Parking lots have become a scary experience for me, so scary I feel like I should be driving a tank and wearing a flack jacket. My hometown of Rochester, Minnesota is a booming city, the fastest growing city in the state. New businesses are opening all the time.
Some businesses have well-designed parking lots and others seem to have no design at all. Every time I go to the grocery store I worry about my car getting dinged. Drivers ignore the one-way arrows and the spaces are too narrow. In short, the grocery store parking lot is an accident waiting to happen.
Parking lot design is a complex subject that Crack Repair involves layout, the shape of spaces (rectangular or angled), and lighting. The National Institute of Building Sciences discusses aspects of design in a website article, “Parking Facilities.” According to the article, adequate parking “is one of the crucial issues of our times.” Unfortunately, many stores consider parking lots an afterthought.
Pedestrians have to weave their way through traffic. Streets leading to the parking lot are often congested or poorly planned. A parking lot in my town turns into a lake after a downpour and water rises halfway up car doors. Shoppers have to wade from the stores to their cars.
The University of Nevada addresses parking lot standards in its article, “Innovative Parking Design.” Proper drainage is one focus of the article. Poorly designed lots may collect and convey polluted runoff, the article notes. Instead of installing curbs, the University of Nebada recommends low areas, or sumps, with slits for runoff. Snow pile areas and landscaped buffer areas are also recommended.
As a seasoned shopper and someone who is concerned about personal and public safety, I have some ideas for improving parking lots.
1. Make the spaces larger. If the spaces were larger, shoppers wouldn’t have to worry about dings in their cars. Loading groceries and packages would be easier as well.
2. Widen the lanes. This would give drivers more maneuvering room and make backing out easier.
3. Plant some trees. Rochester, Minnesota is the beginning of the prairie and winds can whip across the landscape. Trees would act as a windbreak and provide shade in he summer. Of course, the trees shouldn’t drop fruit or sap on cars.
4. Add sidewalks. The sidewalks could be combined with landscaping. Sidewalks would improve safety and draw shoppers to stores.
5. Add more lighting. Token lighting is unsafe lighting. Lights should installed along the perimeter of the parking lot and along all rows.
6. Color code lanes or mark with shapes. When you park in a massive lot it’s easy to forget where you parked. One Twin Cities lot uses animal signs. I can remember if I parked in the bunny lot or the deer lot.