If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we have an abundance of parking lots in the United States.
A sizeable chunk of the near two billion parking lots in the country (you read that right) comprises private lots for schools, churches, malls, and cinemas. And these have become near vacant with the ongoing lockdown.
Many property managers and asphalt contractors took this opportunity to perform maintenance and repair work like parking lot sealcoating. Others, however, found more creative uses of their large paving assets.
At The Pavement Group, we specialize in asphalt paving and maintenance in Pittsburgh, PA. Click here to get a free estimate.
In today’s blog, we list five ways to put your vacant parking lot to help your community.
Create Your Own Farmer’s Market
To start, a farmer’s market checks all the tick boxes in a pandemic. For one thing, it provides safe access to groceries and healthy food items. And it also generates revenue for farmers and food businesses with simple outdoor spacing and capacity restrictions.
Invite Kids To Play
The lockdown has taken a toll on children’s physical and mental health. But as most public places are closed in Pennsylvania and other states, there aren’t many options for kids to get some physical activity.
A simple workaround is to create no-contact play zones for children in an empty lot. With simple paint on the ground, kids can enjoy everything from Tic-Tac-Toe to obstacle courses without physical contact with each other.
Whether it’s a charity drive-by or a political rally, parking lots have recently become the all-important centers of community interaction.
For instance, the Nashville Rescue Mission organized their Thanksgiving Turkey Fry for the homeless by utilizing their parking lot ‘to spread out the frying pits and give each fryer more space.’
Many churches also opened their lots to raise funds or collect food for the less privileged without creating a crowd.
Once reeking of oil stains, parking lots have also become centers of public health outreach. The Nissan Stadium Lot N and the former K-mart parking lot are just two of the many local examples of parking lots being repurposed for COVID-19, easing the burden of the overcrowded hospitals and clinics.
Finally, COVID-19 has also increased the need for safe shelters for the homeless. And parking lots can provide cost-effective outdoor shelters where unhoused people can maintain distance while shielding themselves from the winter cold.
To sum up, there are many ways to repurpose your parking lot during (and even after) the pandemic.
Of course, before opening your lot for the public, you must ensure that the surface is safe enough to walk/drive on. Ask your asphalt paving contractor to perform a routine inspection, and perform emergency repairs of cracks and potholes to avoid any accidents on your parking lot.
Parking lot managers in Pittsburgh, PA, can always reach out to The Pavement Group for high-quality asphalt paving and maintenance services. Click here to get a free estimate.