Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Dartmouth Target's Bizarrely Gigantic Parking Lot

The Target in Dartmouth, MA may have the most unnecessarily huge parking lot I've ever seen. As my wife pointed out, it's so big that if it was ever actually filled with cars, there's no way you could fit that many people inside the store.

Here's a picture via Google Maps. This is a light day. On busy days, the left side of the parking lot will fill up, but the right side never comes anywhere close to capacity, even when the store itself is packed during the holidays. And the extra parking panhandle at the bottom right? I didn't even know that existed until I saw this satellite view:


So the question is, why would you ever build so much parking that will never ever get used? It's very likely that Dartmouth required Target to build it, because if they didn't, on the busiest days shoppers might have to park ... in the neighboring Dick's and Petco parking lots, which are also way too big and always half empty. The horror!

But I think there's also a psychological factor in play from Target's perspective. People around here get REALLY upset if they have to look for parking and if they have to circle around even once will go home like OH MY GAWD TAHHGET WAS A FACKIN' MADHOUSE. For those folks, having a bunch of spots that are always open may be a beacon of comfort.

The seas of parking also defeat the purpose of the plaza's good sidewalks - even though bus routes go right by, the Target is a quarter of a mile hike thanks to the set-back.
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