Cruising for Parking
Cruising for parking happens as drivers circle an area or parking lot looking for a parking space. It is a phenomena caused by free and under priced curb parking in locations where there is high demand for parking. Cruising for parking angers drivers, increases traffic congestion and air pollution, and wastes gasoline and time.
How much cruising is there?
Professor Donald Shoup at UCLA reviewed sixteen studies that were conducted between 1927 and 2001 in several cities around the world. The studies showed that between 8 and 75% of the traffic on the streets (in the study areas) were cruising for parking. Taking data from all the studies, on average about 30% of the cars were looking for parking .
As drivers looking for parking spaces, we hate cruising! But have you ever considered, that cruising Vehicles add to congestion, wasted fuel and air pollution. Consider the following calculation:
Suppose it takes 3 minutes to find a curb space, and one space accommodates 10 cars per day
Then cruising 3 minutes for parking at a curb space 10 times a day creates 30 vehicle-minutes of travel per curb space per day
30 minutes of cruising at 10 miles per hour creates 5 vehicle miles traveled per curb space per day (10 miles and hour= 5 miles per thirty minutes)
Suppose there are 100 parking spaces in this neighborhood, then
5 miles a day for 100 parking spaces creates 500 extra miles traveled per day
500 extra miles traveled a day for 365 days creates 182,500 miles traveled per year!
If the average car gets 20 miles per gallon, the gas wasted cruising for these 100 spaces would amount to 9,125 wasted gallons of gas!