In today’s increasingly congested urban areas, designated off-street parking lots are not enough to meet demand during peak hours. Even now that the pandemic has reduced the number of people visiting city centers, motorists are still often driving around for long periods of time looking for empty parking spaces. This habit is contributing to traffic congestion and air pollution in cities worldwide.
In response, city administrators are looking into ways of addressing the limited parking surface area. One of the most exciting albeit obvious solutions is multi-level parking buildings. Because multi-level parking utilizes more vertical than horizontal space, it makes the best use of scarce urban land.
What is Multi-level Parking?
A multi-level car park is a multi-story parking facility that houses vehicles on all or most of its floors. The primary reason behind constructing a multi-level facility is to maximize the car parking capacity. More often than not, horizontal space is limited to the size of a plot. However, vertical space essentially depends on how high you can make your building.
Multi-level parking comes in two forms: conventional and automated parking.
Conventional multi-level parking can be deployed above ground, on the ground, or underground. Modern conventional multi-level systems are made even more efficient when integrated with software like Pavemint, which allocates empty spaces and directs drivers to their respective spots in the lot.
Meanwhile, automated multi-level parking involves elevators and conveyors. These machines move around a parking lot, carrying cars across different levels for parking and retrieving. Advanced multi-level parking systems rely heavily on technology. Thanks to the machines involved, a motorist can simply leave their car outside, and it would be delivered to an available parking space within the building.
The Benefits of Multi-level Parking
1. Less land is utilized for parking.
Multi-level parking systems are an effective way to optimize parking space utilization. More floors mean parking lots occupy less ground space. By establishing multi-level parking facilities, cities can minimize the combined size of land they allocate to car parks. As a result, they can unlock more land for other economic and social amenities.
Reducing the footprint of parking also means less land is disrupted in the construction of parking lots. Cities can dedicate more space for landscaping and greenery and improve their natural environment.
2. Operators can increase parking capacity cost-effectively.
Multi-level parking is a cut-and-dry solution for increasing the capacity of existing parking lots. In today’s cities, where acquiring space for any type of construction is challenging and expensive, expanding vertically can be a lot more viable than horizontally.
By investing in more floors either downwards or upwards, parking operators can accommodate more cars in the same ground space, expanding their business without incurring any further cost of land. Cities can also benefit from reduced traffic, congestion, and pollution from vehicles searching for parking.
3. Multi-level parking opens parking spaces up to technology.
As alternatives to traditional parking, multi-level parking spaces present more opportunities for parking operators to deploy new technology. Indoor spaces provide a more controlled environment for installing gadgets like cameras and sensors, as well as machines like conveyors and elevators.
With technology, parking managers can accommodate more vehicles with less operating expenses. They can reduce or even replace on-site traffic controllers with mobile apps and maps that can lead drivers directly to their designated parking spaces. Moreover, instead of manual, error-prone payment management solutions, parking companies can use contactless methods to receive payments instantly and conveniently.
Additionally, by using technology to make parking easier for motorists, parking operators can boost their revenue. These gains can be transferred to clients through lower parking rates and cities through higher contributions.
The Future of Parking is Skyward
As the urban population skyrockets and land becomes more valuable, conventional parking is increasingly proving to be non-feasible. Multi-level vehicle parking systems can help cities to maximize parking capacity without exploiting more coveted ground space.
With many governments placing smart cities on their agenda, multi-level facilities are expected to gradually replace existing inefficient parking methods in the coming years. After all, the benefits they promise to drivers, parking operators, and city administrators are too clear to ignore.