Making parking garages pedestrian-friendly

19Jan13

There’s a big grocery store about a block away from where I live. More accurately, the store’s parking garage is only a block from me; the front of the store is another two blocks around, assuming you stick to the main roads. After some trial and error, I found out how to walk through the garage and end up right at the front entrance, which is a big time saver. However, I’m a little surprised that the store has done so little to help shoppers navigate the garage side of the building.

Perhaps they never expected anyone to walk into the garage on foot, or maybe they don’t want pedestrians clogging up the vehicle lanes. But short of putting up a gate that only opens for cars, you’re going to end up with people walking in the garage, especially in an urban area.

The sensible approach is to acknowledge that the parking garage serves multiple types of customers, and provide navigation cues for each. In the case of people in cars, that’s pretty much a given. And for people on foot, all it takes is clearly-marked stenciling on the ground and some signage to help them find the store entrance and garage exit. By taking these simple steps, you’ll make it easier for customers to reach the store quickly and easily, which can only mean good things for revenue and profits.



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