Parking Garage: Safety for Pedestrians

Project: Figat7th

Location: Los Angeles, California

Products: Surface Mount Bollards, Fixed Bollards, BarricAide, Custom Designed Barrier Solutions

Media: Parking Magazine, National Parking Association

Award: Innovative Sustainability Project of the Year 2013


FIGAT7TH is one of the premier destinations in Downtown Los Angeles — surrounded by Class A office towers and just blocks away from Staples Center and LA Live.  The parking garage attached to the property has space for more than 2,000 vehicles, and serves monthly users as well as daily and hourly visitors 365 days per year.  As a result of recent upgrades to FIGAT7TH, Target, Sports Chalet, Gold’s Gym, and many shops and restaurants have been added and all of those are served by the parking garage.

The parking structure was substantially upgraded by the owners, Brookfield Properties.  Two of their biggest concerns:  the sustainability of the structure and parking operations, and the safety and security of patrons and pedestrians.  With so many additional in/out parking operations every day as a result of retail and restaurant customers coming and leaving, management and a team of vendors and consultants worked hard to anticipate problems and take steps to create the best experience possible.  The result was an award-winning project –The National Parking Association Innovative Sustainability Project of the Year.

Safety Is The New Green

The owners of the parking garage have worked hard to protect pedestrians and customers inside the garage. These protections included increased lighting, designated paths of travel, video surveillance, and the installation of a variety of steel barriers to protect pedestrians and property from wayward vehicles. With extensive installations on grade and on upper floors with post-tensioned construction, Blockaides worked to make sure that affordable, effective and attractive protective devices were designed and installed.  The following are examples of the solutions that were executed for this project.


BarricAide™ for Pedestrian at Level 8 (L8) Pay-On-Foot Machines


The Pay-On-Foot machines located on L8 received a much-needed safety upgrade.  The two pay stations are located against the wall nearest the elevators, leaving patrons utterly defenseless with their backs to approaching vehicles.  Brookfield wanted to protect first and foremost the patrons as well as their equipment from vehicular traffic.  Since these pay stations are on the eighth floor of a post-tension slab parking structure, core drilling large bollards or barriers is not a viable option.  Blockaides designed and engineered a unique solution to address these safety concerns as well as the limitations for installation in the parking structure. The BarricAide™ is a steel platform that the machines sit on, with steel bollards built into the platform framework to provide protection.  When being struck by a vehicle, the BarricAide is engineered to absorb impact energies and transfer them horizontally through the framework of the product and into the wall of the parking structure.  This innovative parking garage safety solution gives any parking structure owner the flexibility to install pay stations virtually anywhere and be confident that safety has not been compromised.


Increased Parking Garage Safety for Level 1 (L1) Loading Area

The new Level 1 loading area doubles as the main pedestrian entrance to Target and the loading zone for customers.  Pedestrian safety, usability, and traffic flow were balanced when designing the safety solutions for his area.  The safety solution package for this location included a combination of bollards, striping, and signage to provide clear delineation of vehicle and pedestrian areas as well as establishing safe paths of travel for pedestrians traversing the new Level 1 loading area.  Pedestrians approach from 2 different locations when traversing L1: one is from the elevator bank that connects the different floors of the parking structure and the second is from the ADA required handicap parking spaces located adjacent to the loading zone.  Taking this into account, the layout of the bollards consisted of two different groupings that frame the left and right sides of the loading area.  This helped to delineate the safe paths of travel and provide much-needed protection for pedestrians.  At the ingress/egress points of the loading zone, where vehicle access was needed, striping was used in a crosshatch pattern to delineate the pedestrian crossings and alert vehicles of their existence.  Finally, signage was added to give direction to both vehicles and pedestrians.

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Pedestrian Safety and Asset Protection 

Another unique product, installed for the first time in North America, is a “Car Stopper” barrier by Safetyflex in the UK.  The barrier is designed to prevent vehicles from crashing into walls — the product actually springs back when struck by passenger vehicles.  See the Safetyflex crash test video at  View Safetyflex Carpark Spring Barrier System Video




Safety concerns at additional areas of the parking garage were addressed with surface mounted bollards.  The D-Shaped Surface Mounted Bollard is a design unique to Blockaides.  The shape of the base plate provides for additional strength in comparison to standard surface mount models.  Additionally, Blockaides designed a custom Attenuating Asset Protection Barrier to protect critical pipes from vehicles parking in head on spaces.

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