Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

3/18/2014

Hooray For Easy-to-Read Parking Signs!

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

When you live in Los Angeles, the question you often need to ask yourself as you drive around the block for the Nth time is, "Can I park here?"

Last week, I was once again confronted with this question as I drove around the Santa Monica area. Parking meters were full and residential streets were inexplicably packed. I finally found a "magic" spot squeezed in the middle of metered parking and a parked car. The signs were stacked one on top of the other. There was even a directional arrow to further confuse things!

Filled with self-doubt, I checked out the cars in front and behind me to see whether they had permits. Not satisfied after my inspection, I finally ended up waiting in my car until the metered space in front of me opened up. Better safe than sorry.

If this drama of uncertainty has plagued you more than once, you're not alone. Designer Nikki Sylianteng has faced the same problems and has paid for it with parking fees. It's why she finally picked up and old grad school application portfolio project and refined it to her latest project "To Park or Not to Park" -- one that could potentially save a lot of drivers a sweet sum in parking fees.

"To Park or Not to Park" redesigns those byzantine parking signs designed to confuse into a clean, easy-to-read sign. From something like this:

via NYC DOT
Nikki has designed something like this:

Redesigned parking sign by Nikki Sylianteng
It's not a perfect system yet, which is why she needs your help. If you see one of these problem signs, take a photo and submit it to Nikki. She'll send you a revised version, which you can put up and test in your neighborhood. Or, simply submit to help her account for all the weird possibilities of parking signs. Either way, you'll be helping a lot of clueless drivers out. Our checkbooks will thank you.

Check out Nikki's latest re-designs over at "To Park or Not to Park."



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