The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted normal daily activities. Around the world, people went from driving to work and running errands to working from home and ordering online within days. As a result, traffic jams on typically busy urban roads vanished, and crowded parking spaces turned empty.
Parking facilities immediately faced the possibility of ending the year with only a tiny fraction of their projected annual earnings. Although some operators were quick to repurpose their parking lots into makeshift health facilities, COVID-safe farmer’s markets, and socially distanced playgrounds, most managers opted to save their money and temporarily abandon their facilities.
Now that people are gradually getting out of their homes, parking facilities are eager to return to pre-COVID operations. However, if you are among those owners that closed doors for months, you will likely find your parking lot showing some signs of neglect.
Fortunately, it is entirely possible to revive your neglected parking lot. Here are five straightforward tips for getting it back in business.
1. Switch on the Lights
Lighting is the simplest and most impactful way to bring a parking lot back to life. Collisions with the structure, vehicles, and pedestrians are much less likely in a well-lit space. Better lighting also eliminates dark zones, deterring any criminals and pests.
After months of non-operation, your facility probably has some broken lights. Walk around replacing them while noting down the areas that need more light than is currently available. You can also look into some more sustainable options that allow you to keep critical areas of your facility well-lit for longer without bumping up your energy bill.
2. Do a Facelift
Once you have fixed the lighting, it is time to get your hands dirty. Look around for littered stairwells, peeling paint, broken glass, molding corners, and other signs of neglect or vandalism. Then, prioritize accordingly and handle these issues one by one.
Depending on your budget, you can gift your parking lot with a fresh coat of colorful paint or a new well-draining floor. Most importantly, reaffirm the markings for direction arrows, bays, bumps, and pedestrian walkways to make your reopened facility as safe as possible.
3. Re-evaluate Access Points
Suitably-positioned, well-lit, and continuously monitored access points can improve traffic flow and safety and motivate more motorists to visit your facility. So, with the facility makeover out of the way, proceed to reassess how motorists and pedestrians enter and leave your parking lot. Consider the accessibility of the main entry- and exit-ways, keeping in mind how cars move as they make their way into the parking lot, and deploy striping and direction arrows to ensure efficient vehicle movement.
Also, look for damaged emergency exits, security barriers, and CCTV cameras and schedule them for repair. You may also need to trim any overgrown bushes or hedges that could be obscuring CCTV visibility. The more control you have over how people enter and leave your facility, the easier it will be to manage, especially when parkers return in full swing.
4. Check Signage
If you are opening your parking lot gates for the first time in months, you will probably need to repaint your signage. You can also install new signage that displays relevant information like COVID-19 social distancing and sanitizing measures.
Signage is a relatively cheap method for eliminating chaos and improving safety in a parking facility. Distracted or lost motorists and pedestrians make for potential accidents in parking lots. So, ensure you give your signs the upgrade they need before reopening your facility.
5. Update Your Technology
Lockdowns and quarantine measures gave people more opportunities to interact with innovative technology and appliances. Even individuals that did not know how to fire up Zoom or place online food orders learned pretty quickly. Meanwhile, smart home solutions gained momentum, as people realized they could make their rooms hot or cold, dark or illuminated, with just one word or gesture.
As the world gets back to commuting, motorists that have spent months enjoying the instant gratification of smart technology will be expecting the same experience from parking facilities. So, when planning your reopening, consider implementing smart parking solutions for common headaches like traffic, finding parking, and making payments.
With a parking app like Pavemint, for instance, you can give your customers the chance to pay for parking safely and conveniently from their smartphones rather than a walk-up payment machine.
If your parking lot had remained dormant all through the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to reopen. Take the straightforward measures above and get your facility back on its feet sooner rather than later.