At Whole Foods in Madison, not only is there a hybrid car parking space, but it is closer to the entrance than the spaces for disabled people!
IN THE COMMENTS: Joe Veenstra said:
If I'm not mistaken, I believe these hybrid spots are done because the builder of the property can get points for LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.Joe links to this NYT article. Read it. Amazing. I'd missed that. From the article:
“Why should someone who can afford that kind of car suddenly get special treatment? I have no problem with parking spaces for the elderly or for a young parent with an infant or handicapped drivers. But this is over the top. What about somebody who can’t afford to go out and buy a fuel-efficient car or somebody with a large family that has to drive an S.U.V.? They suffer. It’s not fair.”
Grrrrrr.... Now, I'm way more annoyed by the sign than I was when I took the picture.
We have about a dozen of these spaces in our shiny new LEED-certified office building. I've never seen more than three of the spaces being used at once, most of the time by decidedly non-hybrid contractor or catering trucks.
Getting the LEED Certification for your building virtually requires putting the hybrid-reserved signs up, because in the 2.0 worksheet it's worth one point in the "Sustainable Sites" category -- the same as improving your "stormwater management" by 25% or restoring 50% of the site to open space, which would be a lot more expensive.
I think they realize this is a bit silly, because the LEED 3.0 scoring system has changed to give you credit for "alternative commuting" in general, whether it's biking, public transport, or high-efficiency autos.