Bad Design 101: Eastside Prep “Parking” Blocks
I visited Eastside Preparatory School this week, and as I was hanging out with a few teachers who were greeting students as their parents dropped them off, the welcoming crew complained about a peculiar feature of their driveway. Can you figure out the purpose of the parking block in this picture?
These yellow parking blocks aren’t being used in parking spaces. They’re lined up on the edge of a long but narrow area hatched with white lines, which marks a “walking space” along the side of the driveway. The parking blocks are supposed to prevent cars from entering the walking space, and I suppose they succeed in that mission. But I didn’t see people limiting their walking to the white striped area, so it’s not obvious why that region needs such a beefy border of parking blocks. The walking space doesn’t need to be there and neither do the parking blocks.
The real problem is that parents use that driveway to drop off their kids, and the parking blocks happen to be perfectly placed to trip students as they exit their cars. I didn’t actually see anybody trip over a parking block, but the welcoming crew was simultaneously greeting and warning students as they disembarked. I’m pretty sure the welcoming crew would like to reduce the amount of warning required in the welcome to 0%.
Sometimes good design means leaving things out completely. Otherwise someone will have to spend time and money removing all those things that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Bad Design 101: Crosswalk Buttons
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