Search The Virtual Driver
Tagged for Your Convenience
1940 Ford Coupe 1961 F1 season 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 2012 Ford Explorer 2012 Jeep Wrangler 2012 Toyota Camry 2012 VW Beetle 2012 VW Passat 2013 Chevys 2013 Ford Explorer 2013 Ford Focus Electric 2013 Ford Fusion review 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2013 Hyundai Sonata SE 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo 2013 Infiniti JX AWD 2013 Lexus ES 350 2013 Lexus GS 2013 Mercedes GLK350 2013 NAIAS 2013 Nissan Altima 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2014 Detroit Auto Show 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 Kia Forte 2014 Kia Soul road test 2014 Lexus IS 2014 Mazda CX-5 crossover 2014 Mazda3 2014 Mercedes S-Class 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 2014 NAIAS 2014 Toyota Corolla 2014 Toyota Corolla S 2014 Toyota Highlander 2015 Camaro 2015 Chevy Trax 2015 Chrysler 200 2015 Detroit auto show 2015 Ford F-150 2015 Ford Mustang 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2015 Kia Sorento SX 2015 Lincoln Navigator 2015 Mini Cooper 2015 Mustang 2015 Nissan Murano 2015 Porsche Cayenne 2015 Toyota Camry 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016 Chevy Volt 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 2016 Hyundai Tucson 2017 Acura NSX 2017 Ford GT adaptive cruise control affordable carbon fiber airbag technology Alan Mulally Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 4C ALMS AMG SLS E-Cell AP Racing Radi-CAL Apple Car ArmorAll AROnline Aston Martin Aston Martin Vulcan Aston-Martin Atlanta Motorsport Park Audi Audi bicycle Audi R18 Austin Powers Autocade automotive porn automotive safety systems Autorama Avro Vulcan barn finds Battle of Britain Beverly Rae Kimes Big Bang Theory BMW BMW 2 Series Active Tourer BMW 3 Series BMW i3 BMW i8 BMW i8 luggage BMW M4 video BMW X4 BMW1 Series Bob Lutz BorgWarner Breitling watches Brembo British Motor Heritage Bryce Hoffman Buick Regal GS Buick Verano Cadillac ATS Cadillac CT6 Cadillac CTS Cadillac CTS-V Cadillac CUE Cadillac Racing Cadillac XTS CAFE standards Camaro Z28 Camaro ZL1 Car Spy book Carroll Shelby Cars in Context Television Cars in Context TV Caterham Caterham Seven Center for Automotive Research CES Chapparal 2X VGT comncept Chevy Cruze diesel Chevy Sonic Chevy Volt Chicago Auto Show China Auto 2012 Chip Foose Chrysler Clarion C-Max Hybrid CNG Cobra Jet Mustang Controlled Power Technologies cork surfboard Corvette C7 Corvette C8 Corvette sinkhole Craftsman CTX tractors Dale Jr Dallara GP2 hillclimb Dan Gurney Dan Wheldon De Lorean Derek Warwick Detroit Auto Show Detroit Electric diesel engine Dodge Dodge Avenger Dodge Challenger Dodge Dart GT domestic energy donuts drag racing DRB-Hicom driver alert Ducati Ducati 899 Panigale Ducati Monster Ducati Museum Ducati Testastretta Eagle GB Eddie Rickenbacker Edsel Ford electric bike electric vehicles EPA Evanta F-150 SuperCrew federal bureaucracy Federal-Mogul Ferrari Ferrari 488 GTB Ferrari dog kennels Ferrari F12 FEV Fiat 500 Abarth Fiat 500 furniture Fiat 500X Fiat-Chrysler Ford Ford BoxLink Ford Edge Ford Explorer Sport Ford F-150 EcoBoost Ford F-150 Tremor Ford Fiesta ST Ford Focus RS reveal Ford Focus ST Ford Fusion Ford GT Ford GT Mk. IV Ford Mustang Ford Mustang GT Ford S-Max Ford Transit Ford Transit Connect Formula One Formula One rules Forza Motorsport Fq hybrid braking Frankfurt Motor Show Geneva Motor Show Global RallyCross GM GM recalls Goodwood Festival