You are driving slowly down a street, looking for a place to park. You come across a long stretch of parallel parking. But to your frustration, the spaces left by other people’s parking efforts aren’t long enough for you to fit. The search continues.
Drawing from our own frustrating experiences with parking, we decided to answer the question once and for all: what is the best way to parallel park your car? Our research You have found a simple answer.
You should always park at one end of a parking space, leaving as much space as possible at the other end. It doesn’t matter which end, just remember to leave room to get out. While this may seem obvious, a quick look at the street outside your house will show that many drivers think parking in the middle of the space is better, or just don’t give it much thought.
Optimizing the way we park our cars in cities is important, because free parking spaces are, by their nature, a limited resource. We have taken our cars with a vengeance as the world slowly re-emerges from lockdowns. mobility data it shows that our cities are coming back to life, with our travel behaviors changing in turn.
Although many of us are still working from homethose of us who travel are reluctant to return to public transport. You will have already noticed the result depending on the traffic. The number of cars on the roads in Australian cities has already met or exceeded pre-COVID numbers, as has the demand for parking.
How can we all park better?
Everyone is familiar with marked spaces, where painted lines show you where to park. These help manage our frustrations with unreliable parking, but they’re bad for density because each space needs to be able to fit a large car.
In our research, we focused on unmarked parallel parking, like the kind found on most residential streets. That’s because here we can control exactly where we place our cars.
We tested four strategies that drivers can follow in these types of parks:
- always park as far back as possible
- park at either end of the space
- park in the middle of space
- randomly park anywhere in the available space.
We simulate what would happen in the common situation where demand exceeds supply, where there is always a car waiting to park, with a driver who is willing to wait until someone else leaves.
The worst strategy to maximize parking? Parking in the middle of the space. You may find this useful if, for example, you want to discourage people from parking directly outside your house. Parking in the middle of the available space makes it more difficult to fit more cars.
We found that randomly parking in a space can produce slightly better results. Many drivers use this strategy unconsciously.
But in general, the best strategy for accommodating so many cars in scarce street parking is to park at either end of the space. It doesn’t matter which end you park at, and it doesn’t matter if you choose the same end as your neighbors. Under this scenario, we could fit the most cars on any given street.
We also look at what happens when there is only a small distance between driveways or intersections. If you live on a street with shorter curbs, parking at either end of the spot becomes even more beneficial.
How important is this technique? In many residential areas, you can nearly double the number of cars that will fit on the street by parking in the front or back of available spaces.
Parking is a scarce resource that we must manage carefully to encourage other modes of transport, such as public and active transport. Storing cars on valuable land is also a misuse of real estate. Yes autonomous cars arrive, we could see a future where cars drive themselves into remote parking lots, freeing up all the highly accessible land currently used for street parking.
If we wanted to reduce the demand for parking, we would have to encourage more people to return to public transport through measures such as lowering fares, or increasing the cost of parking or gas. We could also build additional car parks next to train stations or bus bays.
But given these measurements are unlikely to happen in the near future, we need to make the most of the parking we have.
Until then, on-street parking management will remain a controversial issue, particularly in our most congested cities. In Sydney, for example, local residents and travelers compete with visitors for the right to park on a given street.
Since the amount of street parking is more or less fixed, we need to make the most of the space we have. The next time you come across an unmarked parallel park, try to park in the front or back of the space.
This article from benjy marksGeomechanics Professor, university of sydneyY emily moylanLecturer, university of sydney is republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the Original article.