It's snowbird season, the weather's chilly, and traffic is awful. As a public service, the Juice would like to remind our winter visitors that driving in South Florida is a health hazard, particularly since so few people here are familiar with the concepts of "turn signals" and "yield signs." And if you think I-95 is bad, try parking at the local grocery store.
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of the area's Top Five Most Dangerous Parking Lots. It's entirely unscientific, so feel free to chime in with corrections/suggestions:
1. The Boys Farmers Market, Delray Beach. In pursuit of fresh, delicious, cheap produce, people will go to extreme measures. This cramped lot was the site of 33 crashes in one year, according to the Palm Beach Post. Smart patrons park in the lot next door and tread carefully inside the store to avoid the wrath of bargain-hunting grandmas.
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2. Whole Foods, Fort Lauderdale. Multiple entrances, limited spaces, two-way traffic, and some very irritated vegetarian yuppies make it nearly impossible to pull out of here without hitting something.
3. El Toro Loco, West Palm Beach. This lot has witnessed violence of the nonvehicular variety. In January 2009, a 17-year-old was stabbed to death by drug dealers. Eight months later, another teen was found dead in the parking lot.
4. CityPlace Hibiscus garage, West Palm Beach. Never leave here at midnight on a Friday. Teenagers are swarming out of the Muvico, drunks are looking for a place to pass out on the stairwell, and many people seem intent on drag-racing from one garage level to the next. West Palm Beach instituted a teen curfew in part because of crime here. The rule helped, but it's still a rowdy place to park.
5. Publix, Young Circle, Hollywood. Late at night, this is where the seedy underbelly of Hollywood comes out to play. The urbane condo dwellers at Radius struggle to compete with the unwashed collection of humanity that gathers here. Hint: They're not looking for groceries.