Imagine spending a day on the town, shopping, dining, or just people watching. Now, think of the reality.
How often have you:
- Driven around downtown looking for a parking space?
- Circled the parking lot looking for the mysterious 27 remaining parking places?
- Fumed over the monster truck purposely taking up four parking spots?
- Wanted to ram into the convertible centered on the line between two spaces?
The Bay Area is in the midst of a parking crisis. The increased shopping and housing construction make Walnut Creek’s crisis especially obvious. Instead of building more parking structures, it is time to start building parking solutions.
A truly automated parking system is much more than a conventional garage with no attendants and only electronic pay stations. These systems automatically park and retrieve your car for you. Automation also allows for space optimization by eliminating vehicle lanes in the primary parking area, allowing for more parked vehicles in less space.
The Future of Parking is Now
Like autonomous vehicles, automated parking systems are no longer futuristic. They are successfully in use in other countries like and are working their way throughout the US. For example, in Japan there are over two-million automated spaces are in use. You can find contemporary examples in San Francisco, Emeryville, and Oakland.
These systems not only save space, they do not require new construction for installation. That means that an existing parking structure converted into an automated system could hold as many as two to three times more vehicles. Additionally, the upgraded facility would reduce thefts and damage because of the closed nature of the system.
Automated systems are for more than just long-term car storage. Retrieval of vehicles – depending on the size of the facility – can be from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, making an automated system quite reasonable for commercial centers. (How long have you waited for an attendant to fetch your car?) Additionally, some residential systems allow you to remotely retrieve your car by fob, acting as a personal valet.
Facts of Life
As ideal as it sounds to rid the region of cars in favor of walking, cycling, and public transportation, that is not a realistic short-term expectation. No matter the area’s environmental ideals, it is perfectly reasonable to reduce the amount of space required to store our vehicles – long- or short-term.
Walnut Creek has already taken people out of the public garages by replacing them with electronic pay stations. Why not upgrade the consumer experience by replacing garages with automated parking systems?
At Novin Development, we are committed to seeking innovative solutions for our projects. Studies show that the cost to build a single parking space in the San Francisco Bay Area is close to $40,000. By employing creativity and new technology, the region can offer critical low- and middle-income housing with parking.