January 30, 2007

Bumper sticker of the day:
I live in my own world. They know me there.
Caitlyn and I went down to Southcenter today, mostly for something to do. I never thought I'd be so appreciative of free balloons.

The mall is doing this major upgrade, and the food court is completely shut down. There are snacks available, and lots of chocolate, but no sandwiches or pizza that I could find. So we had our peanut butter and jelly sandwich squares in the car.

And that gave me lots of time to think about parking lots.

It's probably not in the upgrade plan, and there's probably some equation for the number of parking spaces "required" per shopping opportunity, but I think the parking lot at Southcenter (and probably everywhere else) should have more trees. Perhaps one tree for every six parking spaces. Imagine how pleasant that would be: lots of shady parking spaces in the summer, landmarks to help you remember where you left your car, improvement in aesthetics, plant life to balance out all the automotive emissions. Sure, there'd be fewer parking spaces, but (a) more people could use with the exercise of parking at the far end of the lot and walking and (b) if a decrease in parking spaces coincided with the arrival of, say, a light rail stop or convenient bus service, then it wouldn't really matter.

I suppose it's a bit much to ask for fruiting trees and reclaim some of the lost acreage for local food production, since the fruit could drop on cars and make a mess of someone's new wax job. That's ok. If we have to sacrifice acreage to pavement and parking lots, at least the addition of trees would make all that blacktop less of an eyesore.

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