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10 Design Points for a Good Car Park
Car park management is a service-based industry, where
performance is ultimately determined by the customers level
of satisfaction. The operation of managing car parks is often
overlooked as simply providing empty spaces for drivers to park
their cars and money is collected from them before they leave. In
actual fact, careful planning needs to be taken into consideration
when ensuring the best parking experience for the car-parking
customers, which go back as early as the design stage. This is
especially important for building owners.
Parking Consultants Ltd (Ireland) managing director Liam Keilthy
has put together a 10-point approach to the assessment and
evaluation of car park design schemes
based on his many years of experience
in the car park management and
consultancy business. His approach
takes the viewpoint of the ultimate
users of the car park the parkers in
preference to that of the design team
or the developer. It highlights issues for
the design team, which are capable of
remedy at the design stage.
The car park must be easy to
locate in the immediate road
For their own reasons local council
planners and traffc engineers delight
in requiring that the entrances to public
car parks be located down narrow
alleys or at the rear of the complex
they are designed to service. While it
is understandable that the planners
want to avoid queues from car park
entrances over-fowing onto busy traffc
routes, there needs to be a recognition
that if people cannot fnd the entrance
they are going to spend lots of time
searching for the entrance or seeking on-street parking
adding to stress, wear and tear on the car and increased
accident rates. If the entrance cannot be accommodated on
the main street, then excellent signage and public lighting is
required to ensure that drivers can locate the entrance with
minimal fuss and inconvenience.
The car park entrance must be easy to see in the
Too often car park entrances are set into the faade of a line
of shops along a street, with the entrance sign lost in a clutter
of other retail signage. Design teams must consider and,
where possible, create the car park entrance as a landmark
in the streetscape, so that drivers unfamiliar with the area do
not overshoot and have to circle around a second time to gain
access to their primary destination. Good signs on both sides
of a street set well in advance of the actual car park entrance
should be provided, along with clear spaces/full signs that can
be read well in advance of the car park entrance.
The car park entrance should be easy to enter from
the public road.
The detailed design of the entrance is
very important to the success of a car
park as well as the health and safety of
pedestrians on footpaths, cyclists and
other road users in the immediate vicinity
of the car park entrance.
The car park entrance is frequently the
frst point of contact between the potential
customers the parker and the shopping
centre, hospital, offce complex and should
be designed with the same attention to
detail as is devoted to the main pedestrian
access points to these facilities.
The car park entrance scheme needs
to include good signage including name
of the car park, welcome, terms and
conditions, tariff, operating hours, height
and other restrictions and operating
In a pay car park, a contract is created
between the driver and the car park
operator once the ticket is pulled. It is vital
therefore that the terms and conditions
under which the contract operates are
clear before the car enters the car park.
The car park must be easy to navigate with a clear
Drivers entering a car park for the frst time or on an infrequent
basis must be able to immediately grasp how the car park
navigation system is intended to operate. This allows them to
concentrate on driving and safely navigating the many hazards
that characterise the interior of a busy car park pedestrians,
children, animals, buggies, shopping trolleys, bins, signs,
columns, ramps etc.
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KDN No. PP 14872/01/2013 (032037)
Excellent signage and foor marking is essential to this objective.
An avoidance of clutter on walls, columns and ceilings will help.
There should be no traffc crossing points and dead-ends are
to be avoided where ever possible.
Internal telematics can be a great assistance in larger car parks
to advise circulating cars of space availability on alternative
levels or in alternative sections of the car park.
Internal ramps need detailed design to minimise banging of
car bottoms or tops on structural members and also possibly
openings in curtain walls to optimise lines of sight for drivers
and for pedestrians in the vicinity of ramp tops or bottoms.
Coded zones and levels help to orient the driver as do features
which carry from one level to another, e.g. pedestrian lobbies,
fre stairs, or large openings in external walls.
Public car parks should be easy to park in.
If circulation routes are cramped or
columns are poorly positioned or
designed, if service ducts or structural
features intrude into the parking space
they make the task of maneuvering
a vehicle into the parking space
unnecessarily stressful and diffcult.
Spaces should be clearly marked.
Ideally double lines between spaces
and lines carried up walls, to help
drivers position their vehicle centrally
within the intended space, helps
everyone. Where space permits
design teams should look at providing
diagonal 60-degree spaces in
preference to 90-degree spaces as
customers love the ease of access
provided by the diagonal spaces.
Spaces that are provided under
ramps should be clearly marked and
customers advised not to reverse in
and to watch their heads when exiting
Car parks must be easy to walk through for pedestrians.
Every parking event involves a minimum of two pedestrian
trips within the car park from the car to the destination and
back from the destination to the car. If the car park control
system is pay & display or disk parking this number increases
immediately. It is therefore essential that walking routes are
well thought out, carefully designed and built, superbly sign-
posted and above all else safe for the users.
There must be zero tripping hazards e.g. plinths or raised
footpaths. There must be clear segregation of pedestrian
routes and vehicular routes. There must be obvious straight-
line routes to the primary destinations - shopping centre,
lobbies, etc. to avoid pedestrians taking short cuts through
parked cars and across vehicular circulation routes.
