Free Parking

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I don’t know what’s worse: driving in LA or trying to park in LA.  Perhaps the latter, because while looking you have to continue to drive around the Los Angeles streets.  I heard an interview with Donald Shoup, a professor at UCLA, in which he shared some findings from a study he did on parking.  In Los Angeles the average driver spends three and half minutes looking for parking.  That seems like a lot, but perhaps not as much as the time that I spend in a Trader Joe’s parking lot.  Seriously, I love Trader Joe’s, but their lots are ridiculous.  I feel like I wait much longer than four minutes in most parking lots.  I remember there was a report that came out in the late 90’s that said people take longer to get out of parking spaces when people are waiting for them.  This is something that fascinated 14 year old Josh, and in my adult years I’ve been trying to see if it’s true.  Unfortunately, I only have one piece of data, I don’t see how long people take when people are not waiting.  I’ve been living in LA for about a year now and something that I feel like I’m noticing is that people take longer getting out of spaces.  Could it be that since we wait longer before parking (3 1/2 minutes) that we feel others should suffer too?  Perhaps I will record some times myself and compare them to east coast parking, but I have somewhere to be in a half hour, and since I am thirty minute drive away I’m already going to be 3 and a half minutes late.     

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