The planner is most concerned with four stages of the shopper's trip — the road he travels to get to the center,the point at which he leaves this road and enters the center, the search for an unoccupied parking space, and the walk to the stores.
Shopping center developers, as shown in the earlier reports, must consider many facts which are not strictly within city planning jurisdiction, such as the trade potential of the area surrounding the shopping center, and the types of stores that should be located in a particular shopping center.
Shopping center business is drawn almost entirely from people who live within a maximum of thirty minutes driving time over local roads, and most customers live closer.
General definition of a shopping center A shopping center is a group of retail stores planned and designed for the site on which they are built, located away from the central business district, to serve the shopping needs of new suburban and fringe growth.
Shopping centers in suburban areas are nearer the population they serve (in driving time), offer a relatively large (if sometimes inadequate) amount of conveniently located off-street parking, and fit in with the patterns of suburban living described by Burgess and other urban sociologists as long as twenty-five years ago.
The farther out from the center of the city that a family lives, the less time the man of the family spends at home.
The planner is concerned primarily with the shopper and his (her) trip to the shopping center only after the shopper is driving on the road and up to the time that he enters one of the stores in the center.
After that, we leave him to the world of stretchable hose and non-stretchable budgets.
To the normal present and future traffic loads of the roads serving the center must be added the traffic generated by the center, and the totals must be compared with the capacity of the roads.
If the roads do not have the extra capacity to handle the future traffic loads, new road construction should be in the offing, or the center should be located elsewhere.