Holiday parking means stress, frustration and crowds

Published: December 11, 2013, 5:21 pm, by Garrison Wells

If you thought parking was bad before, just wait.
It’s the holidays. Fun, frivolity, family.
Stress. Frustration. Crowds.
Jammed parking lots.
Parking can be a big, messy part of transportation.
It’s when you stop, squeeze between the white lines and feed the meter if you are downtown.
It’s such a big deal, it has its own institute called the International Parking Institute. It is, it says, the world’s largest association of parking professionals. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a parking professional.
They’re real. They have their own magazine. They have an annual conference, loaded, I guess, with information for parking professionals.
On the other hand, they have some salient points about parking. And they know more about it than most average motorists.
Way more.
Like there are more than 800 million parking spots in the United States, three for every automobile. So you’d think there’s plenty of parking.
So why can’t I find a spot?
Why am I at Penrose Hospital driving around in circles, stalking pedestrians, looking for a place to park?
Whose got my three spots?
Parking professionals are sympathetic. They are our friends. So they came up with a list of hints.
Like carpool with family and friends. “It’s more fun!” they say.
Not in my family it’s not.
Take the distant parking spot, they urge.
That way you can walk off that 2-pound breakfast burrito while traipsing across the mall parking lot, dodging cars slashing across the lot and flying through pedestrian walkways. There’s that bend-over exercise for when you pick up the presents you bought, lying there on the concrete.
The institute says the best way to deal with parking issues over the holidays is to plan ahead and allow extra time.
That, it says, “may be the best strategy for finding the right spot — and the right attitude — during the holidays.”
I’ll drink to that.
Allow that extra time. I’d say, about six months.
Nobody shops for the holidays that early. We like to wait until Thanksgiving Day. Loaded up and drowsy from eating turkey.
No outing offers more fun than shopping with the other waves of shoppers and scrapping over the specials for family on Thanksgiving Day.