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CHAPTER 4 Parking At one time, parking was just a necessary function airports had to provide their patrons, but was little more than an afterthought compared with terminals and runways. Today, parking is one of the largest sources of unencumbered revenue for an airport as well as one of its largest sources of complaints by travelers--and the employees. Fortunately, signing as it relates to parking is now reaping the benefits of both careful planning and technology. Airports (as well as other major trans- portation hubs) are using a user-perspective approach where adequate information is delivered at the necessary locations in the appropriate form. In fact, even some of today's well-planned wayfinding designs can get lost in translation. For example, at Schiphol, Bureau Mijksenaar tested a new wayfinding system in the airport's three parking lots (previously a confusing mix of colors that passengers had difficulty remembering or differentiating.). The design firm used symbols, rather than pictograms, with three themes--Holland, sports, and international cities--and every parking section was denoted by a correspond- ing mascot (such as the Statue of Liberty, etc.). Unfortunately, the test group didn't under- stand many international city icons, so the firm swapped the city icons for more recogniza- ble transportation symbols, along with the sports and Holland themes, and the system is now very successful. 4.1 Considering Parking Users in Design (Human Factors) The approach to designing a signing system for parking functions is similar to signing in other areas: understand the user's needs. Parking signing is unique, however, in that you have to pro- vide wayfinding for the driver (e.g., inside the vehicle) and pedestrian (outside the vehicle) within the same environment. Regardless of the person's mode, wayfinding must give each type of user information as to the: · Destination (where one wants to go), · Designation (where one is currently), and · Direction (how to go from one to the other). In general, the human factor aspects of signing for parking at airports follow the same princi- ples as necessary for all signing at airports: simplicity, consistency, continuity, and redundancy. Focus groups of users can be valuable sources of input as airports embark on signing makeovers. Parking garage users include both drivers and, once they have exited their vehicles, pedestri- ans. Drivers require sign guidance in order to navigate to a suitable location within the parking 53