Last weekend, my wife and I visited one of the greatest botanical displays in the United States, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. It has become an annual pilgrimage for us… two people who enjoy seeing and photographing the beautiful things in this world.
Oddly enough, one of my favorite things about Longwood Gardens is a feature of their parking lot. While the lot is massive, allowing for drivers from all over the country to visit this incredible display, a beautiful and mostly protected pedestrian pathway bisects its middle, giving visitors a clearer, safer path to the entrance.
While only practical for about 50-70% of the parking spaces, the path gives a safer and better defined right-of-way for pedestrians walking to and from the entrance. It also provides a much more enjoyable trip to the car, almost an extension of the lush garden pathways all the way through the parking lot.
Every time I walk through a supermarket or mini-mall surface lot, I think about how a simple design additive like this could attractively and safely channel pedestrians to the entrance, giving drivers AND those on foot a much more manageable experience.
Sure, I’d like to see less parking in general, but that may only be a dream. Until then, this is a simple and reachable additive that could be a game changer for the parking lot experience.