There is a Continuing Need for Parking Lifts
For as long as people have been driving cars, there has been the problem of what to do with them when they're parked. As early as 1905, Paris – which at that time had the most cars of any city – was trying to figure out how to store cars without destroying its built environment. They seized on the idea of a structure where cars could be loaded on an elevator and raised levels. In the 1920s multi-story structures appeared in major cities in the United States using parking lifts (as opposed to ramps, which drivers access themselves.) Now, with urban densification proceeding at a rapid pace in many cities, the need is greater than ever, both for commercial and residential parking.
The obvious advantage is the space saved by multi-story, automated parking. Urban land is expensive. Increasing the amount of parking available by stacking cars has huge economic advantages. There is also a big environmental bonus. Cities are made more walkable by eliminating the vast lots that once separated buildings. Structures using parking lifts also make huge greenhouse gas savings by eliminating the endless driving up and down ramps in traditional garages.
How Car Parking Lift Garages Work
There are many variations on the basic car parking lift, but the basic principle for all systems is the same. The driver parks the car while technology – usually a hydraulic lift – moves that car to a storage area. Vehicles can be moved up or down to any number of levels - or horizontally. When the driver returns, the process is reversed and technology returns the car to the driver at the base level. Hydraulic parking lifts
are very popular because of their proven ability to lift heavy objects, and the fact that the machinery involved itself does not use up much space.
In the commercial context there are a number of variations on the car parking lift. Dependent Access Parking Lifts work efficiently where available height is an issue and can provide up to three times the normal parking coverage. Independent Access Parking Lifts include support for heavier vehicles. Puzzle Car Parking Lifts are more elaborate and include vehicle pallets that are customized to allow for cars to be moved up, down and sideways for storing and retrieval.
Non-Commercial Applications of Parking Lifts are Varied
For residential and restricted use, there are also a number of parking lift systems notable for their versatility in a built environment. Systems take into account everything from the weight of cars to the ceiling height of the garage area in question. Some parking lift systems can use a pit for the hydraulics, others don't require it. Systems can recognize also the varying needs of short-term and long-term parking. There are parking lift systems for exterior situations, and ones that accommodate the need of handicapped drivers for easy access area to the car. Bikes can also be stored by parking lifts, and the kind of flooring used can reflect the kind of wear and tear the parking lift will receive.
Efficiency, ease of use, and conservation of property and the environment – parking lifts are an idea long in the making, and rapidly becoming more popular.