Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Think Outside of the Driveway

New thinking is sweeping my neighbourhood, and it all started only a few days ago.

I happen to live an a neighbourhood with many double driveways. One of my neighbours who I've known since I moved in 9 years ago, has begun parking 'differently'. With teenaged children, and multiple visitors, it is not uncommon to see four or more cars parked at his home, with his car 'boxed-in'. Although the standard double driveway holds at least four cars, access to the roadway is restricted to the cars parked at the tail end of the driveway.... Until now!

This past weekend, Doug and his family adopted 'angled parking' with one driveway lane used as a true 'drive-way, and the other lane as a 'park-way'. Driving down my street this evening (a scant two days later), I passed three more homes adopting angled parking! The result, any of up to five cars can drive in or can back out to the road (four from the driveway, and one from the garage of the driveway lane)! No more key shuffling to free boxed-in automobiles!

The trap that is 'the four cars in a driveway puzzle' is in many ways similar to the stale thinking that holds sway in many 'traditional' classrooms. We always do, what we've always done, without thinking of alternate possibilities. But, as evidenced by the fresh approach to parking in my neighbourhood, once a new idea is proven to work, a number of folks will follow the trail that's been blazed.

When daylight happens upon our street, I'll be taking some more photos, as this is a metaphor I'll be sharing in my next workshop. Is it possible that this form of parking is already popular elsewhere and that I've never seen it?


Doug said...

Creative parking creates creative moments. Google Earth has caught my driveway and our Cavalier parking lot.


C Seibel said...

Love the analogy and the visual. I've blogged about the importance of visual connection to our thinking about what learning looks like (it's a test).
You might consider a similar approach to your visual. Let me know if you do - it's all about sharing!

Rodd Lucier said...

Doug, they've finally got London, ON in high resolution on GoogleMaps, but Komoka is still fuzzy. Love that your cars are strategically parked!

Cindy, I agree that there is great power in the apt metaphor. Your slideshare reminds me of that Sesame Street song "Which one of these, is not like the others..."

Paul Bogush said...

Will shifting the same big ol' inefficient cars around a driveway improve the standardized test scores of the driveway? or do they need to shift their thinking and get smaller, more efficient vehicles that are more appropriate for the challenges that 21st Century driveways pose to homeowners.

Rodd Lucier said...

Touche Paul!

Doug said...


We all have Cavaliers, Paul. Does that count?

It's amazing how you start to think about the environment after filling up at $1.25.9 as some jerk in a pickup truck goes flying past you on the 401.

In terms of standards, we generally do a level 3 in parking and there are only accommodations made when friends drop by.