Sunday, November 04, 2007
Plenty of free parking
No one hates to pay for parking more than I do. But sometimes I wonder if we only encourage our dependence on the automobile (and therefore foreign oil) by offering plenty of free parking everywhere. I thought of this today while wondering what on earth the developers of the nearby Home Depot/Target project were thinking when they put the parking garage out front and the stores behind it. Were they afraid people wouldn't find the garage if they hid it behind the store where it belongs? Home Depot and Target stores aren't known for their tremendous curb appeal, but anything would be better than a parking garage -- even if this one is better than average -- and having the store at the front might encourage walk-ups.
Contrast that Midtown development with the construction on the Central Avenue side of the Hawthorne Lane bridge. I guess the huge concrete monolith is a parking garage, and by all appearances the condominiums will be wrapped around it. Result: We'll see the places where people live, not the places where cars live. Doesn't that make sense?