Daily Archives: January 7, 2009

Parking Lot Peculiarities

I’ve always maintained that you can tell how a person drives by the way they shop (parking their buggy in the middle of the aisle, weaving from side to side, stopping suddenly) but perhaps that hybrid of parking to shop shows how one drives and in general thinks.

Most parking lots (unless you’re at the airport) are relatively close to the stores, yet people will circle like sharks, looking for that space that puts them two feet closer. Some people may also drive a couple of blocks to the store and I guess there’s no help for it that they’ll park as close as possible because they’re too lazy to get the blood flowing.

Albeit some people have health issues that require them to park close, but most of us don’t and can easily walk a few extra feet. If it’s raining, then yeah, we sometimes wimp out and huddle in closer. But I find it kind of silly when people are selfishly vying for close spots and there’s one at the end of a row. Then you get the people who will steal the spot from the person patiently waiting and signalling.

People often park like they’re in their own driveway, parking at an angle or over the line so that it encroaches on the other parked cars. On the street I had two cars once box me in so tightly that I had no more than two inches behind and two inches in front. I still managed to get out of the spot but it took a long time. Of course, this is an extension of what I see as the me-me-me culture where everyone only thinks of themselves and not how their thoughtlessness might affect others.

Parking lots themselves can add to the insanity of shoppers, depending on their design. The worst one I’ve seen is the idiocy of the Silver City theaters in Coquitlam. The lot is bisected by a center road so if you want to go across to look for a spot on the other side, you have to deal with traffic in and out. Plus each side does not have through lanes on every lane so you end up having to back out of a dead end. This was complicated by the recent mega snowfalls where parking spots were filled with snow and end lanes were half their size. An then some guy decided to park in the middle of the lane and just saunter away. I envisioned doing terrible things to his truck.

The best parking lot for being completely plowed (with hills of snow reaching 12 feet where they had to dump it) and for layout are the new Costcos. The one in Burnaby has an easy layout for getting in and out without running into people. The lanes are wide and there is extra space around each car (I’d say up to two feet per side) for maneuvering those monster buggies. It’s actually bliss, as much as I hate crowded malls and parking spots.

Now if people actually practised courtesy, on the road, in the malls and in the parking lots, we probably would all have a few more smiles.

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