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Get Your Cameras Ready for Half-Empty Black Friday Parking Lots

If the parking lot at your local big box store looks like this on Black Friday, you're doing it wrong. Photo: Strong Towns
Does the parking lot at your local big box store look like this on Black Friday? Photo: Strong Towns
If the parking lot at your local big box store looks like this on Black Friday, you're doing it wrong. Photo: Strong Towns

It's standard practice to build parking lots to accommodate the maximum number of vehicles expected on the busiest shopping day of the year.

As a result, acres and acres of unnecessary asphalt make communities less walkable, waste land, funnel polluted runoff into our groundwater, erode tax bases, and drive up prices for lots of other goods that aren't car parking. Incredibly, a lot of these parking lots are so large they don't even fill most of the way up on Black Friday, America's high holiday of retail shopping.

Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns came up with an ingenious plan to help highlight this rather unsexy issue last year. He encouraged people to take pictures of half-empty parking lots on Black Friday and tweet them with the hashtag #blackfridayparking. Last year's contest produced some eye-poppers.

Chuck is encouraging people to do the same this year. If you're out there holiday shopping and come across one of those sad, empty parking lots, please tweet it and show the world the foolishness of our parking policies. For more information, check out the Strong Towns blog

In the meantime, Streetsblog USA wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving, and looks forward to reviewing your spectacular pictures Monday.

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