If there ever was a place that could throw a three-hour party for the grand opening of a parking garage, it's LA. When West Hollywood's new three-story automated parking garage is unveiled on May 24, there will be DJs, tours, refreshments, and speeches from government officials. Ironically, parking for the event is available offsite. It'll be quite the shindig for West Hollywood's new "clean, green, parking machine."
But it's all for good reason. The opening marks the first municipal robot parking garage built on the West Coast. WeHo's new garage is pushing the city forward, into a future without parking ramps. Drivers will no longer tread a seemingly endless spiral of concrete in search of a spot. Lines of idling cars won't back up for several stories when some dingus tries to pay cash at a credit only exit. No more amateur traffic cops halting movement of the line so their buddy can pull out. What a wonderful world it will be.
WeHo's new automated garage has the capacity to house 200 cars, and puts all the hard work of parking on the shoulders of robots where it belongs. Drivers simply park their car in one of four ground-level entry bays, grab their ticket, and the garage itself finds an open spot for the car. When it's time to go, the parking ticket tells the garage where to find the car and it's brought down while you wait.
The convenience alone makes the project worthwhile, but there're also some fringe benefits to eliminating parking ramps. The decrease in CO2 emissions when cars no longer have to circle the lot is the same as taking 92 cars off the road. To spruce up the drab entry bays, the city hired local artists to paint murals on the walls. Plus, without the need for ramps, the parking garage takes up 7,000 less square feet than a normal garage of its capacity. All that saved space was used for West Hollywood's Community Plaza, a "tranquil park-like space" complete with trees, benches, a water feature, and a stage.
Can't make it out to the grand opening? Check out the parking robot in action in this video.
- The Future of Parking is in West Hollywood [Press Release]
- City to Host a Celebration for the Grand Opening of its Automated Garage [Press Release]
- Watch West Hollywood's Future Robot Parking Garage in Action [Curbed LA]