Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Quickest Way to Find a Vacant Parking Space

One key is to stop at a location from where you can see as many parking spaces as possible.

WSJ explains:

Click on chart for larger view and full explanation.

Alternatively, from my experience, there is a back parking lot in most malls that is not intuitively easy to find. This is designed purposely in this fashion and it it usually close to the mall (just on the backside). This is in general for the employees. Regardless of how busy it is, stores need to get their employees parked and working, so when they start a job at a mall store, they are told how to get to the "secret" parking lot. I have never seen these parking lots designated "employee only." The lots are just not found by most outsiders so that it is not a concern for the mall when the random shopper finds and parks in the area.

So when you go shopping this holiday season think WSJ and EPJ. Try the EPJ method and see if you can find the hidden backside employee parking lot or use the WSJ method and stop at a spot where you can see the most parking spots.


  1. The healthiest solution is to park as far out as possible and walk back. Probably less than seven minutes.

  2. Well said, Harold. Finding a parking space is, like many things in life, a study in time preference.

    Do you want to wait for an empty space close to the door or almost immediately upon entering the lot, just park far away and walk? What is that difference in time worth to you?

  3. I have found that if you want to find a spot quickly that is also close to the mall, park at Sears. No one else does. I love it, there are always open spots near the door (even now during the holiday shopping rush) and I can meander through their tool isles as we head into the mall.

  4. In some SoCal malls (at least in the past), you won't find a space no matter how far out you're willing to park.

    This WSJ article is fairly stupid. It assumes you're the only guy waiting. Blocking 30 other cars circling in a crowded parking lot is not a particularly healthy thing to do.

  5. If you're physically able, there's usually plentiful parking outside waddling range from the entrances (500 yds or so).

  6. This EPJ method is quite helpful. I'm just glad that every time I go to the mall, there's always an extra parking lot. So, not really a hassle on my part.