Many people love to drive. However, there are downsides to every favored pastime. For road users, parking is often the bane of their endeavors. 

Things can vary in severity here. For example, fights over parking in New York City were described as ‘like the hunger games’ early last year. Tensions can flare dramatically, strangers can become foes, and arguments around parking can be an altogether unpleasant experience. They could even sour your mood for the entirety of any given day and even cause physical confrontations and dangers in worst-case scenarios. 

Book Your Spot

In the interests of all parties concerned, it is best to avoid arguments around parking, however possible. What goals can you set here? Read on after the jump for some of our ideas that may help you to mitigate the issue. 

There are some scenarios where securing a parking space fast is a high priority. For example, if you are vacationing, a spot to leave your car near the airport can be compulsory. Unfortunately, tensions can flare if you or others fail to get your desired parking arrangements fast. 

Instead of leaving your fate to chance, it can be better to book in advance in these circumstances. Some services specialize in making your life easier here. For example, you can find great Oakland parking deals with Parkway Parking, enabling you to make reservations quickly and cleanly. There are short and long-term options, with premier parking available just in front of the main terminals.

Try to have a degree of foresight in your parking arrangements. Context is key, so thinking about where you are parking and what time of year you are doing it can be advisable. Additionally, what is set in stone cannot be disputed, so you can be at ease with other aspects of your trip without worrying about parking logistics. Free up your mind to focus on other things, and enjoy your day more for it! 

Think About Parking Tickets

If people return to their cars to find themselves being ticketed, arguments can ensue. Tensions can arise at home when significant others are informed about the alleged infractions, especially if money is tight.

Therefore, it is worth thinking about these types of conflict too. It is possible to contest a parking ticket, but it can be an involved process, sometimes involving court visits, hearings, and administrative review. If you want to make this process as quick as possible, look for inaccuracies on the ticket and take a photo of them for evidence purposes. Potential mistakes to watch out for include;

• An incorrect recording of the model and make of your vehicle. 

• The wrong date on the ticket.  

• The officer not signing their name on the ticket. 

Of course, it is best to avoid a citation altogether. The parameters for doing this vary from region to region in the U.S., with different states and towns adopting their own laws. Moreover, some meters can be paid through smartphone apps, while street sweeping rules can be amended. Therefore, it is best to do some research beforehand to determine how to manage these situations best. 

Manage Your Stress Levels

Arguments require at least two participants to start. Therefore, it is worth assessing how susceptible you are to frustration in these conflicts. Reexamine your behavior to minimize the chances of you exacerbating any potential dispute. 

Basic stress control strategies could be useful here. Mindfulness apps, breathing techniques, and pulling over for short walks may help you cool your temper if necessary. You could also pre-plan your journey and avoid the most infamously stressful roads in the U.S. before the question of parking becomes an issue. Look after yourself before and after stress-inducing parking instances. 

Consider leaving more time for your journey. That way, arriving at a destination and securing a parking space will not be such a high-pressure situation. Then, if someone does beat you to a particular spot, you can shrug it off instead of feeling an urge to get irate. 

Consider Others Present

Maintaining a sense of perspective during parking disputes is crucial for those around you. Of course, arguing is never the answer to any problem, but if you have your partner or kids with you, you may be more motivated to avoid a display to set a good example. 

Try to be considerate of others before engaging in any unruly discourse. Anyone in the car with you may become embarrassed and humiliated at any arguing, unlikely to share your wrath. In those situations, you may argue about the parking discrepancies long after the incident occurred.  

Arguing may also hold up any traffic behind you or the other person’s car. These incidents are often very public, so try to let these moments pass harmlessly.  ​

Review Laws

There are many rules and regulations that govern how people park. It is worth revising them if you have any doubts and uncertainties, especially in areas where common but costly misunderstandings can occur. 

For instance, many people assume they have the right to park on the sidewalk outside of their property. While many road users do this, that portion of land often falls outside of deed boundaries, which means you may not have a legal foothold for claiming the spot. Of course, occasionally, a sense of entitlement can arise when someone else parks in it. It is important to remain calm and not be baited into what is almost a baseless argument. 

Blocking driveways is immensely inconsiderate, even if it is not a criminal offense. Firstly, attempt to find the offending driver and politely explain what they did, as they may not have realized they blocked your drive. Secondly, instead of calling the police, you should contact the local authority, and they will usually tow the vehicle. If you damage the person’s car yourself, you can be liable for damages and criminal proceedings. It is hard to remain calm in the face of another’s sheer ignorance, but that is also when it is most important that you do.  

Make exceptions for parking irregularities in special circumstances. For instance, delivery or utility workers may occasionally need to park somewhere less than convenient for everyone else. Moreover, emergency services may require a spot to operate more effectively. Allowing these moments to pass unhindered is essential.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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