Valet parking services have been gaining popularity in recent years because businesses know that offering their customers parking solutions is an important step to building a solid customer base. Valet car services can increase a company’s star rating on websites such as Yelp and Google Reviews. Most companies hire valet parking services because there is a lack of parking in the area, and employing a parking management company adds an air of luxury to any event.
Other parking solutions have been proposed to deal with the problem of limited space in big cities, but none has been quite as successful as valet parking services. A recent episode of Freakonomics reviewed some of the central issues surrounding the parking problem in the United States. Here’s a brief summary of what the hosts reported — the cause of parking problems in the U.S. is shocking.
Cruising for parking hinders city traffic flow
Up to 40% of the congestion in traffic is caused by drivers who are busy searching for the perfect parking spot. Especially in heavily populated urban areas, there aren’t a lot of spots close to business centers during the day. Demand exceeds supply for parking in almost every major city because there are so many people coming together in a small area during the day.
When people are driving around cruising for the best spot to park their car, it not only creates problems for the drivers but it slows traffic as well. Time is spent looking and money is spent on wasted time when drivers could be working. Other travelers are affected as well because even if they are trying to pass through, they are delayed by slow traffic. Traffic congestion could be significantly reduced if experts could develop a more sophisticated parking plan, but we have yet to see a suitable solution.
…but, lots of parking spots are empty at any given time.
Even though there’s a huge problem with parking and finding spots during the day, this issue only exists in large cities. In the suburbs and in rural areas, there’s a plethora of unused parking spaced that aren’t needed. In fact, for every car in the United States, there are eight parking spots available. Consider a person who has one car and who parks it either at home, work, or the grocery store. They can only be at one place at any time, so there are lots of spaces empty, and none of them are being used when they are on the road driving somewhere else. The figure of eight spaces for each car used specific methodology that accounted for the excess of spots in places like malls and large stores, where most of the spots are unused even at peak shopping periods.
So what’s the solution?
There are several solutions for the huge problem of parking in America. One expert suggests that we simply charge more for parking — because spots are underutilized, this would give people motivation to use spaces more effectively. If someone isn’t actually hanging out in town but they leave their car all day, they wouldn’t want to pay a high price for parking in a high demand spot. Another solution is valet parking, which is a great way to relieve drivers of the worry of finding a spot.
Do you have any ideas for parking solutions? If so, please share your experience and leave a comment below. References.