Little details are what make or break a user’s experience. In Four Corners, it all boils down to Parking. Now don’t confuse my message here. I don’t care about the $8.00 per week I spend on average for parking. It’s part of the Four Corners landscape and I accept it. I am talking about the “parking experience” itself.
First, let’s get some Green P signage going. That’s the low hanging fruit. When I had offices there, my clients (who didn’t frequent Four Corners) would constantly express frustration around not knowing where to park. This shouldn’t be a state secret.
Next level: Electronic signage posted at entry points to Four Corners that tell you where the empty spots are. Square One has these, as does Yorkdale Mall. But a sign that tells you, when you are still at Church street, that Rose is full but City Hall has 100 spots makes decision making and route selection easy and stress free. No more circling around and hoping for the best. It’s a bigger project, for sure, and one that would happen overnight.
But somewhere between Green Signs and Electronic parking control is a little thing, a very little thing actually, but one that gets my goat at least 50% of my visits. The Street Parking meters. They don’t work well. They don’t seem to accept nickels or dimes (despite the label that says they do), sometimes they just won’t accept coins at all (despite the label that says they do) forcing me to use a credit card; and sometimes they don’t want to process my cards (again, despite the labels that promise me otherwise).
And here’s the “little thing”: theRegion of Peel is about to tear up the roads in Four Corners. The roads will be open, and now’s our chance. I say it’s a good opportunity for the City to upgrade these meters to a) accept my “tap” cards and b) to hard wire the meters with a high speed internet connection to process cards, so that it doesn’t take five minutes to pay for parking.
These are little things. But they are also important things in shaping the user experience for Four Corners. If I can park, tap and go at high speed, I am a little more happy to spend the five minutes I saved and the bad mood I avoided in a flower shop, or a tea vendor, or a boutique gift and photography centre.