Medical Facility Garage Delivers Smooth Parking Experience

30 September 2022
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This article by Beth Bryan, PE, PTOE, PTP, STP originally appeared in the May 2022 issue of Parking Magazine.


The VCU Health System required a parking facility that would provide patients and clinicians with safe and convenient access.

The upgrades included a new parking structure that was constructed as part of the VCU Health Adult Outpatient Services Pavilion and Massey Cancer Center.

Owned by VCU Health System, the garage streamlines the parking experience for patients and clinicians.

The parking structure has 1,109 spaces: 150 valet spaces in two belowgrade levels and 959 self-parking spaces in 10 above-grade levels.

Helix Garage Design

Because the garage is a critical hub for the hospital, the self-park portion has two entrances/exits. There is a single entrance/exit for valet services, at the Massey Cancer Center. The above-grade garage is a parkon-ramp with a single-threaded helix, maximizing the number of parking spaces within the narrow structural footprint.

That portion of the garage is connected to the hospital at Level 1.

The below-grade valet levels are accessed via an express ramp, and patrons who use the valet service enter the hospital at the Garden Level.

Easy Payment Options

VCU garage patrons who self-park use a pay-on-foot system with a cashier in the hospital lobby.

For patrons who valet park, a cashier booth adjacent to the drop-off and pickup area handles payment.

Traffic Mitigation Solutions

Reducing congestion on the surrounding roadways and at the entrances and exits of the garage was critical to the city of Richmond. To accomplish this, improvements were made to the adjacent roadways and access was controlled through turning-movement restrictions. Furthermore, the on-site valet and drop-off/pickup zone provide ample space for vehicles to queue inside the garage.

This reduces on-street congestion that previously occurred at five valet stations located on the campus; it also provides better medical campus access for all patients and visitors.

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