Saturday, July 28, 2012

Small Sign of Hope

Out on our weekend runs, I stopped into the Best Buy across from the Mall of Millenia (where the former Circuit City once stood) looking for a class 10 16GB µSD card. The parking lot was about half full, and I didn't expect to have a problem finding a spot to park. But then I came across five slots right at the front, in the same area you'd find handicap parking, and found these reserved for "Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking Only."

This is the first time I've seen anything like this near a commercial business. I've seen it in a few spots in downtown Orlando, and I've seen it around UCF, especially near Partnership III in Research Park next to UCF (see the example below). The difference between the signs is somewhat stark. Whereas the Best Buy signs say "Only", the UCF signs say "Preferred". And the working effects how the slots are used. While I was standing there taking this photo two other hybrids showed up and parked in two other slots. But all the other traffic that was cruising around the Best Buy parking lot parked elsewhere.

This is in stark contrast to the Partnership III parking slots. Whereas Best Buy has only five, Partnership III has 24. Finding hybrid vehicles beside my own in those Partnership parking lots was rare at the best of times. They were filled with everything from ragged-out student cars to massive SUVs, none of them hybrids except for my little red Prius and the handful of others that managed to get into them early in the morning. And considering it's the educational locations that should be more in tune with being green, you'd think that all of those Partnership III slots would be filled with hybrids. I can certainly tell you that I saw them scattered about  the main lot, more than enough to fill the "Preferred" slots.
Preferred Parking
These parking places are a very small step towards a better integrated energy policy. The way Best Buy has them laid out is the way they should all be laid out. They drive home alternatives and reward the use of alternatives: closer parking. We need a lot more of these little steps if we're ever going to do more than pay lip service to energy efficiency and ween ourselves off fossil fuels. Education in particular needs to really lead the way.


This is post 44 for the month of July. This marks the most posts I've made in any given month.

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