I want some designer to put the "park" in parking lot, to make them a safer place for pedestrians.
More trees, walkways, better lighting.
Why does everyone act like that's impossible, or insane, or too much to ask? This weekend I walked with the baby to my Weight Watcher's meeting. It's 1.5 miles from my house, and a pretty nice walk, most of the way (except for the Intersection of Death, which we'll discuss another time). We mostly walked through residential streets, and then we had to walk through the K-Mart/Lowe's parking lot. There's also a Denny's, Verizon store, Starbucks, and Carl's Jr. in that parking lot. It's a huge, gigantic parking lot, with enough spaces for 10 more stores. There will never, ever, ever be a day when every single one of those spaces is filled with a car; there aren't that many people in the entire city of Long Beach who want to shop at K-Mart (I have never seen more than 10 people at once in there).
Not only are there a ton of extra spaces, the spaces they do have are all laid out weird. There are strange little cul de sacs and short lanes and no stop signs and spaces that aren't near any store - it makes no sense.
There's lots of room. They could have sidewalks, more trees, better lighting, bigger spaces for biggeer cars (I do not believe in compact spaces! Not because I don't believe in compact cars, but because there's always going to be some jerk who parks his Suburban in a compact spot and throws the whole thing off for everybody. If all spaces were the same size, everybody could park anywhere, regardless of the size of their vehicle).
So I had to push the stroller through the parking lot, basically "in the street" because there's no walkway for pedestrians. Sure, nobody was really there at 10:30 on a Sunday morning, but I didn't exactly feel safe. Nobody ever seems to think about what happens once you park your car, so pedestrians aren't even considered when parking lots are designed. But I think, if a store has a well-designed lot, and clearly takes my safety into consideration, then wouldn't I be more willing to shop there? Yes.
Anyway, I realize that there are more important problems in the world, and that probably parking lot design isn't #1 on anybody's list, but it seems like such a simple thing. It would be so easy. Someone should advocate for this. Maybe that someone will be me.
Maybe. I'll think about it.