Issues in Urbanism: Parking Lots

Pugin's Apprentice

This is a parking lot.

Let’s talk a little bit about parking lots. Yes, those vast expanses of asphalt, gravel, concrete, and whatever other materials out of which we make them. In “this ever-changing world in we’re living,” the parking lot has developed in order to accommodate the great number of cars used when shopping, eating out, or some other similar activity. Thus, along a commercially zoned street, we see a very common condition: 4 or 5 lanes of two way street, a sidewalk (often directly adjacent to the street or with a small strip of grass between), a stretch of parking lot (with either straight or oblique parking spots) another sidewalk, and then the actual store front. Although the presence of sidewalks belies the reality that we never drive but always walk into stores and restaurants (barring Sonic and the like), the street condition has been designed primarily for…

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