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Old 03-21-2013, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,429 times
Reputation: 661

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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Look at the width and layout of the connecting streets, of the expanses given over to cars. The mall's interior may cater to people, but the exterior is a harsh environment for pedestrians, even for those only walking between the car and the mall. Sunflower, Bear, and Bristol are designed to carry as many cars as possible. The parking lots are massive expanses for which pedestrians are an afterthought. And where it does butt against a residential area, pedestrians aren't given access; one would, quite literally, have to leave their neighborhood going the wrong direction, walk along a busy thoroughfare, and cross an unsignalized main access ramp.

That's what I mean when I say it's made for cars, not people.
As they should be designed to carry as many cars as possible. From the looks of the area, I'd guess the majority of shoppers do arrive by car...even for a lot of relatively local residents. Generally if you're going to the mall, it's nice to have your car to put your bags in to bring home, and stop for other errands en route as well... especially in inclement or hot weather.

That being said, I think to say it's a "harsh environment" for pedestrians is just a liiitle overdramatic, no? I mean I don't see how people are incapable of walking to and from their cars in a big parking lot, or even through it around the edge or across if they choose to walk there. Just keep your eyes open and stay vigilant, to me, this is the same no matter where you are: a big shopping mall, a huge suburban strip mall or some cutesy "vibrant" walkable place like Main Street USA or even Manhattan.

And speaking of that mall and being so "harsh", I think that's a terrible example to even use... I count SEVEN intersections with crosswalks...ooh so they're pretty big with a lot of lanes...deal with it, it's really not that hard to cross the street. Stay vigilant, watch where you walk, pay attention to your surroundings and ALWAYS make eye contact with as many drivers as possible. If you can't make eye contact and you think you might get hit, take your own defensive stance to avoid it, just as if you were defensively driving. Yeah, accidents happen but I'd be willing to bet no matter what kind of street people have to cross, the more iPod-listening, "engrossed in texting" zombie pedestrians we have, combined with idiots who can't pay attention when they drive, we're going to have accidents. Protect yourself. Oh, and I also see South Coast Plaza has NUMEROUS sidewalks/walkways from those intersections to the mall and not one, but TWO huge skyway/overpasses into the mall.

If you want to talk about a mall with more "pedestrian harshness" look towards my own local mall, seen here with it's huge expanse of parking, four lane ring road and large arterial roads servicing it. Nowadays I always drive, and often park in "Guam" as we call it...the area where the carnival is in the above satellite image. I've also walked the three miles from my house to the mall for fun before when I was a teenager, and taken the bus there numerous times in the past as well. Never had a problem in that "harsh" parking lot, maybe I just know how to pay attention to my surroundings?
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,429 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Walking to the store from your car in the parking lot is not that big of a deal.
I honestly never knew it was a big deal until I came on this forum.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,118,352 times
Reputation: 3118
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
I honestly never knew it was a big deal until I came on this forum.
Parking lots would be a lot less hated by me if there were more of them with safe walkways. The type without are just prone for vehicle-pedestrian collisions. Anyone who brings this up is asking to be mocked as being incapable of walking through a parking lot. Which is ridiculous. There are lots of ped-auto collisions in parking lots, and unless you are saying these peds deserve to be hit, and are so stupid that they can't even walk through a parking lot, then more is needed to be done.

A good overview:

http://www.albany.edu/ihi/files/Park...edestrians.pdf

Decent alternatives to not giving a **** about pedestrians:

.



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Old 03-21-2013, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,429 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Parking lots would be a lot less hated by me if there were more of them with safe walkways. The type without are just prone for vehicle-pedestrian collisions. Anyone who brings this up is asking to be mocked as being incapable of walking through a parking lot. Which is ridiculous. There are lots of ped-auto collisions in parking lots, and unless you are saying these peds deserve to be hit, and are so stupid that they can't even walk through a parking lot, then more is needed to be done.
I definitely agree that a lot of parking lots could use safer design methods, I personally am a fan of the newer lots which have walkways in between spaces like the picture you linked.

