Friday, December 12, 2008

Forecast is Never Correct

Forgot to post this a while back ...

Check out the forecasted high (26 degrees) for Dec. 6 from, and then look at the current temperature (29 degrees). Wow, that's just pitiful. Can't they change their forecast to 29 degrees so they don't look as stupid as they already are?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bad Parking Design at Woodman's

Have you shopped at Woodman's on the west side of Madison in the past couple of years? The grocery store resurfaced its parking lot a few years back and stupidly decided to make the rows of parking run parallel (instead of perpendicular) to the store.

Stop and think for a bit. Can you name ANY store (department, grocery, mall, etc.) that has parking designed this way? Of course not, because it is a major inconvenience to the customer!

Take a look at diagram 1: If you are parked where the red dot is, and all the adjacent stalls are taken (as they usually are at popular Woodman's, thus no short cuts for you) ...

... you have to walk all the way down the end of the row and then back to get to your car (diagram 2). And if you do cut through, often a car is trying to turn into your spot and may not see you (especially at night and when there are a few other parked cars around to block the driver's view), thus jeopardizing your safety!

Look what happens if you park at the red dot in diagram 3 (and assuming the adjacent slots are filled and you can't cut through).

That would be a lot further walk then if you were at the same point in a correctly designed parking lot (diagram 4). This is why 99.9 percent of all parking lots are designed this way.

So, who are the geniuses that designed this lot, and who are the idiots at Woodman's that agreed upon the design? I took an Engineering Design class in high school, and we spent one measly unit learning parking design. In those couple of weeks, I learned all there was and designed my own (easily getting an "A"). Sadly, someone must've gone to college for this, and they still screwed up.

Next time you go to Woodman's, keep all of this in mind. Don't get suckered in parking in the middle (it seems closer by real distance) at busy times; park near the ends (shorter actual walking distance).

Additional rant: Have you ever noticed people who park outward (facing out) at grocery stores? Seeing how most people put groceries in their trunk and/or back seats, why would you make it more difficult to do so by parking this way? ALWAYS park inward at grocery stores!

One more rant: For places with angled parking, why drive through to park outward? It's a bigger inconvenience to get out because now you have to make a more than 90-degree turn to get out. Use your head!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bicyclist Rage

About a week ago, two bicyclists were circling a third at night when the one being circled said, "Get a light." This enraged the other two, as they tried to ride him off the road, followed him to his house and then got in a physical altercation.

(Here's the story

I find this amusing because this showcases the dichotomy of Madison bicyclists. There are the nice ones who follow the rules, such as the victim described above. Then there are those who feel they own the road, and these are the ones who give all bicyclists a bad rap, like the attackers above (by the way, state law requires lights for bikes at night).

I'm sure you've seen the latter group on the streets: They go down the wrong way of one-way streets, they never make complete stops at red lights or stop signs, they never yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk, they ride in the middle of the road in order to disrupt traffic, etc.

Madison has gone out of its way to be biker-friendly, especially with all the bike paths and bike lanes in the city. It's unfortunate that the asshole bicyclists have marred the reputation for all.

Remember: if a car and a bicycle go head-to-head, the car ALWAYS wins. It's your life, so be careful!