Monday, September 16, 2013

Optimal parking strategy

Andrew Velkey, professor of psychology at Virginia’s Christopher Newport University... had a team examine parking behavior in a WalMart in Mississippi.

As explained in the book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us):
It seems that the people who actively look for the “best” parking place inevitably spend more total time getting to the store than those people who simply grab the first spot they see…
They observed two distinct strategies: “cycling” and “pick a row, closest space.” They compared the results. “What was interesting,” [Professor Andrew Velkey found], “was although the individuals cycling were spending more time driving looking for a parking space, on average they were no closer to the door, time-wise or distance-wise, than people using ‘pick a row, closest space.’”
--Presh Talwalker, Mind Your Decisions, on the case for parking satisficing. HT: Marginal Revolution