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May 28, 2008

The Vanishing Parking Spot

More and more we use vehicles to get where we're going, but oddly enough, there are less and less parking spots at shops, attractions and other complexes. Not only are there less spots, but they are smaller too. The biggest culprit to the vanishing spots seems to be adding additional buildings and removing parking. Seems obvious from a financial standpoint that this would be a profitable move. Shrinking spots are a reaction, more spots are needed, so just make the existing ones smaller. Both of these contribute to a horrible parking experience. You can't park anywhere close to where you want to go and the spot you can finally find is so small that you are pretty much guaranteed damage from neighboring cars if you can even squeeze into the spot. I've stopped visiting many locations plagued by these problems.

To accompany the lack of spaces and reduced sizes, many parking lots contain incredibly complex traffic paths riddled with dangerous intersections and just plain poor design. Walmart is a prime example, both the vehicular and pedestrian traffic is funneled to the front entrance of the building creating a snarled mess. When new buildings are dropped into the parking lot of an existing complex, it often creates odd islands and dead ends that become frustrating or impossible to navigate. At a local shopping centre, all stop signs became "All Way" signs instead of the normal 2,3 or 4 Way signs that previously existed. It's nearly impossible to tell how many "ways" there actually are in the intersection or which "way" actually has a stop sign and which doesn't.

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May 13, 2008

Why do ice cream trucks play 4bit music?

I can't stand the horrible "music" that ice cream trucks blare. The tune is annoying, but the sound quality is just abysmal. It sounds like someone took a singing Hallmark card and hooked it up to the P.A. system from M.A.S.H. How hard is it to get some better music, stick it on an mp3 player and hook it up to a car stereo system. It might serve to attract people instead of repelling non-kids.

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May 04, 2008

Restaurant Deliveries

I've seen on more than one occasion a food delivery being made to a restaurant during lunch or dinner rushes. To me, that seems completely wrong. Not only is the delivery truck blocking the parking lot, but the driver is tying up staff and negatively affecting customer service. If I were a restauranteur, I would be rather upset at this going on. If I needed the food that day, I would expect it to be there earlier and delivered during off peak hours. The only thing I can envision is that this might be the telemarketer effect at work. They call at dinner hour cause they assume you are far more likely to be home at that time. For some restaurants, they might be closed before lunch and dinner and so deliveries are more likely to be completed at meal times. But you would think the restaurant and the company could easily work out a normal schedule for deliveries during slow periods before the rushes.

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Created By: Steven Nikkel (steven_nikkel@ertyu.org)
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