Parking Guidance

As you know, I am a big supporter of Parking Guidance systems in garages. Early on, they told you which floor had the most available spaces, and now they direct you right to an open space. Wonderful.

However, we have a garage here in Southern California that has such a system. The equipment works great. It’s just that the people don’t folllow it.

The garage is a double helix. The bays are narrow. There is parking on each side of the lane, but not enough room for a car to wait while someone backs out and let other cars go by. It would seem that the guidance system could help alleviate the problem. As you drive in it tells you that there are hundreds of spaces on higher levels. You can see green lights directing you to open spaces just ahead. Nevertheless, drivers will see someone going to their car and stop and let them pull out. All the while others are backing up, often all the way down to the first level and out onto the street.

Hmmmmm. At first blush my thought was that these folks (the ones who wait) have been trained by years of parking in these structures (the structures are 40 years old) and know that the only way to guarantee a space is to wait. Of course that’s no longer true. But they wait anyway.

I have puzzled on this problem and think that during high traffic times, “parking ambassadors” have to be in the garage, walking up and down, and when someone stops to wait have a chat with them and let them know that there are plenty of spaces just up ahead and move them along. It’s not much of a solution but all I have.

Any ideas?


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3 Responses to Parking Guidance

  1. Chris says:

    Owners spend all this money on systems desgined to reduce personnel costs (POF, credit card in/out, pay in lane stations, remote monitoring, etc). The idea of adding employees to walk the isles to be parking ambassadors, as you refer to them, is anathema to these efforts. Further, if an owner does elect to hire such employees, they’re not going to pay them much as it’s a direct hit to their bottom line. If the adage “you get what you pay for” holds true, they’ll end up paying a guy/girl minimum wage to walk around and kill time. Just my two cents worth.

  2. AA says:

    Chris said it very well. We can’t deploy employees to assist a few parkers who may have difficulty embracing the technology. Just like with any other technolical advancement, it takes a while for users to get used to it. ATMs have been around for decades. Still, there are folks who would rather stand in a line for a live cashier. Do we have banks hiring extra ambassadors directing customers to the ATM?

  3. BW says:

    I remember seeing airport employees directing people to use the check-in kiosks, standing next to them and showing them how to use them, when they first came out. They don’t have to do that any more.

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