A New Idea: Parking Lots

Normally on this blog you expect to find commentary on politics, society, economics… the social sciences essentially.  Today though, I want to share with you an idea for our physical infrastructure rather than our socio-political.

In particular, this post is about parking lots.  Most of you have probably visited a big box store in some retail wasteland that is at the edge of any community over 15,000 people in the United States.  Illustrated below, you will find a basic illustration of what a parking lot in one of these commercial centers looks like.

illustration for an average parking lot

illustration for an average parking lot

As you know, traffic flows directly in front of the store front, while pedestrians must cross the traffic flow to enter or exit the store.  This arrangement is hugely inefficient and prioritizes cars over people.  Rather than organizing a parking lot in such a manner, what happens if we remove the street from the front of the store and fort the flow of traffic to move at the far end of the parking lot?  Lets take a look.

In this arrangement, pedestrians and cyclists are granted the right of way while green space is used in front of the store.  Access from car to store-entrance is roughly the same so people do not have to walk farther from their car to the store.  However, the flow of traffic is at the far end of the parking lot, making for a less chaotic area in front of the store.  This is only a rough sketch but it demonstrates the practicality of such a layout.  Any thoughts or modifications are welcome!  I look forward to hearing what you think about this.

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