Restriping DOES work…


Restriping DOES work…

In reference to this post by JVH.  Here’s a place where restriping did the job.

I really like this one, as it is a classic way to increase parking at low cost if done right.  Here is an example that recently occurred at a local College here in Albany, NY.

The College President wanted to address their parking supply shortfall, and was considering building a 400 space parking garage to do so.  At an estimated cost of $20K per space with a net gain of only 250 spaces (because it would be sited on existing surface parking to preserve green space) the economics didn’t work right.  The cost could not be self-liquidating especially given the low rates they charge.  So if they had made this investment it would have meant they would not have been able to allocate funds to other items that were closer to the institutional mission (teaching, research, and public service).

At the same time, the layout of the existing surface parking lots was inefficient due to poor design and also outdated zoning requirements with minimum space widths of 9′.  The zoning standards did not take into account bay width, angle of entry, intended use, or any other factors that relate to proper functional design and level of service (LOS).

We analyzed lot layouts and saw the opportunity to gain about 150 spaces, and convinced the zoning board to allow as little as 8 1/2′ wide perpendicular spaces in a 60′ bay configuration.  After all we are not talking about a shopping mall with high turnover, rather a basic access need was being met.  Resulting LOS was either "C", "B", and even "A" here and there as many spaces were still at 8′ 9" or 9′ wide given some rows being too short to allow for space gains.

The only cost was sealing and striping.  The sealing needed to be done anyway, and so the additional cost was nominal.

While this did not satisfy the entire space gain it was a very positive improvement, and well received by everyone except a few people that drove hummers.  I guess they get what they deserve anyway…

Of course the same thing applies to City’s, Hospital’s, Theme Parks, etc…  The thing to avoid are overly simplified zoning standards that do not serve the access needs of the constituency.  Better is to allow for suitable LOS in terms of functional design.  The more efficient we make our parking lots the more cost effective our solutions, and therefore we are delivering value to our customers.


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John Van Horn

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