of Speed Group Lotus HANS device Harley-Davidson Harley-Davidson Breakout Harley-Davidson LiveWire Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Harley-Davidson SuperLow Harley-Davidson Switchback Haynes Owners' Workshop Manual healthcare Honda ATVs Honda endurance engine Honda motorcycles Honda Pilot HondaJet hot hatch Husqvarna hybrids Hyundai Hyundai Accent Hyundai Elantra Hyundai Elantra GT Hyundai Genesis Hyundai Genesis Coupe Hyundai Veloster Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indy 500 IndyCar Infiniti Infiniti Q50 Infiniti QX56 inflatable child seat iPhone 6 J.D. Power and Associates Jabuar Jaguar Jaguar C-X16 Jaguar E-Type Jaguar F-Type Jaguar luggage Jaguar XE Jaguar XJL Jeep Cherokee Jeep concepts Jeep Renegade Jensen GT jet prropulsion Jim Clark John Krafcik Kia Forte Koup SX Kia Rio Kia Sorento Kia Soul L.A. Auto Show Lamborghini Lancia Delta Integrale Land Rover LR2 Le Mans lead-acid batteries LED headlights Lego Technic book Lexus ES350 Lexus GS350 F Sport Lexus LS LExus LX 570 Lexus NX 200t F Sport Lexus RC 350 Lexus RC F Lexus RX 450h Lincoln MKC Lincoln MKX Lincoln MKZ Lincoln Motor Company Lincoln's future Lingenfelter LiquidPiston Lola LMP1 Lotus Lotus Evora 400 Lotus SUV Luca Montezemolo Lucire Lyonheart K Maserati Tipo 250F replica matte-finish film Matthew McConaughey Mazda Mazda chair Mazda Miata versus Ford Fiesta ST Mazda2 McLaren McLaren 675LT McLaren MP4-12C Spider McLaren P1 McLaren P1 interior Mercedes Mercedes 4Matic Mercedes CLA Mercedes comic book Mercedes diesel pistons Mercedes GL Mercedes GLA Mercedes GLE Coupe Mercedes pickup trucks Mercedes van Mercedes-AMG Mercedes-AMG GT Mercedes-Benz furniture metal matrix composite brakes MG wrist watch Michael Schumacher Mike Hawthorn Mini Mini Countryman Mini Coupe Mini Roadster Mini Vision Mitsubishi Mopar shaker hood muscle cars MyFord Touch NAIAS nanoslide coating NASCAR NASCAR heating scandal New Shelby GT350 New York Auto Show Niki Lauda Nissan BladeGlider Nissan Leaf Nissan Pathfinder Nissan Skyline history Nissan Smart mirror Nissan Versa Note Nnissan Quest Nurburgring OnStar FMV Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Peter Wright Peugeot 108 Pininfarina Pocket Classics police chases Pope Benedict XVI Porsche 917 Porsche 918 Spyder Porsche 919 steering wheel Porsche 988 Porsche P1 EV Porsche Panamera powertrain technology Prius c Prius v racing Ram Ram 1500 Ram ProMaster Ram Promaster City Range Rover rebuildable batteries Renault F1 engine Renault Twingo restomod Ricardo Engineering road repair funds Roger Penske Rolls Royce Bespoke Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Ross Brawn Rush movie Saab safety technology Santa SBU V3 Scion FR-S Sir Malcolm Campbell Siri smart spare tires Speed sport sedans Sportster Subaru BRZ Subaru Forester Suzuki SX4 SYNC 3 Team Lotus TechShop The Aresenal of Democracy torque vectoring touchpad technology Tour de France Toyota Toyota 4Runner Toyota iRoad Toyota Prius c Toyota Tacoma Toyota Tundra Toyota Venza Toyota VenzaMcLaren MP4-12C Tracks novel Triumph Speed Triple TRW TRW touchpad U.S. Air Force Museum UAW Udvar-Hazy Center unionization vaporware Vehreo fabric Visteon Volkswagen Volvo Volvo Drive-E Volvo S60 R-Design Volvo XC90 VW VW Beetle Convertible VW Beetle TDI VW Golf VW GTI VW Jetta Hybrid VW MQB VW Passat TDI VW Touareg TDI VW troubles winter driving Xcar video XPEL Yamaha Yamaha anime Zenos E10
« To Shift or Not To Shift, That is the Question | Main | Bareboned Vehicles? Totally Worthless »

