Attempting to find parking continues to be a part of our lives and seems to waste more time than we arguably spend on social media. Sometimes the two go together for those trying to do everything at once, including parking in grocery store lots. During these moments, we almost always get into a near instinctual habit of going around circles in a parking lot just to find a parking place nearest to the door. Go ahead and watch yourself and others around you to see if you don’t do this out of sheer habit. Most people will even sit and wait for several minutes for someone to back out of a coveted parking spot, despite a free space being only a short distance away.
While you can probably scope out those who really exercise and those who don’t in a crowd like this, you’re also racking up miles on your car you don’t need. Some conveniently forget the amount of gas it takes and the wear and tear it places on cars while doing the inexorable circling in parking lots. But will this near insect-like habit end with new smart parking meters being gradually implemented in various cities?
If you haven’t heard about smart meters, they’re the new evolutionary step in the old coin-operated parking meters of old. These meters now have more sophisticated digital readouts and also take credit or debit cards. However, the main point of them is that they automatically raise rates when parking demand is up so it reminds people not to park too long in their spots. This, in turn, helps keep parking from filling up during the day and keeps places readily available on the busiest days.
The only question not known yet is whether it really can keep traffic under control or if people will just pay more for the sake of having a convenient place to park. So far, only the largest cities have been trying out the smart meters. New York City, for one, has been using them for a while now, with various rates to see what people are willing to pay depending on the neighborhood. With their meters, NYC also has numerous other goals in mind that go beyond making more parking available.
Rates Per Hour and the Green Factor
General rates in the busiest neighborhoods of New York City go from $2.00 to $3.00 per hour in the daytime and as much as $5.00 per hour in the evening for Greenwich Village. Since the latter is overly busy in the evening hours, you can see how smart meters work in keeping places available by using the higher price psychology. Regardless, when it comes to getting a convenient parking place in Manhattan, some people with deep pockets probably won’t mind paying.
In the above regard, those parking in swankier neighborhoods may not care about the price and end up dominantly the parking anyway. Even if the thought is that not everybody will want to pay higher prices during high parking demand, enough will to make the investment worth it. In the mind of many cities that adopted smart meters, it also goes into removing the problem of double parking that still goes on when parking becomes outrageously crowded.
And, the green factor is also a major goal for New York City, plus in all the other cities slowly adopting smart meters. The point is to help reduce pollution, plus prevent that earlier-mentioned car circling. Out of all methods, the psychology of money may break our instinctual habit of circling around to find that one parking spot we want. Only those who have no care about money will be the ones we have to worry about, and they may have been the ones doing the endless circling the whole time.