If you own a car, you know that parking can be a nightmare! A recent episode of Freakonomics, a popular podcast released by NPR, focused on the problem of parking and proposed some possible solutions. Whether you live in a big city or a small town, you’re probably familiar with driving around, sometimes for an extended period of time, looking for a parking spot. Donald Shoup, a ‘parking guru’ and esteemed professor at University of California: Los Angeles, sums up the problem in a New York Times op-ed:
“…Several studies have found that cruising for curb parking generates about 30 percent of the traffic in central business districts. In a recent survey conducted by Bruce Schaller in the SoHo district in Manhattan, 28 percent of drivers interviewed while they were stopped at traffic lights said they were searching for curb parking. A similar study conducted by Transportation Alternatives in the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn found that 45 percent of drivers were cruising.”
If such a significant amount of traffic congestion is caused by so-called ‘cruising around looking for parking spots,’ what are some parking solutions? The hosts of Freakonomics proposed implementing a demand-based pricing system for parking spots. This was actually tried in a program called SFPark and it worked out pretty well. The majority of San Francisco residents were happy with the outcome, and reported that parking spots were actually undercharged before the experiment was carried out.
While most people were happy to have someone propose some parking solutions, this isn’t for everyone. Not all drivers wants to pay extra for parking spots, when the burden of driving around to find a spot still falls on them. Some people prefer to hire valet parking services, which take the worry out of parking altogether. A valet car service knows how to manage crazy parking situations and can navigate the busy streets of a large city like Los Angeles. Additionally, event valet parking usually has a specific area where they can park their customers’ cars, so finding a suitable parking spot is no longer a problem.
Valet parking services can be expensive, so you might be wondering if all the hype is worth the cost. The answer is this — it depends on the event, time, and location you’re considering contracting valet parking services. Valet parking services for events in the center of town on a weekend evening can definitely be worth the cost, because this service saves your guests time, money, and stress about finding a parking spot. Parking solutions include so many options, so before you commit to a specific one, consider your budget and the guests at your event. Don’t forget that traffic congestion is largely caused by ‘cruising for parking spots,’ so you should do your part to reduce it! Helpful info also found here.