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ties. The CPTED approach allows for diversity in lighting, based on a security risk assessment and a clear understanding of what experience the designer and user are looking for.

Signage Parking facility signage should be well-lighted, with letters

or symbols that are a minimum of 8 inches high.Wall signage for pedestrian and vehicular traffic should be graphic whenever pos- sible to ensure universal understanding and provide a sense of clear direction. Some years ago, researchers found that wireless ad hoc net-

working technologies “offer a new and efficient means to both simplify the process of parking and fine collection, as well as extend the convenience for drivers.” Prithwish Basu and Thomas D.C. Little describe a multi-hop

wireless parking meter network (PMNET) that, when coupled with a GPS receiver, allows a driver to quickly locate and navi- gate to an available parking space. “Our solution,” they wrote, “is achieved by equipping exist-

ing parking meters with wireless radio frequency (RF) trans- ceivers and auxiliary hardware and software. … We model a PMNET as a special class of ad hoc networks characterized by a combination of static, immobile nodes (parking meters) and mobile nodes (vehicles). …” Graffiti in parking environments is a form of illegitimate sig-

nage, which often represents the designation of turf by gangs or vandals. It should be removed as quickly as possible. The CPTED-minded architect can also take steps to discour-

age graffiti. For example, wall surfaces can be coated with graffi- ti-resistant epoxy paint, and lighting levels can be increased in

problem areas to increase the potential for natural surveillance. The act of trying to prevent their graffiti tells these individuals that the property is the territory of its rightful users.

Mixed Uses The territoriality of desired site users has also been increased

by a new trend: making parking part of a mixed-use develop- ment. Having legitimate users in and around the parking facility more frequently increases the number of “eyes on the street.” Many garages also are adding retail storefronts, such as fast

food eateries, copying facilities or carwashes, to provide com- patible safe activities that draw legitimate users. Additionally, parking may be reserved during the day for businesses, but at night the facility becomes flat-fee parking for area nightclubs and restaurants. When a parking facility assesses risks and threats and a CPT-

ED approach to improving security is employed – including ground-floor protection, limited or restricted access, good sight lines and lighting, and well-placed and -equipped booth atten- dants, the opportunity for crime will decrease, undesired users will search for new ground, and a safe haven will be created for legitimate users.

Randy I. Atlas, AIA, CPP, a Vice President of Atlas Safety and Security Design, practices criminal justice architecture, environmental security design, counter-terrorism design and infrastructure protection. He has taught college-level CPTED courses and is a trainer with the National Crime Prevention Institute. Parts of this article previously appeared in Security Management, a publication of the American Society for Industrial Security. He can be reached at


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