Tag Archives: lighting

Putting Parking’s Best Foot Forward

By Matt Davis and Taylor Kim

How many times have you thought about going somewhere only to cringe at the thought of having to park? Parking sets the tone for our experience at a destination; if that experience is a negative one, it can detract from everything that follows. So, how can we create a parking environment that enhances the beginning and end to the user journey?

Lighting and signage can go a long way toward making a garage feel more welcoming, whether you are designing new parking or simply looking to spruce up an existing asset. Adding architectural appeal is another way to make parking an enjoyable experience. Likewise, public art–from painted murals by local artists to large-scale, intricate installations–provides an opportunity for a parking facility to express its identity and connect to its surroundings in unique ways. A public plaza can further integrate parking into the context of its environment.

The parking experience is about far more than aesthetics, however. Parking guidance systems that take the stress out of finding a space, and amenities such as valet can set a destination apart from others around it.

Would you like to see real-life examples of parking that has accomplished this, and more? Join us along with Josh Kavanagh, CAPP, director of transportation at UC San Diego, in Anaheim for the 2019 IPMI Conference & Expo. Our panel, Putting Parking’s Best Foot Forward, will explore the different ways parking can create a transformative experience.

Matt Davis is an associate principal and Taylor Kim is a project manager with Watry Design, Inc. They will present on this topic at the 2019 IPMI Conference & Expo, June 9-12 in Anaheim, Calif. For more information and to register, click here.

Lighting it Up

By David M. Feehan

Some years ago, when I was president of the Downtown Community Alliance in Des Moines, Iowa, I had a conversation with then-City Manager Eric Anderson about signage and wayfinding.

I argued we should take responsibility for a visitor’s journey into downtown and to a parking place from the time they entered the city. In other words, signage should guide them from their point of entry to a safe, secure, and inviting parking facility. Eventually, we agreed in concept and decided to examine signage and wayfinding on all major routes leading into downtown.

It was some time later that I served on a parking panel in Seattle with Todd Pierce, president of Pictoform. When Todd heard about our new book, Design Downtown for Women – Men Will Follow, he sent me a lengthy and helpful memo regarding how to make parking garages friendlier for women.

One of his key suggestions has to do with “the first 20 feet,” and he recommended that parking garage owners and operators greatly brighten up the first 20 feet of any parking garage entrance. Such a simple idea! And yet how many times have you pulled into a garage and your first impression is what a dark place it is? It leads to the perception voiced by one woman we interviewed for the book: “Most parking garages are dark, dull, dirty, and dangerous.”

The memo included a long list of great suggestions garage owners can use to make parking facilities more woman-friendly. But first, remember that famous line from the Bible: “Let there be light.”

David M. Feehan is president of Civitas Consultants, LLC.