Parking. It is the bane of many the urbanite, the busy parent, and those looking to save that little bit of time (but not really) to avoid the horrors of public transport.
Anyone who drives knows the stress associated with finding a place to park. You never quite know where the perfect space is, you are anxious about just how much it will cost, and the systems currently in place are not always straightforward.
WHY WE PARK
The simple fact is, we park for the convenience. We enjoy the comfort of our own vehicles compared to squeezing into sweaty seats on buses, of the stop-start nature of the route home. We enjoy being autocratic in our journey. Driving, and from there parking, gives us the freedom to move at our own pace.
WHAT WE HATE ABOUT IT
Despite the fact we loathe to struggle through cavernous car parks, every day we still worm our car into the smallest of spaces because somebody doesn’t know how to park like some masochistic exercise. Even then, there is no guarantee that we will even be able to find a parking space in the first place.
Furthermore, parking prices make us groan. While this is understandable, as with most things that offer convenience over cost, the added fees from parking fines leave the sourest of taste in our mouths, and as we move further from carrying cash on us at all times, this is not always possible.
WHAT CAN CHANGE
It is a constant battle between both parker and car park owner. The customer wants a simple system that is convenient and cheap. To achieve this, the owner claims they need more income to invest in making these dreams a reality.
A solution to this is Smart Cities, which endeavour to solve many of the problems associated with parking and paying by doing the hard work for you. Businesses such as Smart Parking have developed solutions to improve the parking experience by helping drivers find the best space for them.
Additionally, parking innovations around the world, including pollution surcharges, resident rates and car length-based fees, have been implemented to help solve the global parking dilemma.
Not only will these innovations help improve the parking experience for drivers, it will also contribute to fixing the environment. In addition to this, using more streamlined systems will help drivers save time, fuel and, most importantly, money.
Proper payment systems that adapt to the times are perhaps the way forward. In an ever-cashless society, not everyone has the ability to fulfil their Pay and Display obligations. Allowing drivers to pay online, through credit cards, or security cameras that link your license plate to your bank account are all solutions that could be considered.
Parking issues and costs will never entirely disappear. There is too much of a convenience attached to driving your own vehicle. But as time progress and selected systems are proven to be successful, the ever-present parking dilemma could become that much more manageable and give your wallet a little bit of relief.