Finding The Best Parking Space

When we go to the grocery store, my wife always looks for the closest parking spot to the doors and will circle until she finds it. I prefer to take the first available one on my approach which can be a long way from the store. Which way is better?  

What Does Science Say? 

Some math professors crunched the numbers and determined the best strategy is a mix of the approaches listed above. Don’t settle for the first open space but take the best option available without circling for the perfect spot. 

This seems like a good common-sense approach, but crunching numbers doesn’t mean it is the best. 

Photo by Bri Tucker on Unsplash
Photo by Bri Tucker on Unsplash

There is More to it in the Real World 

The truth is, if everyone took the same approach, it wouldn’t work out the best. The reason why we have different approaches to parking is because sometimes our is the best at that moment.

My wife sometimes finds one so close to the door she can transfer groceries to the trunk without taking back the cart.  It worked because there were more people like me just grabbing the first spot and leaving the close ones open.

Other times everyone was searching for close spots and my way was better. It depends on the different strategies being used by everyone in the lot. What we need is more information in the moment.

Internet Apps May Solve the Problem 

This may be the best answer yet. New apps that record data on parking lots and take real time input from cars pulling in and out, can point to open spots without you having to search.

Right now, they seem to be in the experimental pay us for the info stage, but before long, this is probably how all of us will find parking. 

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