As the integration of mixed-use continues to become more common in the design of parking facilities, there are a number of issues that must be considered to provide the most convenient and pleasant experience for users.
For instance, “nesting” or the separation of users, provides separate and often unconnected areas of the garage for users to call their own. This is most common in mixed-use developments that include residential. Often, residential owners require their own separate spaces within a parking facility. This is also a common practice in developments that serve a healthcare facility.
Another consideration that factors into garage design is the purpose of user visits. For instance, a parking facility that serves a grocery store would incorporate design elements such as flat ramps, to accommodate grocery carts. Similarly, designs would take into account varying needs for users such as office workers, residents, retail shoppers, entertainment destinations, and more.
Another important consideration in a mixed-use development is shared use. Shared use parking strategies help to reduce the amount of parking required, and as a result the size of the parking facility overall. For example, the facility can be used during the day by office employees, and at night by residential users. This concept can help to significantly reduce the number of spaces required in a development.
Finally, there are a number of operational considerations when integrating a parking facility in a mixed-use development. Parking Access and Revenue Control Systems (PARCS) must be able to accommodate a variety of users, from the visiting public to users with monthly or annual parking tags. The system must be able to serve all of these users in a timely and efficient manner. Further, signage is also extremely important when serving a mix of users. Signage throughout the facility must provide clear direction to each of the possible destinations to create a safe, convenient, and pleasant experience for pedestrians and drivers throughout the facility.