Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How NOT to Design a Parking Lot

Every once in awhile, my Mom life crashes into my Engineer life. Every time it rains at preschool, those worlds collide with great force.

I've been tempted to take a picture of this for months, but the other parents already think I am a complete nut so standing in the rain with a camera would make me extra crazy. (Lately I've been dropping Panorama off at school in my pajamas with my hair all crazy. The joys of working at home with many deadlines.)

The water is all drained and dry today from yesterday's storm, but there is still enough of a stain here to show you where the swale line is in this parking lot.

Now, this parking lot functions perfectly fine- there isn't usually standing water here, it is usually actively draining.

However- those of you with kids will notice that the swale line runs DIRECTLY in the spot of the parking stall where the REAR SEATS ARE LOCATED.

This means that during a rainstorm, an already harried parent struggling to get a squirming toddler out of a child saftey seat must stand in a RIVER while doing it.

I remember designing parking lots and asking the sage engineering mentors where I should run my swale line and they gave some random and potentially thoughtless answers, but NEVER did I hear any of them say not to put it here.

Perhaps, I should have been asking their wives.