Parking Space

Given the astronomical cost of renting a parking space in some downtown areas (i’ve heard of up to $30 000 a year in some apartment blocks), efficient use of the space is of paramount importance. So how do you calculate the best use of space to allow the most cars to occupy a given area. I had a quick go at this problem, taking into account area of land available, dimensions of vehicle and turning cycle but came up with nothing. How would you approach this problem? Any architects, planners around? Is there a formula which can be used? If you just use intuition, can you prove that this is the most efficient use of the space?

I know when I worked in naval architecture, we had general equations to figure out estimated crew capacities. Then we sat down and tried to fit the state rooms in. Often, there were obstacles (piping trunks, support bulkheads, etc.) that cut a few staterooms out of the picture.

I imagine it’s the same with parking. I’ve noticed in garages around here that there’s either 2 or 3 spaces between support columns. Sometimes the pairs are almost big enough for a third, or the triples are barely enough for 3 Yugos.

By now, I’m sure that for something as simple as a parking space, there’s a CAD program that’ll do a best-fit routine to make as many spaces as possible.

Android, I have a book here, “Essential Engineering Information and Data,” published in 1991 by McGraw Hill, edited by Ejup N. Ganic & Tyler G. Hicks.

In it there are several pages of tables, formulas and diagrams for determining the parking slot, egress and traffic maintenance allowances. It’s far to much to post here, but if you want I can copy it and mail it to you.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

In Japan I saw all sorts of whimsical and ridiculous-looking contraptions for dealing with parking. The most ridiculous (and most clever) was something of a elipsoid Ferris Wheel. You would pay your fee, and then the wheel would turn until an empty space would show up at ground level. You would then drive your car onto the ramp and be on your way. When the time came to get your car back, you entered the number of your space, the wheel would turn, and your car would be at ground level again.

These things were about as wide as two conventional parking spaces and held about 6 cars, IIRC.

Hee hee! Al Jaffee came up with this idea years ago in Mad Magazine. I’m tickled that somebody did it for real!

Uncy Beer, thanks, but i’ve nailed the said book down in our library…or should I say the computer says it’s there. I’ll take a look asap…thanks.

The idea of motorized parking (the car stays parked while the structure moves) has been around for a while. When I was a kid I had a Matchbox (or maybe it was Hot Wheels) “parking wheel” toy that looked like a ferris wheel for cars, and I’ve recently heard that some actual pilot projects using a related scheme are being constructed in a couple of cities in the US.

The biggest disadvantage, of course, is that if something goes wrong with the mechanism AT BEST you have lots of cars stuck there with no way down until it’s fixed, and at worst you start dropping expensive multi-ton objects from considerable heights onto people’s heads.

Why can’t they just build a car that folds into a briefcase sized package like on The Jetsons?

Why can’t they just build a car that folds into a briefcase sized package like on The

Lumpy - they’re working on it! I saw on The Discovery Channel recently where some Japanese engineers had developed a “car” that fit into a backpack. It was totally electric and it topped out at about 5 MPH. Obviously, more research is needed…