Giant Twinkies

I’m staring through a tall expanse of picture windows at a parking lot as I tap out this post on my iPad. The windows are just about the only thing between me and the parking spaces a few feet away that house vehicles pointed directly at me. A very shallow curb extends a few feet out from the building.

Sitting here is stupid, given my history. But it’s a bright sunny day. The big windows draw my eyes out toward a beautiful blue sky. And I’m watching every vehicle that pulls in so I’ll be ready to leap if one of them fails to stop — or if a driver’s foot mistakenly hits the gas instead of the brake.

None of the people around me seem concerned as vehicles come and go from the spaces a few feet away. They’re chatting. They’re reading. They’re using mobile devices.

Well, far be it from me to interrupt them (“Who the heck was that wacko…and what’s a bollard?”).

If a parking professional sat next to me, of course, he or she would surely notice something missing. White-lined parking spaces? Check. Blue disabled-only symbols where appropriate? Check. Proper drive lane widths and clear sight lines? Check.

The missing element: a safety barrier between vehicles and the people sitting here behind all this glass.

An observation by the ever-insightful Homer Simpson seems fitting: “You know that little ball you put on your antenna so you can find your car in a parking lot? That should be on EVERY CAR!”

Ditto for safety barriers—bollards, boulders, planters—whatever’s appropriate for the site. Why shouldn’t every parking facility use them?

If we were to ask Homer for an idea about protecting pedestrians and building patrons from moving vehicles in parking areas, his answer might be, “Ummm, giant Twinkies?”

I’d hate to block that great view in front of these picture windows with four-foot Hostess products, though. (D’oh! Now I have the munchies.)

What are your thoughts? Post them in the comments below.

About Mark Wright

Mark Wright is principal of Mark Wright Communications, LLC and serves on IPI’s Safety and Security Committee.

Comments

  1. Rob Reiter says:

    Great job Mark!

    Your comments about the choices that get made every day putting aesthetics over safety always are spot on.

    When the statistics get published and people start to recognize the real price that gets paid every day, we will see some common sense approaches that will be great for the public and for the insurance underwriters.

    Maybe there should be a contest for most innovative barrier that is both effective AND attractive so that EVERYONE can be happy. Collaboration anyone?

    Rob Reiter

  2. Mark Strunin says:

    Keep up the crusade! Let the bollards blossom and safety reign!

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