Innovative Parking Garage Safety

Thanks to some smart choices by Brookfield Properties, plus innovative design work and fabrication by their solutions providers, patrons at the recently revitalized FIGat7th parking garage in downtown Los Angeles are better protected from wayward vehicles.

“The structure itself is about 16 years old, and was in great need of an update as well as safety improvements,” says Warren Vander Helm, managing partner of the Parking Design Group. “Our client wanted to make the garage more appealing and the wayfinding clearer while at the same time making it safer for pedestrians.”

Two things that stand out are the use of bollards to provide protected paths of travel for pedestrians traversing the new Level 1 loading area, and an innovative steel platform at the Level 8 pay-on-foot machines. There, two pay stations are located against the wall nearest the elevators, which means patrons using the machines have their back to approaching vehicles — a significant vulnerability.

“Brookfield wanted to protect the patrons — not to mention the pay stations — from being run into, but this is on the eighth floor of a post-tension slab parking garage, so core drilling large bollards into the floor was impossible,” explains Rob Reiter of Blockaides, Inc. “The answer was to build a steel platform that the machines would sit on, with steel bollards built into the platform to provide protection.”

The platform, says Vander Helm, “is just slightly up off the floor so enough structural members can go underneath. Now, instead of simply hoping that no driver would ever have a mishap near the machines, companies like Brookfield Properties can install pay stations virtually anywhere and be confident that safety has not been compromised. It’s a great, affordable solution.”

About Mark Wright

Mark Wright is the executive director of the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT).

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