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An idea to do something bold for downtown Menlo Park

From: domainremoved <PETER>
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:16:06 -0700

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
0 minutes ago
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
I suggest taking the two existing surface parking lots between Santa Cruz and Menlo and Evelyn and Chestnut and building an underground garage covering that entire area including under Crane. The entire surface area would be repurposed as a pedestrian and bicycle park/plaza including an area for activities like the farmers' market. An automated garage covering that area could easily accommodate 5 times or more cars than the existing lots provide. The park/plaza would encourage existing Santa Cruz businesses to open out to the park/plaza.

An RFP outlining the concept would, I predict, produce some exciting development proposals that would minimize the cost to the city in exchange for a lease to the subterranean rights.

Here what can be done with a bit of creativity:


"downtown Brooklyn's plans to build an automated parking garage underneath a public park. Willoughby Square Park is scheduled to open in 2016, built upon 700 parking spaces that will be hidden from eyesight and 'reduce the amount of exhaust pollution associated with idling in traditional parking garages.'

The contractor, Automotion Parking Systems, will fit three times as many vehicles in the same square footage of a traditional parking garage.

The system is outlined below:

How Automotion Works: Park. Swipe. Leave. It's that simple. Each customer will follow the ramp beneath the park and drive into one of Automotion's 12 entry/exit rooms. Once they enter the large well-lit room, they will be greeted by a large flat screen TV that aids them in properly placing their car on a pallet in the middle of the room. Drivers park and lock their cars, then swipe their credit card at an Automotion Kiosk to initiate the parking process. Each vehicle is then transported automatically to its storage bay while the customer is walking away. When returning, the customer swipes the same credit card again and the car is returned back to the entry/exit room in less than 2 minutes, ready to be driven away. Since no one has touched the car, there is no risk of scratches, dents or dings, nor any chance of theft of goods left inside of the car.

Full sized trees, gardens, and other typical park features will hide the garage, and provide a space people can use.

- See more at: http://www.outinthelandscape.com/blog/2013/09/brooklyns-automated-underground-parking-garage.html

Here are the cost figures for the Brooklyn underground garage :
"Automotion's equipment costs roughly $25,000 a vehicle, which rises to $50,000 to $60,000 a car when the excavation costs are included, Mr. Milstein said. To build a conventional garage beneath Willoughby Square would run closer to $90,000 for each car, he said."

And note that this public-private partnership is costing the city much less than that per parking space:


What we need to do is think outside the box. Such a garage could go under two or more adjacent city surface lots to further enhance the surface area and lower the per space cost.
Received on Wed Jul 23 2014 - 19:13:35 PDT

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