Monday, August 17, 2009

Thanks a "Lot," Natick Collection!

Article and photo by Eric H.

The Natick Collection, in Natick, Mass., stands as one of New England's premier shopping malls with something for every taste -- 200 diverse stores ranging from the upscale Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom's to the more populist presences of JCPenney, Claire's Boutique and McDonald's. With a refreshed, updated mall atmosphere with skylights, landscaping and plush soft seating area, the Natick Collection runs on almost all shopping cylinders.

Except for the parking.

Recently, trying to find a parking space near the Cheesecake Factory was nearly impossible -- and made even worse by a "green incentive," to reserve certain parking spots for fuel efficient vehicles. After driving several rows of the parking lot without finding a space, we thought we had finally found a spot until reading the sign: "GREEN DOT SPACES RESERVED FOR FUEL EFFICIENT LOW EMISSION VEHICLES." With our Mazda mini-van we didn't qualify to become one of the chosen few.

We're all for conserving energy, but can't we contribute on our own terms without being told what to do? Here, at the Natick Collection, we ultimately wasted gas trying to find a parking space in a poorly laid-out parking lot with, apparently, a social agenda.

Personally, we think it's a foolish idea to reserve spots for certain vehicles. This incentive seems elitist and frustrates shoppers like us not to return to the mall. We feel that we were penalized for having the "wrong vehicle" in an already cramped parking section at the mall parking lot -- not a very nice thing to do to customers supporting the mall through purchases at the stores.

Do you think this sign is a good "green" idea, or another expression of modern-day insanity?

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