Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lot Full

Not long ago, Oak Park got a nice, new library. It’s a real gem, a cornerstone of the community. Best of all, it has on-site underground parking, free if you spend less than 2 hours there (and really, it’s a library, so who’s going to spend more than 2 hours?).

What’s odd is that outside the parking garage is a sign that displays one of three things: “closed,” “open” and “full.”

Now, “closed” makes perfect sense, and a couple of times already I’ve been glad to know that the place was closed before I tried stopping in. I suppose “open” serves the same purpose, though it’s a little less necessary, since if it’s not the one it must be the other, right? But “full” continues to baffle me.

Like a club, public pool or any other place with a lot of traffic, the library’s parking lot may have a maximum capacity but can never be “full,” per se. There’s always traffic in and out, and unless there’s someone vigilantly watching every open spot, waiting for that capacity to be reached with their hand hovering over the “full” button, the “full” sign will never be accurate. Indeed, I’ve yet to enter the garage when the sign said “full” and not found a spot.

Case in point: just now, as I turned in to the allegedly “full” garage, someone was pulling out. So, immediately, the garage isn’t full and the sign’s inaccuracy was made blatantly obvious. Yet driving down into the submerged lot, I counted a whopping 9 other open spots, not including 3 or 4 handicapped spots.

Full? More like full of it.


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