HowTo:Find a parking space
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Whether parking on the street, in a Wal-Mart parking lot, or just about anywhere, it is essential to find a place to park your car. There are several methods to find a parking space, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Types of parking
Parking on a street usually involves parallel parking. This simply means that the cars
park parallel to one another cause a major gridlock and make sardines out of the the cars in front/behind of the spot they are trying to park in.
A parking lot is an area where cars park perpendicularly. While most common in the Americas, parking lots, known as car parks, do exist outside the US.
Underground parking grew out of frustration from motorists who were tired of getting parking tickets.
A parking garage is basically a stack of parking lots. They are good places to get raped and deal drugs.
The stalker method
This method works best around stores. The goal of this method is to follow an unsuspecting shopper as he or she exits the store. Exiting customers usually have a shopping cart and one or more kids with them. You need to follow the shopper close enough behind such that others using the same method do not beat you to the parking space in question. After waiting, the customer should then pull out of the parking space, making it vacant
- Works well in large parking lots at busy stores
- Does not work well for street parking
- That guy with the shopping cart may be a homeless person
- May take longer than other methods
- Others in the parking lot may use the same method, and should you cut them off and take the parking place in question, may become violent, often turning into the Incredible Hulk.
The Make Your Own Parking Space method
This method is among the easiest methods out there. If you can't find a conventional parking space, why not just make one of your own?
Most parking lots have a lot of space that could easily be converted into parking spaces. Such areas include:
- Handicapped spaces - They are large enough to handle two cars, and they're usually vacant anyway. Don't have a handicapped permit? Why not just make one yourself? A simple paint program and a color printer are all you need.
- Expectant Mother/Family parking - Who's actually checking these parking spaces anyway? These work on the honor system.
- On top of other vehicles - Particularly space-saving, though sometimes difficult to orchestrate.
- Grassy areas - If your vehicle has off-road capabilities, just use the grassy medians. Just watch out for trees... and land mines
- Shopping Cart return bays - If the employees at the store are doing their job, these parking spaces are usually empty.
- Fire lanes - When was the last time you saw a store on fire? Exactly! The fire lanes make an ideal place for parallel parking, and they're close to the store entrance.
- It works (most of the time)
- No waiting
- Ideal for short term parking
- This method does not work as well in confined spaces, such as parking garages
- Does not work well for long-term parking
Parking with an SUV
If you have a Hummer or other SUV, finding a parking space can be difficult, but only if you don't know where to look. SUV's are great for their off-road and traction capabilities, and when parking spaces are scarce, why not just park on top of someone else and/or push them out of the way? Of course, if there are other SUVs in the parking lot, this method may not work very well. Alternatively, use the Compact Car section. These sections don't usually fill up as quickly, and can easily be used for parallel parking SUVs and trucks.
Parking with a Smart Car
Smart Cars bring many new opportunities for parking. Of course, you can park your Smart Car in a Compact parking space, but it wastes a lot of space. Smart Cars are so small, that they can be parked between other vehicles in a traditional parking lot
Wheel clamps are another innovation that may be helpful when attempting to find a parking space. You can keep one in your car for times when you need to park for long periods without the risk of someone stealing or towing your car. Once you are finished parking, simply remove the wheel clamp using the key, a jackhammer, or any other tools at your disposal. If you do not have a wheel clamp, park in areas where they are used and a friendly law enforcement officer will fit one to your car while you are away for no charge.