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Flat Pack Parking

Rentable double decker parking.
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(+10, -4)
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My first posted idea so please bear with me.

Parking lots are sized to the average load for a facility, but there are always some times when that's just not enough. Be it the mall at Christmas time, or the local stadium when the team is in the play- offs, there are just to many cars.

That's where flat pack parking comes in.

This is a simple to assemble parking deck that mounts over the existing parking lot. It's made of steel trusses and flat (possibly heavy gauge honeycomb steel) sections that simply snap together. These sections are designed to be brought in on a flat bed truck, assembled either with a winch and hand tools, built in hydraulics, or a crane also mounted on the truck. Conveniences such as lighting for the now covered area, stairs, and anything else are all built in, with simple plug in connections for power.

When the parking is not needed it's either packed away in the basement (eliminating the need for year round maintainence) or returned to the rental company until next time.

MechE, Dec 24 2006

This has been common in NYC for decades http://aclifts.com/parking/
[Ronx, Dec 25 2006]

Also cool http://aclifts.com/...s/images/cnn_bb.wmv
Robotic storing of cars [Ronx, Dec 25 2006]

[link]






       I haven't done the math, but maybe it would be practical to prestage this on a series of tractor-trailers. Just parallel park them, hook them up, lift and configure, and presto, elevated parking garage.
normzone, Dec 24 2006
  

       [normzone] I was definitely thinking more than one section per trailer, but if you started at one end, raised the entire row, pulled forward one length and repeated, that would make installation a lot simpler. You'd have to do something fancier for ramps and such though.
MechE, Dec 24 2006
  

       Given modern alloys, wild things could be achieved <Wild thing......you make my heart sing......you make everything..groovy>
normzone, Dec 24 2006
  

       This would be good in the summer time if you park on the ground level.
BJS, Dec 25 2006
  

       [Ronx] The advantage of this system over a lift is full accesiblity and no active components once it is in place. With a lift you have to remove the lower car, before you can get to the next one. Also, for commercial use you have to have an operator, even with the robotic one.   

       Flat pack parking is a setup and go system. It provides a full second parking level with drive in and out access identical to a normal parking garage. It should also be cheaper on a per space basis, and easier to move around when the extra capacity is no longer needed.
MechE, Dec 25 2006
  

       I think you're working with a false premise here. All the parking lots near me seem to be sized for maximum load (or close to it), not average load. Parking lots at the shopping malls around here usually have oodles of empty spaces. They really only fill up on the very busiest days.   

       If my supposition that parking lots are sized for maximum load, then adding more parking during busy times would only create more problems, because there are lots of other systems that would also have to scale up temporarily to handle all the people that your temporary parking brings in. The mall would have to bring in port-a-pottys, for example. It would have to negotiate with the local fire inspector to increase the maximum occupancy ratings. And it would have to work with the police department to change the traffic patterns and maybe get some cops to direct traffic in order to handle the extra cars.   

       To the degree that a mall or other facility is able to handle more customers than the parking lots allow, the facility should look to solutions such as mass transit to bring in those people.
ThinkTwice, Dec 25 2006
  

       [ThinkTwice] Some parking lots may be sized for maximum load, some are to typical load, many are done to space available. Maybe I erred in choosing malls as my primary use suggestion, as they often do have ample parking. But events, churches, airports, anything else that requires more parking at peak times would be able to use this.   

       I agree that mass transit would be a better choice, but it is not always available, convienient, or practical. This would also allow parking lots to be sized for average load, eliminating some of the wasted space around malls, or the overflow parking areas at airports.
MechE, Dec 26 2006
  

       // If my supposition that parking lots are sized for maximum load, then adding more parking during busy times would only create more problems //   

       Actually it wouldn't.. at least not with the malls and shopping centers built around the 1960's and 70's. I have gone places where there has been a full parking lot and a half-empty building which is a result of single-occupant driving that has increased in the last 20 years. There was a time when there were either more people in a car at a time or they were using mass transit to get to the mall. The amount of cars in a parking lot is not as indicitave to the occupancy of a building as it once was so I figure that if you increased the parking capacity it would have little impact on the overall capacity of the building.
Jscotty, Dec 26 2006
  

       Most malls (at least where I live) and special events have optional or sometimes mandatory valet parking during times when parking is scarce.   

       The valet parking increase total capacity because self parking uses 50% of the space for access to spots.
Ronx, Dec 26 2006
  

       A key difficulty with the proposed system is weight bearing and foundations. Building a strong portable deck and strong portable pillars is a straightforward engineering challenge, but without some sort of footer those pillars are going to sink right through the asphalt into the ground below and the whole structure will collapse.
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 22 2007
  

       brilliant
Voice, Sep 01 2008
  

       Ditto, [Voice]...
Wily Peyote, Feb 06 2009
  

       I know I'm bumping my own, very old, idea, but a new application just occurred to me today. It probably does require the addition of a shaker element to the structure. It also requires that the decking be porous honeycomb rather than skinned, but otherwise it should be possible.   

       Put the structure up before the first snow fall, and turn the shaker on during the snow fall. All of the snow falls through the decking into the original parking area due to the vibration, and all of your customers can park on the deck. No more plowing needed, and you just have to shovel the base of the stairs and a narrow path to your entrance.
MechE, Feb 17 2015
  

       Putting shopping carts overhead at the local Wal Mart would free up two parking spaces for each shopping cart corral raised.   

       Getting the carts up there and back down without liability law suits would be a sticking point.   

       The space next to handicap parking could also support a second floor deck, Maybe space for vending machines with a 2 story drop or security cams.
popbottle, Feb 17 2015
  

       The problem with using this for snow issues is that it would be needed for long periods of time in the winter by all stores in the area. I can't image that it would be cost effective to move it around multiple times per year to follow snow storms, and unless you found enough customers to rent them during the summer, it wouldn't end up being cost effective.   

       It seems to me like it would be more effective to build a 3 story parking garage, so the bottom two levels are fully available during snowy times. Or put the parking under the building.
scad mientist, Feb 18 2015
  
      
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