"The Concept of Parking" a lecture by Saleh Srouji on the 12th of February 2016.
The moment human beings discovered that they can use other means than their own legs to move around they realized they need parking; they needed spaces to park horses, mules and donkeys in front of stores and houses, this was the first form of on- street parking.
They needed a space to protect and feed these creatures for long periods and the stables were the first form of off-street parking.
To set the record straight parking is an action, we park a car, we provide for parking, we design and build a parking facility(not parking); to become a thing, the word parking is associated with another word such as parking facility, parking structure, parking space.
The garage is a space to store one vehicle, when it houses several vehicles owned by several entities it becomes a parking facility; although associated with the word parking, as in parking garage, it can be used as a storage space for several vehicles with different owners.
Parking areas started forming as an element of convenience in front of stores and centers of interest; as cities developed and automobiles became within the financial reach of a growing population, it became obvious that a certain discipline is required for parking management within every new development. Parking facilities took a primary role in traffic, transportation and city planning; they lost their statute as a convenience and became a part of a planned infrastructure.
So, parking facilities are a necessity that should be considered as part of the infrastructure; what makes it a specialty?
The design of a parking facility, also called a parking structure or a parking garage, is a specialty that goes beyond the capabilities of your daily architect and structural engineer. The parking expert is one individual who incorporates the knowledge of:
a. A planner
b. An architect
c. A traffic engineer
d. A structural engineer
e. A graphic designer
f. A systems engineer
g. A business manager
All these qualifications in one person called the parking expert. When did this discipline start?
The first structured parking dedicated firm, in the United States, was established in 1965 under the name Carl Walker & Associates followed in 1973 by Desman Associates; in 1982 Carl Walker sold the firm which became Walker Parking Consultants, while another group kept running under the name Carl Walker and developed into a parking Design-Build consulting/ contracting firm.
This presentation has been prepared to introduce the young architects to the specialty of “Parking Functional Designer”; it details:
a. How to determine the need, capacity and location for a Parking Facility
b. Language and definitions used by the industry
c. Parking modes and dimensions of parking spaces
d. Structural impact on the parking layout
e. Understanding of the efficiency in parking
f. Relationship between pedestrian and vehicular routes within the facility
g. Vehicular access at entry points
h. Ramping systems and traffic schemes within a facility
i. Graphics and way finding
l. Do and do nots in:
• Electrical & Lighting
m. Parking Access Equipment
n. Introduction to the operation and maintenance of parking.
I hope that by the end of this lecture, students will become aware of how much this discipline is important in the planning of cities and neighborhoods and learn to avoid the errors of the past, the neglect and the tendency to bypass the provision of proper parking which resulted in the congestion in our streets and neighborhoods.
About the lecturer
Saleh Srouji: A recognized leader in the area of parking facility design with over 30 year experience designing, managing construction, and consulting for parking facilities around the world. Graduated 1976 with Degree in Architecture; Academie Libanaise de Beaux Arts (ALBA).
Joined Desman Associates in 1998 (one of the three firms that started the parking design as a specialty in the US); following six months training in Desman’s New York office relocated to Northern Virginia and was assigned the design and project management of several parking structures on the east coast of the United States.
Joined Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2001 to lead the parking design effort in a joint venture to promote parking design-build projects for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA), a successful effort to substitute large parking lot areas by parking structures and vacate land to create Transit Oriented Communities (TOD) around Metro stations.
As the Parking Design Leader with Parsons Brinkerhoff, had a global exposure to projects within the United States and the Middle East, in cities such as Washington DC; San Antonio, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; Abu Dhabi, UAE and Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Between 2001 and 2012 participated in the planning and design of several transportation projects including train and bus stations and maintenance facilities.
Retired from Parsons Brinckerhoff, November 2012, and relocated to Beirut, Lebanon.
International Parking Institute, IPI Magazine issue of June 2005, published an article by Saleh Srouji entitled: “Design Build: How does it Impact Parking Consultants”.
November 11, 2008 Speaker in the 1st Middle East Parking Symposium presented a lecture entitled: “Proper Planning Prevents Parking Problems”