The Future of Driving!
Not Parking
0 Comments

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

51
National Gardening Week!
Not Parking
0 Comments

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!



 


38
Not Parking
0 Comments

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.

 

11
The Bee’s Knees!
Not Parking
2 Comments

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.

49
Not Parking
0 Comments

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!

17
We’ve made it to the ’70s!
History of Parking/Not Parking
1 Comment

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.

13
Spring Cleaning!
Infograpic/Not Parking
0 Comments

Spring Cleaning!

We are almost there! For many of us we are almost through another winter season.
The arrival of spring brings with it a fresh beginning, a time most of us use to our advantage to get some Spring Cleaning done! When we think of Spring Cleaning the first thing that comes to mind is cleaning out our homes and vehicles. Did you know that most outdoor structures require efficient Spring Cleaning to ensure longevity?

We’ve put together an infographic with tips on properly cleaning parking structures after a long winter!

6
Celebrating 55 Years!
History of Parking/Not Parking
1 Comment

Celebrating 55 Years!

As we celebrate Rich & Associates turning 55 this year, we’re taking a look back at some of our most monumental projects from our first decade! Rich & Associates is proud to have completed three “firsts” of a kind during our initial years!

Topping our list of “firsts” is Stanwix Autopark in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Stanwix Autopark was one of the first constructed mixed-use garages of its kind. It was designed in 1963, and combines 10 levels of parking totaling 700 spaces, ground level first-floor retail space, two floors of office space, and 12 stories of apartments. The garage also features a heated exterior express ramp, and a 76 ft. glass-enclosed carpeted and landscaped sky-walk to Horne’s Department Store! Stanwix goes down as one of our most influential projects and would ultimately pave the way for more mixed-use garages to come from Rich & Associates!

“Harry Shepard was the owner of Stanwix Autopark, I did a project for Harry three years prior (to 1963) while I was working for National Garages”, says Richard C. Rich, PE, founding President of Rich & Associates. “Together, Harry and I successfully completed one of the first self-park parking garages in Tallahassee, Florida. The project was successfully completed on time and below budget! When I left National Garages and went on to form Rich & Associates, Harry contacted me saying he wanted me to re-design his new garage known as Stanwix Autopark in downtown Pittsburgh. Harry and I had talked previously about combining other uses (retail and office spaces, apartments, etc.,) to a parking garage. Mixed-use design became a focal point of the new Stanwix project.”

“During this time, we were doing a lot of converting old attendant based parking lots into self-park parking lots, this was our main focus for the Stanwix project. Harry had an old loan out on his current garage and the only way he was able to convince the lender to allow him to tear down his existing attendant-based garage was to produce documentation outlining the costs and benefits. So, we worked with him analyzing and projecting the savings by transitioning into a self-service parking garage. We were able to demonstrate that the transition to self-service would ultimately result in the operation earning more money per space.”

The Pittsburgh Press published an article on Tuesday, March 17, 1964 stating that “the parking garage at Stanwix Street and Fort Duquesne is breathing its last today as wrecking crews will move in to raze the structure, making way for a 23-story multi-million-dollar public parking garage-office-apartment building which Harry W. Shepard Jr., (developer of the site) regards as unique, even in a city which has blazed the trail in urban renewal.” This new structure would be known as Stanwix Autopark.

This is not the only “first” that Rich & Associates experienced in our initial years. In addition to Stanwix Autopark being one of the first large scale mixed-use garages of its time, we were also responsible for designing what were to be considered the largest above-ground and underground garages at the time.

In 1966 Rich & Associates started the design of a 10,000-car garage (pictured below) at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois as parking consultants to C.F. Murphy Associates. The garage, at the time of completion, was the largest above-grade single parking garage in the world.

Rich & Associates then went on to design the largest underground garage (pictured below) at that time. We were hired by architect Minoru Yamasaki to design a 6,000-space underground garage that was built underneath two triangular office buildings known at that time as the “Theme Towers”, in Los Angeles, California.
Richard C. Rich, PE
President & Founder | Rich & Associates

Fast forward 55 years to the end of 2017, The East 2nd Street Parking Garage in Des Moines, Iowa opens!

