RE: Re: Automated underground (or elevated) parking
From: Casey Morrigan (
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 14:26:01 -0700 (MST)
Although we are now a bit off the cohousing topic, I do want to say that
when my husband traveled to Tokyo last year he saw garages that had lift and
hoist machanisms that allowed more dense car storage, along the lines of
what people are describing.  He was given to understand that you cannot
purchase a car in Tokyo these days unless you can show that you have a
parking space and the money to pay for it in the coming year.

It is hard to live in the dilemma of wishing we didn't need cars, but
needing realistically to plan for their use.  It is an example of how ideals
collide with reality in designing cohousing.  So many of us have green
ideals but purity must give way to how we live today.  An underground
garage -- oh my gosh, think of the extra ground space we would have!!!  It
makes my heart leap to think of it.  But it would have been undo-able
financially for us. We couldn't even afford the garages we thought we'd
have - we have carports.  Not to complain.....we managed to build - we made
some good decisions - here we are, a community.

Casey Morrigan
Two Acre Wood
Sebastopol, California

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of Bob Morrison
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 11:21 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]; bomorris [at]
Subject: [C-L]_Re: Automated underground (or elevated) parking

  This is an ingenious concept. The concept of a high-rise parking
garage with a lift hosting the cars both vertically and horizontally is
at least 40 years old. What is different about
the system Fred is talking about is that it's automated (so you don't
need an attendant) and
it moves cars around on pallets instead of on their own wheels. Using
pallets means
someone doesn't have to drive the car to move it around, and this solves
a lot of the
problems with the old system.
  A concern I have is that people could lose the use of their cars if
there is a long power
outage. I suspect it would require a large generator to supply backup
power for a
system like this, and in an urban setting (which is where this system
would probably
be used), this could be a major problem (noise, fumes, etc.). There is
also the risk of
people losing the use of their cars if the system breaks down.
  I'm a little uneasy about being too dependent on things like electric
power, outside
repair people, etc. We got thru 1/1/2000 without the problems we had
feared, but the
underlying risk is still there.
  About 35 years ago I read about a variant of Fred's parking system in
which cars are
stored in an underground "ferris wheel" two stories high. The oblong
"wheel" rotates to
bring an empty slot to the ramp for parking and to bring the requested
car to the ramp for
"unparking". This was designed by someone in the UK. I don't know if any
systems like
this were ever built. This seems like it would be a good idea for
cohousing. Jock Coats,
have you ever heard of something like this?

Bob Morrison
Salem, NH

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