Lift and stair lobbies must be clearly visible or very well sign
posted from all points within the car park. There should be clear
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lines of sight with no structural intrusions, e.g. lift shafts or fre
escapes that might be viewed by customers as potential locations
for vandals to hide behind. Where possible essential columns
should be cylindrical rather than square for the same reason.
A communications system should be considered so that
distressed or lost customers can communicate with the car
park offce with ease.
The car park must be easy to fnd in the street network.
Pedestrians who leave a car park need to be able to relocate
the car park access points during all operating hours. External
signage designed for pedestrians is essential. It is also helpful
if, as pedestrians depart from the car park they are reminded
of where they are, e.g. Dawson Street Exit, Exit to Roches
Stores, and on which level they have parked their cars. All
lift lobbies should have large numbers indicating where the
pedestrian is.
Car parks must be east to
operate as customers.
It is essential that the payment
system is simple to grasp and to
operate. If a pay on foot system is
employed, then pay stations must be
located in easy to fnd locations on
main return routes, and not hidden
under fights of stairs or only on
alternate foors or on certain levels.
There must be suffcient pay stations
to accommodate all but the busiest
rush, so that vulnerable people do
not get nervous while waiting to pay.
Lobbies should be large, bright and
overlooked by manned offces or
CCTV. There must be a system to
permit manual payment of tickets.
Pedestrian lifts must be of suffcient
capacity to comfortably cater for
busy period and to allow for shopping
trolleys, baby buggies, wheelchairs
etc. They must have phone or
intercom links to the offce. Doors should be of glass or have
large glass panels, to allow people to assess the risks if any of
entering confned spaces.
Car parks must be easy to leave.
Ideally hunting routes should take drivers past as many of the
spaces in the car park as possible, to maximise the probability
of quickly fnd an empty space. Conversely, departing traffc
should be taken by the shortest possible route to the exit.
The exit routes should be clearly marked and intuitive where
possible the footprint should be consistent.
Exit to the public road and directions on turns should be well
sign posted Left for Belfast, South for Dublin etc. For safety
purposes, lines of sight should be well designed to avoid
conficts between pedestrians, cyclists and other road users
and the traffc from the car park. Lighting levels need to be high
to ease the transition from artifcial to natural light.
A Walk of Convenience
SetiaWalk is expected to be an attractive destination
of recreation and commerce. An innovative all-in-one
development, SetiaWalk offers the entire spectrum of lifestyle
living, working and entertainment within a safe, comfortable
and friendly environment. The area comprises of retail outlets,
offces, apartments, small offces/home offces (SOHOs), hotel
and entertainment outlets with an iconic landscape to boot.
Of course, all of these would not be a complete experience
without proper accessibility in terms of parking space for those
who drive. Understanding that good vehicle accessibility and
security is important when it comes to giving driving visitors
a positive experience, the SetiaWalks management have
appointed Secure Parking Corporation to manage its parking
operations with the capacity of 2244 parking bays.
Location and accessibility drive the parking industry. Secure
Parking packages its products best to meet the needs of
each premise. The fexibility allows us to manage yields
effectively to achieve the best possible outcome for both site
owners and ourselves as car park operators, said Secure
Parking Corporation managing director Edward Poh as part
of the companys efforts when securing the tender for parking
operations for SetiaWalk.
In addition to the standard car parking facilities such as auto-
pay systems for parking fee transactions, Secure Parking will
implement its signature National Control Centre, which allows
Tek Soon Street is a busy street in George Town, Penang
where a furry of activities takes place in this historical place.
Named after the 19th century Hakka tycoon, the street is
located well within near distance of key areas like the Komtar
tower, Prangin Mall and the locality Sia Boey.
24/7 monitoring and remote area management capabilities of
the parking equipment. This helps decrease response times
while increasing the rate at which customers parking related
issues are resolved. The Secure Parking-managed parking
bay area is also equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV)
cameras and patrol guards for security.
SetiaWalk is situated in a prime location in Puchong that is
well connected to other urban developments in the Klang
Valley such as Subang Jaya, Bandar Sunway and Petaling
Jaya and Shah Alam through several major highways namely
the Federal Highway, Kesas Highway, Damansara-Puchong
Highway (LDP), New Klang Valley Expressway, New Pantai
Expressway, Elite Highway, Guthrie Super Corridor and the
Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya Highway.
Incidentally, the Malaysian federal government, under its
initiative to improve urban public transport, has approved
the proposal of the light rail transit (LRT) Ampang Lines rail
extension, which will pass through Puchong. One of the LRT
stops would be located adjacent to SetiaWalk. The completion
of the rail extension project would add to the accessibility of
SetiaWalk. On the fipside, vehicle owners will be able to park
their cars safely in SetiaWalks car park managed by Secure
Parking while commuting elsewhere via LRT.
Remember that car park is the last part of the shopping
centre, hospital, or offce complex that the driver and his/her
party will see.
