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The Bohemian Boolean

Parking Lot Project

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As our first task for 3-D Innovations, we partnered with the Civil Engineering and Architecture class at our school to try to design and renovate parking lots at our school, in order to fix traffic concerns.

I tried to program some models in JavaScript and GameMaker (painfully measured pixel by pixel) to try to analyze exactly where traffic jams started and what actions could be taken to mitigate them.

(car is approximately to scale compared to parking lot)

Our club and the CEA class were able to present our findings and suggestions to architects, district planners and other district officials, who then utilized some of our suggestions in their final plan. In addition, the architects later came back and presented to us on the final plans, as well as describing to us all of the rules, regulations and cost considerations that they had to take into account on the national, state, district and local level before they made their plans. We also got to see the bidding process on the contract for renovating the parking lots, which was exciting.

Since our parking lot is old, the arrows on the asphalt that point to the direction that drivers need to face, are worn away.
UPDATE: Our district took our idea to re-paint and add more arrows. In fact, they added a LOT more arrows to each lane!

When an architect suggested that the parking spaces be made straight, rather than angled, as it was a more efficient design, one of our friends from the CEA class replied that for inexperienced drivers (high school students), angled parking spaces made a lot more sense and were a lot safer than straight ones. The loss in parking spaces was minimal, compared to the number of the parking
UPDATE: We kept angled parking spaces in the parking lot!

We suggested adding a pick-up/drop-off lane right next to the school, taking out a row of parking spaces (but we did the math on the hundreds we had to spare, considering general usage). One of the major problems with our current parking lot was with how some students would walk across several lanes to get to school, while other students and parents would drive across the grass to get closer to the school or would be driving (often dangerously, and in the wrong direction) in the lanes closest to the school. Stipulating that cars must use those lanes to drop and pick-up, rather than park, would make sure that students could get to school safer.
UPDATE: The new parking lot will have a pick-up/drop-off lane!

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