The 3 P’s of parking (P-1)

You’ve heard of the 4 P’s of marketing, right?  Product, price, promotion, and placement.  As regards existing parking, placement is a given.  But let’s look at the other 3 P’s of marketing/parking as they relate to the Emmett Street parking lot, which as previously noted (see Is there a parking problem?), is always at least half empty.

Product

You want a product that appeals to your customer. 

Thankfully, I periodically see workers cleaning up trash in the parking lot.  The pavement markings seem in pretty good shape, but the pavement could use repair in some places.  The fence around the lot also needs repair in a couple of spots, but these are not yet too troublesome.

Attendant station

But the presence of the abandoned attendant station in disrepair hadn’t even occurred to me until brought to my attention by someone who said this was one reason she did not use the parking lot.  I guesss having lived in the neighborhood long enough to remember when there was a live person attending the Emmett Street parking lot, collecting parking fees, this abandoned station never registered.  In a new light, however, I can see where it might be a deterrent to some people.

Abandoned attendant station 003Abandoned Attendant Station at the
Emmett St. Parking Lot

Even when there was a person attending the lot, this station looked worse for wear, and, unattended, it sends an decidely uninviting message.  I don’t know if it should be removed or put to some other use, perhaps an art project or a community information kiosk, but addressing the problem can improve the product.

Pedestrian way

Similarly, the pedestrian way needs some improvement.  Even if driving, one must eventually get out of the car to go somewhere.  The driveway access to Emmett Street on the east is pleasant enough, though no extra measures are taken to accommodate pedestrians.  And in the winter, while quick to remove snow from the parking lot, the city is slow or absent in removing snow from the sidewalk along its own Emmett Street parking lot, violating its own law.

However, for those parking to patronize businesses along Milwaukee Avenue, access to the west is through an alley typical of many city alleys complete with garbage bins.   And the city does not plow snow from the alleys anymore.  Once through the alley, a pedestrian then has to navigate the McDonald’s parking lot and its drive-thru traffic.

To the south, access to the CTA station is also through the alley.  At one time pedestrians had to walk by garbage bins at the south end of the parking lot to get to the “el” or bus.  This pedestrian way has been somewhat improved over the years with what I thought was a garbage dumpster enclosure (though the CTA now leaves its dumpsters in the driveway at the station). 

The relatively new guard rail at the south end of the alley could be seen as helpful as it eliminates the even occasional car that may have once come through the alley into the CTA station.  The flip side is that there is a narrow pedestrian access between the guard rail and the fence on the west and building on the east, one that would not accommodate someone in a wheelchair or with a walker, for example.  Even those on foot on a foul-weather day have to carefully navigate access while making sure to hold their clothing close to the body to avoid contact with the wet guard rail.  Yes, it’s that narrow.

Landscaping

If the city or recipient of the revenue, LAZ Parking/Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, wants to improve the quality and appearance of the Emmett Street lot beyond the basics, some additional landscaping would help to improve the lot.  The wrought iron fence is up, and there is some landscaping along Emmett Street, but not up to the standards of what the city requires of new or expanding parking lots.  Some additional landscaping in the corners of the lot or in a couple of parking lot islands with trees, for example, would help to improve the product, even if a couple of parking spaces are sacrificed in the process.


Next:  Price

Unashamed-C 
Fall diversions in Logan Square:

After Pumpkinfest, continue the Logan Square ARTicipation Tour with another family-friendly event, Anywhere Space/Tracy Kostenbader and Michelle Wang Open Studio, on Saturday, October 24, from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. at 2328 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd fl.Thought Processor

OhNo!Doom’s “Thought Processor”  group art show and exhibition opening reception, Saturday, October 24, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. at 2955 W. Lyndale; show continues through November 14.

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2 Responses to The 3 P’s of parking (P-1)

  1. jason says:

    i was just thinking the other day about how that space, along with the plaza outside the el station is totally wasted. i don’t know if the parking facility could be moved underground…seems like it would be clear of the train tunnels, but who knows what’s under there. if so, the entire block is a prime candidate for TOD or open space redevelopment.

    jason: In general, I imagine the business community and some residents would be opposed to removing any parking (even though its underutilized), though I don’t understand their calls for additional parking. Underground would be quite costly, especially if just replacing the surface parking one-for-one, and with LAZ now managing, I don’t know who would fund it — perhaps a potential developer? The “el” station plaza definitely needs some work, but combined with the Paseo Prairie Garden, the future plaza south of the square, and the future expansion of the square itself, additional open space could have the same effect as parking lots: killing retail life on the street (see Open Space and Milwaukee Avenue [Part 1]). ~ Lynn

  2. Carter says:

    I agree this is pretty lame, but fixing the traffic “circle” at the Square is a much higher priority/problem IMO.

    There is something completely wrong when lane striping allows the cars on the far right to continue around the circle while cars in the center right lane are legally able to cut them off and to turn right/south on Kedzie.

    Agreed, though I anticipate it to be a much longer process. Though maybe just getting the striping better could be a quick interim low-cost fix. ~ Lynn

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