Modern car parks must be easy to operate and
All modern car parks need excellent drainage systems to
deal with windblown rain, car borne rain and water used for
cleaning. They require high quality offces for staff and systems
PC management stations, cashier stations, electricity panels,
safes, intercoms, frst aid, canteen, toilets, phones, lockers,
documentation, storage both wet and dry etc.
Good quality CCTV can help staff manage the car park
effciently. Reliable car park barrier systems are essential to the
smooth operation of the facility as well as the effective capture
of all revenues due.
Bringing an experienced professional car park operator or
consultant into the design process from the frst day will pay
off handsomely, with reduced costs and a vastly improved
fnal product.
Liam Keilthy was for many years CEO of Park Rite Ltd and
today provides his expertise to a broad range of customers
through his consultancy practice Parking Consultants Ltd. This
article is reprinted with permission from Parking Consultants
Ltd, Ireland (www.parkingconsultantsltd.com).
(continued on the back page)
In the Middle of it All
Ivan Goh

Ivan Goh Lee En Tatt joined
Secure Parking on August
7, 2012 as Senior Manager
of Secure Parkings
Penang branch. He holds
a Bachelor Degree of
Science with Honours while
majoring in Accounting and Finance from the
University of Hull, England.
Goh joins Secure Parking with over 18 years
of experience after having worked with several
multi-national companies of various industries
in different regions of the world including Asia,
Africa and South America.
Goh previously was Director of Operations for
e-Games Solutions Inc. which specialises in
providing electronic gaming (e-gaming) machine
solutions and has presence in 23 countries
worldwide. He was also Project Director for the
French multinational company, Editec SA and
Texchem Resources Bhd in Malaysia.
In Secure Parking, Goh will oversee the car
park operations in the northern state ensuring
its development and growth. He can be
reached at +60-19-906 2167 or through email
at ivan.goh@secureparking.com.my
Tel : +60-3-7885 0680
Fax : +60-3-7885 0690
Email: service@secureparking.com.my
Customer Care Hotline: 1 300-88-1698
Secure Parking Corporation
Sdn Bhd (322881-M)
Wisma Secure Parking
L-G-05, Block L
Pusat Dagangan NZX
No. 2, Jalan PJU 1A/41B
Ara Jaya , PJU 1A
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Consulting Editor / Producer
i2Media Sdn Bhd (493346-K)
Suite 10-01, 10th Floor, Block A
Damansara Intan
No. 1, Jalan SS20/27
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Tel : +60-3-7726 8912
Fax: +60-3-7726 8915
Cekap Jaya Enterprise
AS 33, Jalan Hang Tuah 3
Salak South Garden
57100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : +60-3-7980 3023
Fax: +60-3-7980 1130
Joseph Tong

Joseph Tong Liang Hoong
came aboard Secure
Parking on July 9, 2012 and
is the Head of Department
for the companys Sales &
Marketing Department.
In his former position, Tong was the Regional
Sales Manager of Information Technology
(IT) products during his tenure in the previous
company. His experience there has signifcantly
contributed to his 10 years of working experience
in areas relating to both corporate as well as
consumer sales.
In Secure Parking, Tong is in charge of
coordinating various integrated communication
and marketing activities. He is also responsible
for developing and maintaining sales proposals,
collaterals and other materials related to the
promotion of Secure Parkings products and
Tongs decade of knowledge in sales will
help Secure Parking create even more value
for its customers while also build a stronger
relationship with them. Tong can be reached at
+60-12-906 2074 or through email at joseph@
Secure Parkings Continues to Grow with New Talent
(continued from page 3)
Secure Parking Corporation started operating
the Tek Soon Street Open Site car park in
August 2012, which is situated at the corner of
Jalan Penang and Jalan Lim Chwee Leong and
has the capacity of 200 parking lots. Tek Soon
Street could be considered a road through
time where modern high-rised buildings can be
found towards the end of the street connecting
to Penang Road while dilapidated pre-war
shop houses could be found on the opposite
end. Many other roads run across at difference
lengths of Tek Soon Street, which makes the
parking site a very accessible area.
There are two major developments currently
ongoing in the area, one of which will be the
Prangin Heritage Square. The Square will be an
urban conservation project, which will transform
the Prangin Canal areas into a new heritage
enclave for George Town. This multi-faceted
project is expected to bring back life and vibrance
to this part of the city.
The other upcoming attraction situated at a
stones throw away is the 1st Avenue Mall,
which is bordered by Magazine Road, Lebuh
Lintang, Carnavaron Street and Tek Soon Street.
Formerly known as Mutiara Parade, the mall is
slated to open in November 2012. The mall will
be connected to Prangin Mall and the ICT Digital
Mall via two overhead pedestrian bridges.
The open site car park is also situated within short
distance from the Komtar Bus Terminal where
it is a major stop for most buses on the island.
Needless to say that with its strategic location,
the Tek Soon Street Open Site car park is a great
spot to park your car while experiencing what the
city center has to offer.