Thursday, December 16, 2010

Misunderstanding cruising for parking

This article casually mentions that "only 10 percent of drivers in France's cities are on the lookout for parking places at any one time". I'm not sure where they got their data, but it is nuts that one out of ten French city drivers are simply driving around looking for a parking space. What is even crazier is that plenty of studies (including mine) demonstrate that in some neighborhoods cruising for parking is upwards of 40 percent of all traffic.
From the article:
Although only 10 percent of drivers in France's cities are on the lookout for parking places at any one time, studies have shown that they are responsible for 60 percent of the atmospheric pollution, because their search for a parking spot impedes other road users. The time spent waiting in traffic is estimated to add up to around 700 million wasted hours per year. During that time, fuel worth around €690 million is used by cars that are creeping along or standing still.


The apps discussed in the article will not do much, if anything, to solve these problems. The apps alert you to an empty space, but unless there are more than enough urban French street spaces are empty--which will be greater than ten percent of the number of spaces--there will not be enough to accommodate demand. The apps will work only if the problem is of sorting, but that is not what is happening. Here is a local article about Roadify, who are enthusiastic though misguided.
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