A Parking Legend Reminisces on 3M

February, 2015

It’s been a long time since we’ve been face-to-face––-probably at one of the parking conventions. I’m still doing some parking consulting–primarily in functional design and expert witness work. And I do enjoy leafing thru the online version of Parking Today.

 Of note is your recent article and commentary on 3M and Federal APD. In retrospect, this seemed like an “odd couple” marriage.  Carl Walker & Associates (now Walker Parking Consultants) was started in 1965.  Back then, 3M specialized in the manufacture of sand papers and tapes (Scotch), and a new product Scotchclad was a polyurethane (if I recall correctly) coating to magically seal parking decks from the ravages of deicing salts. However, I believe they got out of that market before losing too much money

 To be honest, I find it difficult to recognize many of the vendors that advertise with you.  It used to be Federal APD, Amano, Duncan and a few more.  The financial control systems have certainly advanced and created a whole new set of problems–credit card hacking for example.  But with parking decks the basic problems are still there–-structural durability, security, and operational control.

I’m amazed how the security and operational control aspects of design have advanced while parking structures continue to deteriorate. Why?  Recently, I’ve become aware of the NPA Parking Consultants Council being at odds with the American Concrete Institute’s Parking Structures Committee on the proper way to design and construct vehicle barrier walls in parking decks.  I’ve been on both sides of that issue.  I do agree with you, however, that change is usually for the better.

Best wishes for a bountiful 2015,

Carl Walker, PE, CWConsulting, LLC