Increasing Air Travel Leads to Increased Demand for Parking

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Most airports are facing a parking problem or soon will be as the U.S. Department of Transportation predicts 1 billion air passengers by 2015. Airport planners and managers continue to look for real, economical, innovative and greener solutions to difficult airport parking situations. Simon Design Engineering LLC and its subsidiary, Urban Parking Concepts, both of Wellesley, MA, is continually studying this problem and offers solutions which include new construction, existing garage expansion, temporary and moveable garages, and automated parking facilities.

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Our solutions include new construction, existing parking facility expansions, temporary and movable parking facilities and state of the art automated parking facilities which can be used independently or in combination. Simon Design works with planners to determine the optimal parking solution that is most economical, efficient and optimizes land use.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Washington's Sea-Tac International Airport is having a parking dilemma; there simply aren't enough spaces for passenger and rental cars on site. To free spaces for passengers, they are considering requiring rental companies to build off-site depots. But, off-site parking hosts a myriad of issues, including continuous shuttling which leads to more traffic, pollution, cost of shuttling busses and the added headaches for passengers. Keeping passengers on airport grounds is the ideal solution, but ideal conditions for parking aren't always available as land becomes scarcer, security tighter, funds are reallocated or drying up, and decisions take longer to be made.

This parking dilemma isn't unique, most airports are facing this problem or soon will be; the U.S. Department of Transportation predicts 1 billion air passengers by 2015.

Simon Design Engineering LLC and its subsidiary, Urban Parking Concepts, both of Wellesley, MA, has been studying this intensifying situation and is providing real, economical, innovative and greener solutions to difficult airport parking situations.

"We look beyond the traditional approach which tends to be very expensive and disruptive to operations and passengers," said William Wieners, of Simon Design Engineering. "Our solutions include new construction, existing parking facility expansions, temporary and movable parking facilities and state of the art automated parking facilities which can be used independently or in combination. Simon Design works with planners to determine the optimal parking solution that is most economical, efficient and optimizes land use."

Expanding Existing Airport Parking:
When airport garages were built in the past, the need for a future expansion of airport operations and the need for parking were not always considered in tandem. Expanding existing airport garages is generally disruptive to operations and involves partial demolition, supplemental support of the existing building and integrated facade aesthetics. But Simon Design engineers have developed a systemized approach that addresses these issues, makes expansion to these structures feasible and minimizes interruption to parking operations during construction.

Simon Design Engineering is a national leader in design and delivery of pre-manufactured parking facilities. Pre-manufactured systems using precast concrete and a combination of steel and precast elements have been used for decades. Simon has taken the basic design concepts of steel frame and precast concrete decking elements and combined them in a way that brings a new dimension to the optimization of parking programs. Simon Design parking solutions are durable, and easily maintained providing both longevity and economy.

Most recently, Simon Design Engineering parking solutions has teamed with Berlin Steel and Scalamandri Construction for Jet Blue Airlines employees at JFK Airport with a new 1,500 space free standing parking structure

Burlington International Airport in Burlington, VT has engaged Simon Design, along with Freeman French Freeman Architects, to expand its existing parking facility. Simon Design Engineering is scheduled to add additional spaces to the Burlington airport moving forward in two additional phases. These will be the third phase and forth phases of parking expansion at the Burlington International Airport that began in 1997 and will bring the total available spaces to 3,200.

Manchester International Airport retained Simon Design Engineering with DMJM Harris Architects to expand their existing parking by 7,000 spaces, with this two-phase expansion scheduled for completion in 2010.

Temporary and Moveable Parking Facilities:
Temporary/Movable parking garages, like Urban Parking Concepts' ReloPark System, are moveable or removable structures which are generally leased. The structures are constructed using the same structural soundness and construction code criteria of permanent parking facilities, but don't require a permanent long-term commitment of scarce land. The structures are prefabricated off-site to provide timely, safe and convenient field assembly, usually in less than 8 months. These structures are ideal for use in land banking and during expansion or new garage construction. Various façade systems can be used to enhance the aesthetics of the structure.

"There is no capital outlay required by the client for this solution. Temporary garages offer a quick, effective solution to parking shortages while buying time to further evaluate needs and long term solutions," explains Wieners.

Automated Parking Facilities
For land use efficiency and a greener solution, automated parking systems, such as those offered by Urban Parking Concepts, can hold up to three times the number of cars as traditional ramped parking garages. The patented Triple-Motion technology moves passenger cars from the arrival level to a parking space and back without human assistance. Urban can provide 500 spaces of new automated parking in as little as 10,000 square feet of land and 1,500 new spaces using only 20,000 square feet of available land. "Automated parking facilities have been in use for years in Europe and Asia. They offer a fast, economical and green solution for scarce land," continues Wieners. "For those facilities actively practicing land banking, this is an ideal solution which enables developers to meet parking requirements in less space over the long term."

Taking a unique approach when working with airport management, Simon Design Engineering and Urban Parking Concepts looks at the whole picture, including campus planning, capital outlay, profitability, projected growth, traffic studies, daily operations and building aesthetics. Their goal is to meet the increasing demand for both passenger and rental car parking while keeping travelers on-site.

About Simon Design Engineering, LLC
Simon Design Engineering, a Professional Engineering Design Services organization, provides the latest client focused concepts and solutions to Owners, Developers, Public Agencies, Architects and Builders throughout the U.S. In addition to traditional design services, the group specializes in planning and design of all types of parking concepts including automated parking facilities, free-standing parking facilities, integral mixed use parking facilities and underground parking facilities. For more information about Simon Design's Temporary and Moveable Parking garages, call (781)237-2226 or visit http://www.sde-us.com.

About Urban Parking Concepts
Urban Parking Concepts is a turn-key provider of state-of-the-art automatic parking. Based in Wellesley, MA, the company's patented system delivers impressively more parking in less time and at a lower cost than conventionally available systems. To learn more about the unique business advantages of automated parking garages and Urban Parking Concepts systems, call (617)224-2651 or visit http://www.urbanparkingconcepts.com.

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Mary Anne Piccirillo

Mary Anne Piccirillo
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