Over-designed Car Parking UI

In Walla Walla, WA, drivers are not entrusted with determining how much space they need for parallel parking their cars.  The city does it for them, by marking off spaces of pre-determined length.  I’m suspicious this wastes space (as not all cars are the same size) when the spots are back-to-back – and I’m definitely sure it does when the spots have additional space left between them (see photo below).

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7 thoughts on “Over-designed Car Parking UI

  1. A Smart Car could easily fit in that spot, but I guess according to the markings, it’s not actually a spot. I’d be pretty unhappy if I got a ticket for parking there!

  2. Fascinating! Those kinds of markings are very common in Sweden, where I live. I’ve never thought about whether they are needed or not, or if they actually cause more problems than they solve. Maybe they do.

  3. On the plus side, it ensures that you always have plenty of room fore and aft to manoeuvre in and out of the space, and to access the boot/trunk while parked if you need to load or unload anything. They seem like good advantages to me.

    • The curious thing is Walla Walla is so sparsely populated, parking is not even remotely a problem. I can guess in peak summer season its busy, but it even then its unlikely to be as busy as an average sized city during the week.

  4. A hike that I regularly take (that is extremely popular around here), has people parallel park at the shoulder of the road for about 1/2 mile on either side. There are no markings. the amount of space that is wasted is much larger than I’ve seen in places that have such markings. Most of it is people who can’t judge distance (or want the max distance around their car), but some of it is that people park “randomly”, and a small car may come along and take up the space formerly taken up by a large car (and park in the exact middle of the available space).

  5. Generally that type of marking means that space is required to access something on/in the sidewalk or in that space on the building or whatever happens to be in/near that area.

    • If you look carefully in the distance, a one car length spot across the street also has the bracket markings.

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