Over the years an apparent state of anarchy has overtaken our nation's parking lots. Being a law-abiding citizen and everything, I thought it was high time to point a few things out.
- Stop signs. Parking lot stop signs are much like normal stop signs. They are still octagonal and red, and they still spell STOP in big white reflective capital letters. In fact, the only way parking lot stop signs differ from normal stop signs is they apparently become completely invisible under certain conditions. Mind you I've not witnessed this occurrence myself, but it looks like others have since they drive straight through them without stopping. Bigfoot, Nessie, and invisible parking lot stop signs. Some mysteries may never be solved.
- The fire lane is not a parking area. To reinforce this, the Elkview Kroger has strategically placed some barriers along the perimeter of their fire lane... cones or something, enough to keep the ordinary driver out, but not enough to get in the way of a real emergency vehicle under real emergency conditions. So now, people have decided the area just outside the perimeter — also known as the traffic area — is for parking. As for the actual traffic trying to navigate this obstacle course, best of luck.
- The space storeside of the handicapped space isn't a parking area either. In fact, it is also known as the traffic area. What the hell is wrong with you people, anyway?
- Diagonal parking spaces are not directional arrows. In fact, quite the opposite is true... you need to travel in the opposite direction of how the spaces point. I know that may come as a shock to some. But coincidentally, it's much easier to park when you do so, almost like it was meant to be that way.
- Look before you cross. I'm not sure when this trend started exactly, but pedestrians have decided to take this whole "pedestrians have the right-of-way" thing to a new extreme in parking lots by darting out into oncoming traffic without any hesitation at all, practically daring drivers to hit them. Do you feel lucky, punk? Nobody even looks to see if anything's coming... cars be damned, I've got a buggy full of applesauce here! Let me tell you as a parent it's damn hard to teach your kids not to run out into the traffic lane when people are going out of their way to set the wrong example.
- Turn signals. Two words: Use them. I'm not even going to say please. You are literally lifting a finger to convey your intentions and make a safer situation. Can't be bothered? Then please take no offense when I lift one of my fingers to let you know how I feel about that.
I know these words aren't going to change anything, and the chaos will probably not only continue, but get worse. So keep your eyes open and stay safe... it's dangerous out there.