We’ve been creating a lot of parking lot sign solutions lately and I’m going to say that’s a good thing.
Parking lot signs are inherently all about safety. Think about it — parking lots are high risk areas. It’s a constrained space where there are always vehicles and people coming and going. When snow and ice enter the equation, then space becomes even more limited. And, out of necessity, people start to park in the "fringe" spots where they normally wouldn't.
Last year, we didn’t hear a lot from our clients about parking lot signs. We had a couple of clients who needed them for their residential properties… but certainly not commercial properties. And that was a side effect of co-vid -- everyone was staying home.
This year, there are a lot of commercial clients calling — either retail or mixed industrial. I think this is a good thing and here's why: it’s a sign the world is opening back up again. If you can't find a parking stall, that means, by extension, that there are more people out and about.
Certainly, that's been our experience. Take Friday night for example, Dan and I got off work and drove downtown to visit our friend who owns Ten Degrees Chocolate. She's just off 17th Ave SW. We had two vehicles that day, and we couldn't find stalls together let alone apart. It took us 20 minutes to find parking spots and walk back to the restaurant so we could have a beverage and a chat. 17th Ave, my friends, is looking alive and that's a good thing.
Then we have some friends who run Independent Glass & Contracting Ltd. They are up in the northeast in a mixed use, commercial strip mall. Independent Glass is certainly a skilled trade construction company— they are Commercial glazers — and very good at what they do. Next to them in their building is a retail store -- groceries, I think. We installed some parking lot sign solutions because the grocery store customers were parking in the Independent Glass stalls. Independent Glass is a good company that offers a quality product -- their services are in high demand across South Alberta. Their team members need to get in and out quickly and they couldn’t do that. So, we installed some parking lot sign solutions for them.
We installed simple flex post solutions. We use bolts to anchor the signs into the concrete aprons. We always prefer to anchor the bases in concrete vs asphalt because the concrete will hold better -- the sign is much less likely to get pulled out. We like the flex posts because if they get touched or tapped, it's not going to get ripped out right away. It'll bend and bounce back.
The cool thing we did for Independent Glass too is that we put 12 by 18 aluminium signs on them, and we completely customized the design, so it had their logo on it. It did say reserved parking, violators will be towed, please and thank you. It looked classy -- it was nice. We softened the message -- because you could argue that it's a negative message -- and that's out of necessity for safe operations in the confined parking lot space.
We softened the message as much as we could with the graphics -- the style of the font and the layout -- to make it please and entirely visible. Someone pulling into that parking stall 20 feet away, could see that sign and say 'abort, abort, abort' and go find another parking stall. And it works amazingly well! While Dan and Ryley were out there doing the install, they saw the signs in action as a couple of the retail customers turned into the stalls, read the signs, and honoured the request -- they backed out and found a stall somewhere else. Which is lovely -- that's exactly what the ask is -- so thank you very much to the people who do that.
I've mentioned the flexi posts and the aluminium signs: 12 by 18 is standard. You can screw these signs into a flexi post, you can put them on a fence. The fence could be wooden, or it could be wire. We've also done printed vinyl on windows too. If you have a window in front of a parking stall you can put your parking message on the window too as well. That's a cheap and cheerful solution. There are all kinds of options out there if you need them.
We're seeing a lot of ask for this lately and I think that's a good thing Calgary ... So, congratulations! 2022 is here and we're all out and about!
See you in the New Year!
Emma and Dan