Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to "L"ook for Parking

There are more than a few suggestions to finding a place to park.  Usually "finding a place" isn't the trouble.  "Finding a good place" is often what people are talking about when they say, "I can't find a place to park", or "I cant find any parking".  Most often this is exaggerated because we want to find the "best" place.  We always want a deal.  When you go into a store you have your eye out for the best product for the best price. Many times in parking, we treat this as if we are shopping.  Expecting something for nothing, is one of our first mistakes.
Urban planners, when designing city parking, as well as parking lots, attempt to maintain a maximum 85% capacity at any time.  This should leave 15% of parking freed up.  Of course, there are those times where a huge event is happening, and those percentage points will go down quick.  Nevertheless, the majority of the time there will still be parking available.  It is a matter of what you are willing to do for it.  You want that "deal", you want a spot, well you will have to do some work for it.  Its not just a matter of circling the lot 50 times hoping some poor soul will be locked in your cross hairs as you follow them to their car. 
It may take a bit of ingenuity, or effort.  The easy answer is to park at the back of the lot and walk...I know, Shock and Horror, of the thought of having to walk 100 feet extra to the door.  Although this plan, right off the bat will likely save you time and money of having to circle the acres of Walmart parking lot, but some of the thrill of the chase will be lost.
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they approach parking.  Again, this is assuming normal parking conditions, and no major event, like an American Idol audition is being held at your local drugstore.  Three types of people surface when looking at this, all with pros and cons.
Type 1:  The Practical Person-Head in to the parking lot, find the first available space and park.  It may be a bit of a walk, but the time and gas saved will make you feel victorious over those poor, lazy people just circling the lot for "days", causing "Climate Change" (or Global Warming for those who aren't up on the latest lingo).  You will be in and out usually before others even put the parking brake on.
Type 2: The Dreamer: Some may call it lazy, but to this person, they are just trying to save a few steps.  After all, why waste all that energy on walking, when you should save it for shopping. Perhaps it is all a big challenge to them to become the Victor or King of the Parking Lot Mountain.  You probably scoff at those Practical folks who just are just lazy, choosing the first spot they see.  Whats the fun in that.  Once this person finds the "right" spot, they enter the location with pride, honor and a feeling they they really accomplished something. Not a lot of others would have the patience for this, of course. You know others are drooling at you, when you step out, with head up high, because you...yes You, have the best of the best.  When you return to the car, you take a little extra time getting yourself situated, adjusting mirrors, checking again to make sure the trunk is closed, all in an attempt to show off your "spot finding" skills.  The pride builds up again, as the line up for your spot takes place.  You drive away, smile plastered on your face, run out of gas before leaving the parking lot, because you wasted it all circling the lot for a hour.
Type 3: Probably the "real" practical person, and the one to be if you really want to find a spot so you can get in and out.  To be this person, you are in for an initial challenge, but are satisfied just to get a spot, so you can be in, out and on your way.  Lets use your average Walmart for an example.  Enter the lot. Don't choose the first row or last row, as this is the most likely path most will wander.  Instead travel about a third of the way across the isles and enter a row. Maintain patience and an eagles eye at the same time for that "miracle" spot, or for someone who is just pulling out.  Beware it may be the Type 2 person, just pulling your leg, by pulling out then in again, just for laughs.  If no spots are seen go down a couple of rows, just out of your previous view, to head towards the back.  This way you are covering new ground and can still find the closest spot without all the stress. If no spot comes easily, just park where you can.  This will satisfy the Type 1 and 2 person in all of us.  You will get the adventure and thrill of hunting for a spot. Victory is yours if you get a spot, but will save on time and gas by not wasting time you don't really have searching for ever.  You will walk in to the store, knowing you have a knack for adventure, for you are not willing to shy away from a challenge.  And you will have the quiet pride that you have saved time, money, and yes for you "greenies" the Planet.  The exercise will also do you good.
Be who you are and be proud of it.  Just realize, there is more than one way to do things. You can even mix it up, if you are willing and able.
Side note: If it happens to be raining as you make your way in from the "back 40".  You will get just as wet, running for the doors as if you walked in at a reasonable rate.  But, that's another blog.

1 comment:

  1. You got it. I may have been all of the above at one time or another. Interesting post.