Parking structures should be used instead of parking lots

Columns

By Chrissy Begle, Layout And Design Editor

parking-garage-livewallCOM
Parking garages are a better bargain in the long run for both the owner and the environment, and help solve the problem of not enough or far-flung parking. (Image from livewall.com)

Parking lots sprawl over the land like asphalt seas, even attracting sea gulls, but with more “outbuildings” being raised to maximize foot-traffic efficiency, finding a spot has become harder, ironically. Lots are a waste of space with problems like traffic congestion and their impact on the environment through deforestation and runoff water.

In winter, snow removal and salting is necessary, and those who park in the lots must remove snow that has accumulated on their cars while parked. Users must walk through harsh weather conditions and even risk splashes from inconsiderate drivers.

Parking garages, however, conserve space by building up or underground. Less damage is done to parking spaces and vehicles because of weather, and underground parking has the benefit of protecting from temperature extremes as well. While many view parking garages as an eyesore or cramped and difficult to navigate, the truth is that they can be designed to be attractive and efficient, just as parking lots can be tight or spacious.

According to parking.org, parking lot construction is cheaper construction-wise, but more land must be purchased, more maintenance is required and reconstruction is necessary 30 years sooner than a parking structure. Less space used for parking is more space to lease to businesses for extra income, and businesses can often be incorporated right into the structure by having entry doors within the structure.

When the parking garage is completely enclosed by the buildings it serves, it becomes both more attractive and secure as pointed out by parking.org. Parking garages in general have a reputation for being less secure than parking lots, but a combination of design, technology and policies can mitigate the drawbacks.

Take it one step further when building a parking structure put a park or at least some solar panels on the roof. No one wants to park on the roof anyway it’s just another parking lot.