Most of the so-called public parking facilities represent a more centralized and general-purpose use. Parkers usually have a choice of several destinations. Much of the time they also have a choice of alternate places to park. A facility open to the general public usually needs to attract parkers if investment in its construction is to be justified. When the facility is revenue-financed, the need is obvious. Even when the parking is free, justification is needed for the expenditure of benefit district assessment funds, parking meter revenue, or other public funds used to acquire land and to construct and operate the facility.
The design of a general-purpose parking facility must take into consideration the type of proposed operation with attendants, by self parking, or with a combination of the two. The most economical operation occurs where patrons park their own cars. In heavily used facilities where patrons pay for parking, it is sometimes feasible to utilize attendants to park the cars after the patron pulls into the lot. This also frequently occurs in older parking garages. Some facilities can operate on both systems, with certain areas reserved for self-parkers and other areas served by attendants. . . .
A basic factor in design of a parking facility is the expected use by type of parker or type of generator being served. Parking duration can be either short-term or long term, or a combination of both. Design dimensions are often larger in facilities for short-term parkers because of the high turnover rate and the need to provide easy access and circulation. . . .