Businesses of all kinds consider parking management to be important for at least two reasons – customers and employees. Customers are willing to trust a brand more when the parking lot is safe and well-maintained.
Employees consider parking to be a major perk for working. Plus, they also rest assured that their vehicle will stay safe all day. Parking is a major challenge across American cities, but a lack of space is hardly the problem.
In most cases, poor parking management is responsible for disrupted traffic flow and congestion issues. In this article, we will walk you through a step-by-step path to successful parking management.
Start With A Solid Foundation
If you’re still working out your parking lot maintenance plan, remember that you’ll never go wrong with a well-designed parking lot. This would include looking after four key components:
If an overhaul is underway, you have the great opportunity to choose your parking lot’s pavement material wisely. In general, the pavement is either made of concrete or asphalt. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages.
For instance – asphalt pavements can be laid and set quickly, but they are heavy-maintenance when compared to concrete pavements. On the other hand, concrete pavements may demand more time and money, but they hold up better.
Your choice must be based on the budget, the pavement’s exposure to weather elements and traffic, and your capacity for ongoing maintenance.
Several parking lots are disfigured beyond recognition due to a simple and avoidable problem – rainwater stagnation. Without proper drainage, water tends to pool and damage the parking lot’s surface. It can lead to cracks and holes that cause the following issues over time –
- Risk of tripping and falling over
- Reduced pavement life expectancy
- Unsanitary conditions
- Damage to surrounding infrastructure and vehicles
Drainage issues are the most ghastly in the case of underground parking lots. It’s important to consult a reliable professional so that correct drainage slopes and systems may be developed.
In the case of both concrete and asphalt, the pavement must be coated with a layer of sealant or seal coating. This helps preserve the pavement’s resilience against constant wheel traffic and harsh weather conditions.
Ideally, you must apply a sealant every couple of years. This involves a thin liquid layer that protects the paved surface against any damage. Do remember that seal coating is a preventive measure. If the pavement already has cracks or other forms of damage, repair work must be performed first.
Just like any other space, your parking lot also requires regular cleaning. This will remove dirt and debris, thereby exposing areas in need of repairs. Besides removing all obstructions for drivers, this also helps keep your parking lot safe.
If debris is allowed to accumulate, it can accelerate the process of deterioration. On another note, a tidy and well-cleaned lot speaks highly of your professionalism and work ethic. This way, more motorists will trust your facility’s services.
Look After The Striping And Signage
A parking garage’s markings, striping, and signage are extremely important aspects from a safety viewpoint. These include pedestrian traffic signage, crosswalk markings, one-way lane signs, entry-exit markings, etc.
Besides, even the lighting within the facility should be bright, making the signage visible from afar. The same holds especially true for underground parking lots. Proper signage helps organize the lot, directs drivers for seamless traffic flow, and indicates vacant spots.
Ensure the paints are bright, durable, and preferably water-based. You can hire professional parking management services that specialize in correct striping and signage. The professionals will not only know the best paint to use but will apply it under the right temperature for maximum visibility and durability.
Control Traffic Flow Efficiently
Another key aspect to keep in mind as your parking lot is managed professionally is to control the traffic flow effortlessly. The experts will always have a well-drafted plan to ensure traffic moves in and out of the lot smoothly.
This would cover different areas, including –
- Creating a free traffic flow through plenty of markings and signs. This makes the layout easily understandable, and barricades during peak hours prevent accidents within the lot.
- Banning speed driving within the lot. While speed limit signs are good, they may not always be effective. Additionally, the lot should have speed breakers and curbs that compel drivers to slow down.
- Highlighting highly restricted areas through bollards and delineators, not just parking stands. This should help prevent gridlock.
- Installing a lot of bright lights. It’s appalling that many parking lots (mainly the underground ones) are dimly lit or pitch dark. Besides bright lights, having lights of different colors to indicate vacant or occupied spaces is a good idea. For instance – green for vacant and red for occupied.
Apart from these, you can ask the professionals for specific services that cater to unique needs. According to FC Valet, hotels with valet parking can consult a parking management company that coordinates with valet services. Similarly, hospitals in need of shuttle services can choose a company coordinating with shuttle services.
Ensure Proper Security Measures
The security aspect of the parking lot is so critical that it must be mentioned separately. Parking lots are often the target of violent crimes like vandalism, theft, assaults, carjacking, and whatnot. If visitors do not feel safe in your parking lot, they’re unlikely to come again (at least not to park).
The following should improve your parking facility’s security factor –
- Sufficient Lighting – Ample lighting illuminates all areas and minimizes closed-shadowed corners. Regular checks must be conducted for any burnt-out lighting systems.
- Automated Surveillance Systems – Security systems like CCTV cameras, voice-activated security systems (VASS), and motion detectors must be installed to monitor any suspicious activity.
- Staff Access Control Measures – This includes the traditional security elements, including human personnel and guard dogs. These in tandem with technology will bolster the parking lot’s security.
Inspect And Repair Damage
The maintenance frequency of a parking lot varies based on the quality of materials used, weather conditions, traffic, etc. If adequately paved and maintained, a lot should easily stay in shape for 20 to 30 years. During this period, maintenance activities would primarily involve sweeping and removing snow or oil deposits.
However, you must be on guard for any major damages, such as open potholes, cracks, paint chipping off, and more. With heavy untimely damage, deferred maintenance can be a slippery slope. To prevent further deterioration and any hazards, conduct periodic inspections and prompt repair work.
The need of the hour is to redesign cities to efficiently utilize the current parking lots. Most places have more parking facilities than housing. This includes shopping malls, hospitals, hotels, and more.
Much of the issue revolving around parking arises from inadequate management and maintenance of such facilities. With the right parking management company’s services, commercial outlets should be able to streamline parking for their customers and employees.
As a result, they can minimize damage caused to the lots, regulate traffic flow, and prevent parking lot crimes from increasing.