“The East 2nd Street Parking Garage for the City of Iowa represents the 14th parking garage project that Rich & Associates has designed as parking engineering consultants to Neumann Monson Architects, of Iowa City. The relationship with Neumann Monson spans more than 30 years and has produced successful parking garages throughout the State of Iowa including Iowa City, Dubuque, Davenport, Ottumwa, Ames and Des Moines.”

“The East 2nd Street (City Hall) Parking Garage was built by the City of Des Moines to support the redevelopment of a public surface parking lot into a mixed-use retail and residential development. The parking structure features 540 parking spaces in six levels. A roof level structure over the top level of parking is designed and engineered to support the installation of PV arrays enabling the structure to achieve net zero energy.”
David Rich
Project Development Director | Rich & Associates

When we look back on the journey of these significant and remarkable 55 years at Rich & Associates we are proud of the foundation our success is built upon. We have accomplished a lot together in our first 55 years, but we believe that our greatest accomplishments still lie ahead of us. Here’s to the next 55!

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter and get the latest in R&A news and fun interesting stuff we think you may like! Don't worry, we promise not to bombard your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Rich & Associates, Inc., 26877 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 208, Southfield, MI, 48033, http://www.richassoc.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
3
Not Parking
0 Comments

1919 Garage Patent

Seeing how far parking structures have come is a good exercise to see how far they can still go. Twenty-five years ago, Rich & Associates gathered copies of many historic parking related patents illustrating some of the early creativity in parking design. Some of these patents date back as far as 1919.

The patent below is for a design created by Eugene Higgins in 1918, a fellow Michigander who hailed from Jackson, Michigan. This unique spiral ramp design was conceived for use as a self-service parking structure or a storage building. At the time, parking buildings were primarily attendant parking operations. Mr. Higgins’ design attempted to eliminate the need for valet attendants allowing motorists to park their own vehicles on one of the multiple levels.

While we have no record of this building type ever being constructed, the design represents one of the earliest plans for helical or spiral express ramps used in many parking structures today. While the helical or spiral ramp designs have significantly evolved over time, many parking designs and systems of today started with innovative engineers like Mr. Higgins.

At Rich & Associates, our planners and designers are always looking into new ways to improve parking like many of the early innovators like Mr. Higgins.

parking structure design

1
Not Parking
0 Comments

The Rich & Associates Family

Rich & Associates Parking ConsultantsOur R&A Family:

Our veteran staff, comprised of architects, engineers, and planners, have turned Rich & Associates into a family-like culture of professionals who genuinely care about one another and our clients. “A lot of our staff has been working together since the start of our careers. We kinda grew-up together and went through many of life’s big moments. From getting married to having kids, and even grandkids now. It’s definitely a special environment and not something everyone gets out of their workplace.” -Sally Rich

Rich & Associates by nature is a family based company employing many children of our founder, Richard C. Rich. “Even if you are not blood-related, they make you feel like family”-Deb Kolar, bookkeeping

Recipe for Success:

Turnover is definitely not a problem at Rich & Associates. On average, our employees have been with the company for over 20 years. Our veteran staff is what sets Rich & Associates apart. The familiarity our staff has with one another is almost comical. Two of our senior designers have worked together on so many parking projects over the years they finish each other’s sentences. “They know each other so well it’s like they know what the other is going say about a project before they say anything at all.” -Sally Rich

Our culture is unlike many other firms in the industry. “I think the most important part of running a company is having everyone buy into the success of the company. When people are working for the success of our company along with the success of our clients— great things happen.” -Richard C. Rich

The entire company’s drive is to achieve and maintain a successful business and working environment even during stressful times like the recent recession. The past recession was a trying time in our company. During that period, we saw many firms shut their doors. But we banded together as a family and not only survived but thrived.

Over the past few years, we have been blessed. We have been engaged in many exciting parking projects throughout the country and have added new members to the Rich & Associates family. The holidays are a good time to reflect on how blessed we are to have a great place to work.

However, none of this would be possible without the many great partners and colleagues we have had the pleasure of working with and the many great clients we serve. Because of you, Rich & Associates will be celebrating our 55th anniversary in January 2018.

From the Rich & Associates family to yours, we want to thank you and wish you a very happy and healthy Holiday Season.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

1