New Pedestrian Mobility System Makes Downtown Satellite Parking Feasible
By Mike Hanlon
November 21, 2005
November 22, 2005 Architect, urban planner and inventor John Alt today challenged the parking industry to license and implement new mobility technology that will increase pedestrian access throughout central business districts and make downtown "satellite" parking facilities feasible for the first time.
Alt, president of Village Technology, a U.S.-based urban technology design firm, has spent the past decade readying SMRrTRAM and its patented synchronization logic for market. Because the trams make frequent, predictable and reliable stops all along their 2-to-8 km routes - and because riders can use them repeatedly for one daily fee - Alt said commuters and hourly parkers will prefer to use facilities served by SMRrTRAM.
Speaking before the 2005 Canadian Parking Association's annual conference, Alt said SMRrTRAMs will revitalize central business districts by making them as convenient to visit as suburban shopping malls. He said similar deployments also could support "satellite" parking facilities at airports, shopping malls, University campuses and major resorts.
Most important, Alt said, SMRrTRAM configurations built in conjunction with or adjacent to parking facilities would help reduce gasoline consumption and fuel emissions while producing added profits for garage owners.
"The car park industry is currently only implementing half its business model," Alt said. "It is only generating a portion of its potential revenues - and it is only meeting a fraction of its customers' commuting service needs."
Alt presented several scenarios that showed how parking facilities could profit from the addition of SMRrTRAM mobility systems. These included payment mechanisms that allow car parks to incorporate daily SMRrTRAM access fees into their parking rates - and to share in any increased retail sales created for downtown merchants.
"We've priced out the system," Alt told the conference, "and it costs less than half of what the least expensive comparable systems do. We've established that it can be retrofitted into virtually any existing streetscape - without eliminating traffic lanes. We've even lined up a Canadian manufacturer to build the trams.
"All the pieces are in place. Now, it's up to business people like you, who see the value of this system, to step forward and make it happen."