%HTMLlat1; %HTMLsymbol; %HTMLspecial; ]> Fact-finding mission Parkhaus Blankenese
Roland van Ipen­burg
To be stolen or blogged

Fact-find­ing mis­sion Parkhaus Blanke­nese

Thurs­day 17 Septem­ber 2009 00:47

Tues­day evening I at­tend­ed the meet­ing about Blanke­nese's city cen­tre. Im­por­tant part of the city cen­tre is what is hap­pen­ing around the re­fur­bished area near the S-Bahn­hof and some plans in­volv­ing a park­ing un­der the mar­ket place. Giv­en the amount of bull­shit I heard dur­ing the meet­ing I de­cid­ed to in­ves­ti­gate. The line of rea­son­ing some peo­ple fol­lowed was that the cur­rent park­ing at the REWE isn't used that much, so there is no need for an­oth­er park­ing un­der the mar­ket place, but there are still park­ing and traf­fic is­sues that need to be re­solved.

But I think it's still to ear­ly to eval­u­ate how suc­cess­ful Parkhaus Blanke­nese is. Devel­op­ment in the area hasn't fin­ished yet, and if the only ar­gu­ment against a park­ing un­der the mar­ket place is the cur­rent­ly per­ceived fail­ure of the park­ing near the REWE, it will be a nasty sur­prise for some if that park­ing con­cept sud­den­ly turned out to have got­ten suc­cess­ful.

The first is­sue with Parkhaus Blanke­nese is that the area still looks like a con­struc­tion site. The stores are al­ready open for over a year, but for some rea­son the con­struc­tion here does soft launch­es: Parts are fin­ished and ful­ly func­tion­al but some de­tails are only wrapped up years lat­er, and there is no big open­ing so there is no point af­ter which every­one re­al­izes it's all fin­ished. That gives the whole place the look and feel of a con­struc­tion site, and peo­ple get used to be­hav­ing like it's a con­struc­tion site.

Which means they ig­nore traf­fic signs be­cause those usu­al­ly don't mean any­thing while things are un­der con­struc­tion.

So it's easy to park out­side in front of the REWE.

The sec­ond is­sue is that Parkhaus Blanke­nese is not a sin­gle en­ti­ty, but a com­pli­cat­ed set of mul­ti­ple park­ings. There's a park­ing for the peo­ple liv­ing there to park their cars and two seper­ate en­tries to park­ings for shop­pers, which isn't all that straight­for­ward.

Then there is the us­abil­i­ty of the en­trance. For Parkhaus 2 you need to do a U-turn, Parkhaus 1 is one of three choic­es next to each oth­er, the oth­ers be­ing the en­trance to the de­liv­er­ies area and a tem­po­rary en­trance to a con­struc­tion site.

If you want to en­ter there are 4 red cir­cles to make you think twice about go­ing in. Com­bine that with the lim­it­ed height of 2 me­ters and you'll get a high bounce rate of peo­ple who don't know what to think of all that and don't en­ter. Of all the peo­ple dri­ving those big SUVs around Blanke­nese, how many of them would re­al­ize you'll need some­thing huge like a Hum­mer H2 to ac­tu­al­ly ex­ceed the max­i­mum height of 2 me­ters? Most of them are dri­ving SUVs with a height of only 1.8 or 1.9 me­ters, but prob­a­bly just don't know the ex­act height or don't want to risk any­thing close to that, and just park out­side in front of the REWE.

Parkhaus Blanke­nese has po­ten­tial, and every now and then there are in­cen­tives to park there and shop at the REWE. But that is where it get's com­pli­cat­ed. There are pa­per print-outs that con­tra­dict oth­er mes­sages and the look and feel of the whole sys­tem doesn't make it ap­pear re­li­able, or very un­der­stand­able. You'll be jug­gling two or three sep­a­rate cards just to get out of the park­ing?

Once you get into the sys­tem it ap­pears to be some­thing that has some though be­hind it. You can en­ter the park­ing, take the el­e­va­tor up to the REWE, do your shop­ping there, get your tick­et val­i­dat­ed, take the shop­ping cart in the el­e­va­tor down to your car and leave the park­ing? That's why there are three el­e­va­tors to pro­vide enough ca­pac­i­ty.

But things are com­pli­cat­ed. The park­ing should still be ac­ces­si­ble when the REWE is closed. You're not sup­posed to en­ter the park­ing with­out hav­ing your car parked there, and the stairs lead to the emer­gency exit of the REWE which can't be used to en­ter the REWE. Closed doors aren't the best thing in com­bi­na­tion with the claus­tro­fo­bic cel­lar the un­der­ground carpark is.

And there are even two park­ing lev­els. The bot­tom one cur­rent­ly to­tal­ly de­sert­ed. What is also strange is that the park­ing is next to the S-Bahn­hof, but not con­nect­ed in a way that makes it con­ve­nient to walk from the park­ing to the Bahn­hof. The whole sit­u­a­tion seems rather sub-op­ti­mal, but also a big op­por­tu­ni­ty to turn into a so­lu­tion for the park­ing pres­sure in the area.


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