5 Strategies to Find an Empty Parking Spot. Which One's Yours?

Ever been frustrated when looking for parking during peak hours? It's like a game of Snake, except there are many other snakes playin...


Ever been frustrated when looking for parking during peak hours? It's like a game of Snake, except there are many other snakes playing too and too few (parking) spots. Everyone has their own preferred strategy when it comes to looking for a parking space. Which one's yours?

1)  The Methodical Snake

Head immediately to the row nearest to the parking lot entrance, and then comb through row after row, without skipping any. Park in the first empty spot that you see.

Even science agrees...

From a 1998 paper titled "Probabilistic Approach to Evaluate Strategies for Selecting a Parking Space" published in Transportation Science. 

 

 2) Blue Ocean+Methodical Snake

Yes, we're misappropriating this business term, but the same idea applies. People tend to crowd near the entrance, so head straight to the farthest level and farthest row from the parking entrance, then start snaking row after row to find a spot.

This writer has often found that level into which you first enter could be crowded with cars, but the one above/below offer empty parking spots galore. Yes, you might have to walk farther and take the lift/stairs up/down another level or two, but the time saved is more than the time spent engaged in this little bit of (good-for-you) exercise.

3) The Opposite

If the car in front of you turns left, you turn right (that is, if you are allowed to). If you continue to follow it down the same row, it will claim any empty spot first.

4) The Wait & Stalk

Wait near the door for departing drivers. Then follow them closely in your car like you have evil intentions. Creep them out so bad, so that they'd hurry to their cars, jump in and get lost. 

But, what's this? S/he slips between cars, sidles over to the next row, and escapes you! Curses!
Image source: The Night Stalker (1972) via Wikipedia.

Read also: What Type of Car "Parker" Are You?

 

5) The Method in Madness

Snake, circle, reverse, wait, stalk, repeat. It doesn't seem like you have a clear strategy, but no one should dare question you. You know what you're doing. Don't you always find a parking spot in the end, no matter how long it takes?




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