Parking Space Width isn’t Rocket Science

By Al Vinikour  

The disparity among parking space widths never ceases to amaze me. Seldom is there a parking place whose outside lines allow room to comfortably park your vehicle with enough space to open the doors on either side without putting a crease in the cars next to you. Believe me when I tell you that it’s only a matter of time before this damage is reciprocated.

It doesn’t take a degree in physics for someone to figure out that, if there’s barely enough width to park a Hyundai Accent, you sure as hell aren’t going to park your Bentley Arnage in the same spot. I’ve been trying to come up with a reason why parking spots  are designed with no consistency, besides unbridled stupidity, and the best excuse I can come up with is that parking spots are designed with unbridled stupidity.

You tell me how long it takes to send a “work crew” (and by that I mean two guys and a ruler) to measure the width of a typical luxury vehicle… and then measure the doors, add half their length to each side of the measurement and come up with the dimensional width needed for each car. Then, someone could text Euclid, the great mathematician and give him the total length and width of the parking lot… and then feed Euc (when you know him as well as I do…) the dimensions your findings figure for each vehicle. I guarandamntee you that my friend Euc will come up with the total number of parking spaces you can put in your lot without it becoming known as the Door Denting Dominion of America (D³A).

There’s a place we journalists in Detroit frequent for press events and other auto-related functions. I don’t want to mention any names, but for the sake of discussion let’s refer to this place as the Detroit Athletic Club. If the parking deck is filling up because of a special program, you have two choices: either leave the car with the valet and let them find two pieces of bread to sandwich your vehicle between; or members should demand the facility hire an off-duty or unemployed marshaller from a commercial airport whose training is in guiding aircraft into parking lanes when they pull up to the jetway. Whatever he gets paid from the parking facility can be buried in, and amortized across the fees charged for parking. If this guy (let’s call him Bert) can guide in a Boeing 777 then he sure as hell can point the way so your Buick won’t get scratched up or your suit ripped as you’re trying to squeeze out.

Think of this if you don’t mind thinking of this. How often have you parked dead center between two lines at a parking lot, exited your vehicle, done your business and go back to your vehicle… only to see that the inconsiderate schmuck next to you has parked on the line, and you couldn’t fit through your door if you were covered in Vaseline. If you’ve really led a good, clean life then there will be enough room for you to get in the passenger door, climb over the center console, and then do a pirouette like some ballet dancer so you can turn around and face the front of the vehicle as you plop down (hopefully) in the driver’s seat.

Let’s say you haven’t led a clean life. In that case the vehicle on your right side is also parked on the line. Again you have two choices: You can either break a window in your vehicle and crawl through it to get to the driver’s seat, or you can wait for one of those two miscreants to show up. Keep in mind that every minute that goes by your anger will increase to the boiling point, and when one of the two offending owners arrive you’ll have amassed enough blind rage to maim or kill him.

However… a good lawyer will get you acquitted because it is not your fault. Technically, the cars on either side of you are parked legally — on the line or not. So the only one left to blame is the parking lot owner who’s responsible for setting the parking place widths in the first place. In the case of municipal parking lots, or even street parking, it would be the fault of the governing body who hired somebody with a B.S. degree in Parking Management who set the parameters allowed per vehicle in the first place.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and kudos to the owners of shopping malls who generally do a good job of ensuring there’s ample parking room for each of their customers’ vehicles. It’s obvious they’re hiring top-tier graduates from Parking Control Institutes throughout North America, and are probably paying them well because they definitely are getting their money’s worth.

My advice to parking lot moguls is this: You don’t need to rent time in a Vietnam-era Huey “Slick” to get a good aerial view in planning a good environment for your customers. Go to Home Depot and buy a 12-ft ladder, and send some guy to the top rung with a disposable camera from Walgreens. His photos will give you better intelligence for maximizing business while minimizing customer complaints and damage claims. Afterwards you can always have one of your workers return the ladder for a full refund.

Why do I always have to come up with solutions for some of you people who have MBAs from Ivy League Schools, but can’t figure out simple division? I went to school in Indiana. We live in an entire country with millions of square miles of potential parking spaces. Give us some room, will you?

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>