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An Idea: Charge Premium Prices for Parking

Parking Today's Blog raises an interesting idea meant to reduce the number of traffic jams in mall parking lots: Charge money for the closest spaces.

The premise is that too many shoppers only look at spots close to a mall or store's entrance and they end up circling endlessly to get the spot, even if there are open spots further away or in, say, a basement or roof lot. As a result, parking lots get jammed with traffic even when there are enough spots to park. It's an interesting idea. I wonder if anyone is willing to give it a try.

Charge for close in parking and make the further out parking free. Simply put staff on each floor or in each area and collect whatever amount it takes to get people's attention. Spaces close in could be $5, those further out, $3 and the one's around the curvature of the earth could be gratis. Some signage could communicate the deal, along with some good PR.

The staff could simply say, parking here is $5 but if you go down two more floors, Its free. Likewise for the close in, far out lots.

The absolute best way to change people's habits is through their pocketbook. If $5 isn't enough, make it $10. Take the money and use it to cover the cost of collection and put the rest in the Salvation Army buckets...

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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