shopping center parking lots


Importance of Shopping Center Parking Lot Management

If you manage a a retail shopping center, the parking lot is often the first thing a customer or future tenant experiences. If the parking lot is in poor condition, covered in potholes, or chaotic and disorganized, they may decide to leave without parking and visiting stores. With stores reopening from the pandemic, cars are returning to shopping centers to find all types of delivery drivers.

During the pandemic, the use of delivery apps like DoorDash, GrubHub, Instacart, and others dramatically increased the number of delivery drivers on the road. Unfortunately, many delivery drivers park in fire lanes, in front of restaurants, and other areas where parking is not permitted, resulting in parking lot chaos. As a result, shopping center property managers must have a plan to manage delivery drivers in their parking lots or risk losing customers!

Common Shopping Center Parking Lot Problems

In a shopping center, there are presumably places that offer a delivery option. If they work with third party delivery drivers, your lot could fill up fast. These places may also offer curbside pickup, where customers will need to park temporarily while their order is brought to their car. Your lot is also likely frequented by rideshare drivers picking up and dropping off patrons.

All of these scenarios bring business to your shopping center, but if your parking lot is not properly managed, they will create big issues for your property. All of these drivers plan to spend minimal time in the parking lot, so if they have to search for a parking spot, they may end up parking in handicap spots or fire lanes for convenience.  Without designated parking and proper signage, these drivers will create a great deal of traffic and congestion.

Shopping Center Parking Lot Management Tips

There are many ways to improve a disorganized parking lot. If you are able to keep traffic and congestion to a minimum and create a safe place to park, people are more likely to frequent your shopping center. Consider the following changes to improve your parking lot.

Designate Ride Sharing Pickup and Drop Off Areas

Allocate a section of your parking lot for rideshare drivers only. This will prevent these cars from adding to the traffic of the lot. This will also give customers using rideshare a specific place to go so they are not wandering the parking lot aimlessly looking for their driver.

Create Dedicated Curbside Pickup Parking Spots

Delivery drivers and customers using curbside pickup are in the parking lot for a very short amount of time. They don’t want to spend more time looking for a spot than they will spend parked. If you designate spots near the entrance for pickup and delivery, people will park there instead of parking illegally in handicap spots or fire lanes.

Install Signs and Speed Bumps

Installing proper signage is the key to a well-organized parking lot. One of the main reasons parking lots get congested is because people do not know where to go. You may have a designated section for rideshare pickups, but if the signage is unclear, it will not be utilized properly. Parking lots are safer when everyone knows where they are going.

Another great way to increase safety in your parking lot is by adding speed bumps. People often speed through parking lots, whether they are rushing to find a space or simply cutting through. Speeding leads to accidents which cause even more chaos. Minimize accidents by adding speed bumps throughout your parking lot.

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