Spend less time hunting for parking this holiday

Max Smith, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – It’s a busy weekend of last minute shopping at the mall, but there are ways to cut down on time spent circling the parking lot.

The head of a firm that tracks mall parking lots using satellite images tells the Wall Street Journal that lots tend to fill up in a bell-shaped curve around an entrance.

That means the best place to find a spot at a mall is likely to be equidistant from two entrances.

Parking between two entrances can also make it easier to get out of the parking lot as fewer people will be walking to or from their cars in that area.

For drivers who can’t find a spot at all on a busy day like Christmas Eve, hovering in sight of 20 to 25 spots may be the best bet. Odds are at least one of those cars will pull out in seven to 10 minutes, even at a mall where people stay for about three hours.

Focusing on a limited area will keep drivers close enough to an available spot to avoid letting another driver swoop in to steal the space.

Follow @amaxsmith Max and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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