Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pending Cone

After this buffoon moves his car, don't let anyone else park here
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I was walking through a Wal-Mart parking lot tonight when I overheard some cart pushers talking about a car was parked in front of some shopping carts against a curb, wedging them into some bushes. It would have been impossible to move the carts without lifting them over the car. I took a look myself and noticed it was an expensive luxury car (since they tend to be driven by the inconsiderate), but I digress.

What if there was some way to keep an eye on the parking spot and wait until the car moved? Then, once the car moved, put up a cone so nobody parks there until the carts could be removed?

In certain other situations, such as event parking or when road work is commencing, sometimes crews want a certain car to be the last one parked in a particular parking spot. They need a "pending cone".

In short, this is an inflatable and automatic cone. In its packed state, the device would resemble a Frisbee. A worker would slide it under the offending car, centered between the wheels to avoid it being crushed by the tires when it pulls out. A light sensor in the cone would detect sunlight when the car moves away, and it would inflate a couple of seconds later. (This wouldn't work at night unless another detection system of some sort is employed, using magnetism or sonar.) The inflated cone would deter an average law-abiding citizen from reusing the parking spot.

kevinthenerd, Aug 15 2013


       Tow it and have the tow truck driver re sign or cone the area.   

       The driver could use your idea with 2 minute timer to actuate the cone as he and the limo exit the scene stage right.
popbottle, Aug 19 2013

       Inflatable cones are certainly Baked.   

       An upward-looking PIR would trigger the timer on detecting a warm engine.   

       For best results, two cones joined at the top by plastic tape marked "POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS" would be effective.
8th of 7, Aug 19 2013

       Such cones could be used for all sorts of stuff. In addition to marking the site of carts which need to be moved back to the store, a cone could mark the site of dog poop needing to be shoveled up, weeds which need to be pulled, payment forms which need to be filled out and mailed, laundry needing to be folded, and so on. One would need great stacks of these cones to properly benefit from their use. In theory one could reuse the cones once the designated job had been done. Perhaps the cones could come with a reminder to the person who actually does the designated job to return cones to the cone dispensary once the job was complete.
bungston, Aug 19 2013

       sp: Buffoon - unless there's some kind of streetwise urban thing going on here I don't know about.   

       Someone has to mark out all those car-parking spaces - if there's a potential access issue with a given space, then really, that space shouldn't have been marked out in the first instance - and should perhaps instead be replaced with a small garden or mystic-frieze.
Zeuxis, Aug 19 2013

       Maybe a huge portable car crusher that moves in and squashes the offending vehicle into a cone shape, and then paints it bright orange?
Cedar Park, Aug 20 2013

       The cart jockeys could have called headquarters and had them announce the license number of the car and say it was on fire or being broken in to, etc. What's one less boneheaded customer, after all?
cudgel, Aug 20 2013

       Also an excellent to the fitting of neon under- lighting.
TomP, Aug 21 2013

       I can imagine something similar along the lines of a spike gate; broad and thin it stands tall and conforms harmlessly to being backed over folding on a spring hinge. but should a car try to drive across it the other way the hooked blades would rip off the bumper fascia.
WcW, Aug 21 2013


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