations for families planning to travel this year. Trips to international destinations (33%), going on guided or escorted tours (22%) and ocean cruises (20%) are also popular with family travelers.

When we think of summer road trips and summer travels, where we are going to park when we arrive at our destination or at a stop along the way, isn’t always on the top of our minds. Mobile parking has become a big trend and we are already seeing tremendous growth this year through the use of parking apps on mobile devices. Parking apps are great tools because they are able to display real-time parking data at your destination. For example, many mobile parking apps will be able to accurately display the cost of parking, permit regulations, navigation to your desired parking spot and allow you to pay electronically through the app. We know there are hundreds of apps available, so the crew at whatcar.com tested them to find out which ones work best. Click here!

If you are one of those people that prefer to avoid all of the traffic and fly to your destination instead, we know that the thought of leaving your car behind can be a big concern. Things such as, changing temperatures, different elements from the weather, and a possible theft can be daunting when preparing to leave your car at the airport for a long period of time. Some steps that you can take to make sure your car is secure while at the airport this summer are:

  • Get your car properly inspected before your vacation, make sure the battery is charged and that there are no structural or mechanical issues, and top off all of your cars fluids.
  • Remove valuables and trash from your vehicle, including all old and new receipts that may contain personal information.
  • Choose a lot that is not only convenient but secure. Look for things like 24-hour surveillance, and a well-lit lot.

 

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The Bee’s Knees!
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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.

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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!

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We’ve made it to the ’70s!
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We’ve made it to the ’70s!

Continuing Our 55-year Anniversary Celebration!

As we continue to celebrate our 55-year anniversary here at Rich & Associates, we’re looking back in to the 1970′ at some of our firm’s more noteworthy projects!

The ’70s were a notable decade at R&A for many reasons. During this period, we expanded our services to include the private development and operation of parking garages and designed a garage that would later be recognized on a list of historic places worthy of preservation by the National Register of Historic Places.

First on our list is the Davenport Bank & Trust Garage in Davenport, IA.

Rich & Associates was first hired by the Bank to provide concept design studies for a parking garage to serve the Bank’s existing building. During the process, the project evolved to include four floors of new banking facilities adjacent to the garage and one level of office space above the garage.

Before moving into detailed design, the bank president, knowing of Richard C. Rich’s personal relationship with renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki, asked if we could engage Mr. Yamasaki in the architectural façade design of the project. As a favor to Dick Rich, Mr. Yamasaki agreed to provide the façade design on one condition. The condition was that his name and his firm’s name were not to be associated with the project in any manner. At that point in his career the scope of the project was not something that he or his firm normally took on.

The project was completed in 1971 and included a 220-space parking garage, 36,000 square feet of banking facilities adjacent to the garage and 28,000 square feet of office space atop the garage. On May 12, 2016 the Davenport Bank & Trust Garage was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places Program and placed on the official list of the Nation’s Historic Places worthy of preservation. The Davenport Bank & Trust Garage is noted as being exceptionally significant because of its multi-use function as a parking garage and office, unique within Davenport, and as a distinct high-style parking garage that exemplifies late Modern Movement Architecture.

Second is the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Garage in Oklahoma City, OK.

This unique 1,500 space parking structure spans 3 city blocks. It features 28,000 square feet of ground level retail spaces open to 30-foot-wide interior light core in the center of the garage. The light core provided natural light into the lower parking levels and ground level area for restaurant seating. An articulated glass enclosed stair and elevator towers extends 26 feet from the parking structure providing connectivity to an adjacent hotel.

Rich & Associates provided parking consulting, architectural and engineering design services for this project which was completed in 1972

Coming in at number 3 on our ’70s list is the Locust Mall Parking Structure in Des Moines, IA.

In 1976 Rich & Associates provide parking consulting, design and engineering services for this mixed-use parking garage in downtown Des Moines. The Locust Mall Parking Structure, as it became known, was the result of a revitalization program in Downtown Des Moines, IA.. The site was surrounded by two large office buildings, a major department store and the site of a new hotel. Through careful planning, design and engineering, Rich & Associates was developed a successful parking plan that included parking for 711 cars and 96,000 square feet of retail spaces. The Locust Mall Parking Structure also featured an overhead bridge connection to a major department.

Rounding out our list of memorable ’70s projects at Rich & Associates is the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, MI.
This project represents the first parking garage privately financed, developed and operated by the firm through an affiliate company now known as MEDPark. Rich & Associates was first engaged by Hurley Hospital to complete campus parking demand study. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that the Hospital was deficient of parking needed to support existing campus activities and the future construction of a new medical office building. Due to certificate of need restrictions, the Hospital decided to solicit proposals from private developers to design/build, own and operate a 660-space parking garage.

In 1978. the principals of Rich & Associates formed an affiliate company and was one of four (4) competing proposals submitted. We were successfully awarded the contract to develop and operate the parking garage as well the 45,000 square foot medical office building. We owned and operated both buildings for several years before eventually selling the facilities back to the Hospital. Since this time, Rich & Associates and MEDPark would go on to privately develop more than $90 million in parking projects and operate more than 10,000 parking spaces.

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