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  • Site of the Day: American Planning Association Historic PAS Reports

    The helpful Planning Advisory Service Reports published by the American Planning Association and its predecessors have been a part of just about every planning department library in the United States since 1949. Every month, the APA places a "new" historic PAS Report on their web site, free for all visitors to view and download. If you read only one, make it the political incorrect No. 15: Self-Service Gasoline Stations from 1950, packed full of mid-century sexism and site planning advice that would make a modern planner recoil in horror. Or fall to the floor in laughter.

    American Planning Association Historic PAS Reports: http://www.planning.org/pas/reports/historic.htm

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Dan's avatar
      Dan -
      A couple of choice excerpts among the many jaw-droppers in #15. Emphasis mine.
      The most frequently raised objection to the self-service stations is that they create fire and explosion hazards. It is claimed that customers are more likely than attendants to smoke when pumping gasoline and that they are more likely to spill gasoline. It is also contended that the driver is not trained to spot needed repairs and defects in the motor or other running parts and that his vehicle, not checked by a trained attendant, will become a hazard itself through neglect. Also, assertions have been made that the driver, especially if elderly or if a woman (or if the weather is bad) will be unwilling to wipe the windshield and thus will fail to protect his own driving vision.
      Self-service stations tend to remain open 24 hours a day, partly because it is not feasible to move all items on display into a locked shelter. They frequently use female personnel girl cashiers may be hired for less money than men and they attract customers.
      A quick glance shows that Audio-Visual Aids and Equipment may also be full of win.

      It's also full of good advice that the Powerpoint generation can learn from.