That being said, I don't think it's really that big of a deal to walk in a parking lot. It's not the safest place, or necessarily the most pleasant place to walk, but I don't think it's that bad. Honestly, I'd rather walk across a giant parking lot to a store than walk down a crowded sidewalk trying to push my way through huge "vibrant" spaces of people to get somewhere.

And while I certainly don't think anyone outright deserves to get hit by a car in a parking lot simply because they're "walking in the realm of cars" or something, yes I do believe 100% that a lot of people who walk OR drive OR ride bikes OR ride mass transit are complete apathetic, ignorant and stupid people who have no idea how to pay attention to their surroundings and act appropriately. Anywhere you go, whether it's the mall parking lot near your house or a crosswalk in midtown Manhattan, I always see just plain stupid people so engrossed in their phones or iPods that they have no idea whats going on around them. When I'm driving cross town in Manhattan, down say.... 45th street crossing 8th avenue...I'll have a green light and huge throngs of idiots are just marching across the street not paying attention to anything. Of course being vigilant and careful myself, I slow down and honk or flash the brights to get their attention that they do NOT have the right of way, and I'd like to proceed. This happens every day, everywhere and honestly, if someone is too much of an idiot to pay attention....you may end up under the vehicle of someone who ISN'T like me, and isn't paying attention behind the wheel. Idiots all around, really. Do these people deserve to get hurt or killed? No, but when you don't pay attention and stay on top of things, you expose yourself much more and sometimes, you have it coming.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:55 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,118,352 times
Reputation: 3118
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
That being said, I don't think it's really that big of a deal to walk in a parking lot. It's not the safest place, or necessarily the most pleasant place to walk
That's all. If municipalities are going to have minimum parking requirements, they ought to have minimum pedestrian safety standards for that lot. The adjacent stores are making scads of money, you'd think they would care about their revenue stream not getting backed over by Gloria in the black Tahoe or Mr. Musclepants in the Hummer.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,429 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
That's all. If municipalities are going to have minimum parking requirements, they ought to have minimum pedestrian safety standards for that lot. The adjacent stores are making scads of money, you'd think they would care about their revenue stream not getting backed over by Gloria in the black Tahoe or Mr. Musclepants in the Hummer.
I can definitely see your point, I think a lot of upscale shopping plazas/strip malls/shopping malls have adopted improvements for the benefit of their clientele, however most people probably don't think about it and just deal with it without thinking too much. I grew up going to the mall on Staten Island, parking lot safety is something that was taught to me young just like crossing the street safely, riding my bike, learning how to walk, etc...second nature to most people so we take it for granted. Most older people/disabled probably don't mind if they're driving, because a lot of handicapped spots have their own crosswalks/walkways.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:07 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,118,352 times
Reputation: 3118
Sure, people are used to them. People were used to riding on horses, too, and using an outhouse was also "second nature." Now that we know better, we can do better. Check the stats in the report; it's not some insignificant thing.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,429 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Sure, people are used to them. People were used to riding on horses, too, and using an outhouse was also "second nature." Now that we know better, we can do better. Check the stats in the report; it's not some insignificant thing.
I see the stats, but it also seems like the author is using Hans Monderman's minimalist traffic design as a way to make parking lots safer... kind of in this sense "Additionally, many local residents “perceived” the intersection to be more dangerous, which was Monderman’s exact intent; if people felt it were safer, they might be less careful and more reckless."

Unless I'm misunderstanding, by this logic, a parking lot like this might not necessarily be any safer, or even less safe than a lot like this and that ultimately, we're ideally safest with lots like this (albeit bigger) with no lines/spaces...a "free for all". Personally, I couldn't stand lots like that, because it's a waste of space when people don't know how to park, not that lines really help most people anyway.

