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Preferred Parking
Written April 7, 2004

 
Here's a minor peeve.  Why are most small shopping centers, or "strip malls," laid out something like this?

Entrance to Giant Eagle supermarket at Waterworks Mall, Pittsburgh

In front of the stores (gray) is a sidewalk (orange), then a busy "street" (dashed yellow line), then the handicapped parking spaces (blue), then the rest of the parking.

After you've parked, you have to dodge other cars as you cross the street to reach the stores.

But why does the street have to pass directly in front of the stores, especially since you aren't allowed to park on the street itself?  Why not relocate the street to the far side of the parking area?

For example, if the stores were turned 90° on the lot, the parking could be arranged like this:

In this plan, once you've found a parking space, there's a sidewalk right there that allows you to proceed to the stores without having to worry about avoiding any moving vehicles.

Also, the handicapped spaces are much closer to the storefronts.

The only problem:  firefighters' access to the front of the stores would be somewhat more difficult.  Maybe that's why malls are not generally laid out in this more convenient way.

 

 

TBT

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