Go Play In The Road: The New Library Parking Plan


This morning, I took my daughter to the Halifax Central Library. It is a building that is, for all intents and purposes, the most beautiful building in all of Halifax. It offers a level of beauty that we’ve never seen before in Halifax but there are…a few problems. Recently I wrote about the issues I have with the ipads and video game systems. This time, it’s parking.

First off, I LOVE that there is underground parking lot. It makes it SO much easier, especially with kids and honestly, even though it turns the price into the cost of going to a giant indoor playground, I’d prefer that my kids do some combo playing/building/reading. So I’m fine with that.

There USED to be a couple of really nice security guards who would hand you a took and then make a rational decision that 1 hour and 7 minutes…was close enough to 1 hour. I don’t know if the new automated robot system will make such a decision, but I would guess not. Anyways, EVEN STILL, it’s a good idea. But here’s the real rub.

The machines, at which you pay, are located in the parking garage. It’s a UX nightmare. First, while you’re paying, there’s about a 70% chance that you’re blocking the door. Second, if you’ve got kids with you (which is my whole point for using the underground parking in the first place) you have to try to convince them not to run into traffic while you pay. Third, it’s incredibly dirty. This morning, while my daughter held on to the bar beside the machine she got covered in some sort of black, soot, exhaust condensation stuff.

I get that the library needs to reimburse costs and underground parking is a good way to do that. I also understand, although don’t necessarily agree with, getting rid of physical people in favour of robots. But the placement of the machine in the basement, on top of a ramp that leads to a blind corner of cars is a huge miss.

Let’s try this again, shall we?