I'm sure a lot of people would like parking lots with walkways that feel "safer" however I think this does lead to a lot of perceived safety, and leads to the bigger problem like I've said above (and is reflected in the quote above as well) that too many people aren't careful enough and are too reckless...on foot or in the car.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:36 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,009,246 times
Reputation: 1349
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
That being said, I think to say it's a "harsh environment" for pedestrians is just a liiitle overdramatic, no? I mean I don't see how people are incapable of walking to and from their cars in a big parking lot, or even through it around the edge or across if they choose to walk there. Just keep your eyes open and stay vigilant, to me, this is the same no matter where you are: a big shopping mall, a huge suburban strip mall or some cutesy "vibrant" walkable place like Main Street USA or even Manhattan.
Perhaps I was unclear on my meaning of harsh? It's an environment that is uncomfortable to be in because it is chaotic and dangerous. No exaggeration, no dramatic effect.

People walk through parking lots because they have to. But, regardless of what you'd like to think of people, most won't cross a parking lot, even an empty one, to get between stores unless they absolutely have to; what people can do and what people actually do are two wholly separate things. A few members on this forum tend to confuse the concepts, taking an unscientific approach--usually, claiming the person is lazy--to the disparity between what is possible and what is actual.

---

Getting back to the OP, I think that indoor malls represented a pre-internet time when people had to go physically shopping and consolidating that in to one comfortable, indoor place made sense. Now, people don't have to go out to buy most goods, and the malls don't really offer a compelling reason to be there; they're not places to be, but they're, at best, tasks on a do-do list. So, if these marginal malls (obviously, we're not talking about the successful ones) want to survive and prosper, they need to move away from the outdated model of the '60s and '70s and develop a sense of genuine "place." The ones that move forward will be the ones willing to try new models, not just tweak the old one and put on a fresh exterior.

Last edited by darkeconomist; 03-21-2013 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,514 posts, read 9,082,724 times
Reputation: 5010
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Perhaps I was unclear on my meaning of harsh? It's an environment that is uncomfortable to be in because it is chaotic and dangerous. No exaggeration, no dramatic effect.

People walk through parking lots because they have to. But, regardless of what you'd like to think of people, most won't cross a parking lot, even an empty one, to get between stores unless they absolutely have to; what people can do and what people actually do are two wholly separate things. A few members on this forum tend to confuse the concepts, taking an unscientific approach--usually, claiming the person is lazy--to the disparity between what is possible and what is actual.

---

Getting back to the OP, I think that indoor malls represented a pre-internet time when people had to go physically shopping and consolidating that in to one comfortable, indoor place made sense. Now, people don't have to go out to buy most goods, and the malls don't really offer a compelling reason to be there; they're not places to be, but they're, at best, tasks on a do-do list. So, if these marginal malls (obviously, we're not talking about the successful ones) want to survive and prosper, they need to move away from the outdated model of the '60s and '70s and develop a sense of genuine "place." The ones that move forward will be the ones willing to try new models, not just tweak the old one and put on a fresh exterior.
I call it laziness when people park as close as possible in a parking lot to minimize walking distance, when people get in their cars and drive down a few hundred yards to go to the next store in the strip mall, when people spend several minutes circling a parking lot looking for the nearest space, creating more traffic and more possible ways to inconvenience pedestrians, when people cut across parking lanes to the next one without checking to see if other cars are coming down that lane.

Whenever I go to a parking lot, I park at least two or three spaces down from the farthest car out, for three reasons.

1. My car is much less likely to be dinged by a shopping cart or someone's car door.

2. It makes finding my car in the parking lot much easier when I come back out.

3. The extra few paces never hurt anyone, walking is good for you, it's why we have legs.

While I do agree with the above pictures of walking lanes through the parking lots with poles to protect pedestrians from cars crossing in their path, that will not happen everywhere, not even close. I can see it happening at some of the more well to do malls or strip malls, but most common chain strip malls will not adopt this technique. I'm sure vehicle to pedestrian accidents are common in a parking lot, but that's why we as pedestrians have to be alert! Don't be focused on your cellphone, tablet, or whatever while you're walking through a crowded parking lot with cars backing up, cars trying to take the nearest spaces, cars cutting across parking lanes, etc. Be vigilant, always.
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