Happy Thanksgiving from everybody at Parking Network! Even though Thanksgiving is only celebrated in the US and Canada, I think the whole world knows about this annual holiday. Here in Holland we sure do. For the people who don’t know what Thanksgiving is about; It’s a traditional holiday where people thank God for the harvest, and other good things in life. Usually you celebrate it with your family and you all come together for a big Thanksgiving dinner. This is the time of the year when you have to ask yourself: What am I thankful for? Well, I for one am thankful to be a part of the Parking Network family! What are you thankful for?
So I have heard about Thanksgiving before, but I had never heard about Black Friday. I actually had to look it up! Here in Europe we only have Black Saturdays. Black Saturdays are days when everybody in Europe goes on a holiday which results in huge traffic jams on the French highways, especially on the Route du Soleil. These black Saturdays are somewhere around the end of July / beginning of August. But a Black Friday? No, never heard of it…
Actually it’s quite logical: Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgving (always on Thursdays) when most people have a day off. You see, the Thanksgiving holiday period gets extended to the weekend. And what do people just looooove to do on a weekday off, one month before Christmas? Shopping!
The Friday after Thanksgiving is the day that lots of people decide to do their Christmas shopping. Lots of shops have special sales to attract the shoppers. Off course this has an impact on the parking situations. All those people who come shopping, must have a place to park their cars. I read that it is almost impossible to find a parking space on this day and that some people even park their car a week in advance to make sure they have a spot on Black Friday. Is that for real? Is it really that busy?
I noticed that a lot of cities decided to introduce free parking on this day, on parking spaces where you normally have to pay. I also came across some website who give extra tips for parking during this day. Here’s some tips that I copied from the International Parking Institute’s news release:
- Exercise Caution When Backing Out. 25 percent of parking lot accidents are caused by backing moves. Watch for other drivers and pedestrians.
- Obey the Law. Obey posted speed limits and stop signs, and reserve handicapped spots for disabled users. Drive slowly and remember to signal.
- Keep Your Headlights On. Using your headlights can reduce your crash risk, even in the daytime.
- Get Your Exercise. Choose a parking space farther away from the building. Fewer people want to park in distant spaces, so there is much less hassle.
- Follow Etiquette Basics. When waiting for a spot, do not block other parking space seekers. Once parked, center your vehicle and pull all the way into the space. Also, remember to return shopping carts to designated cart corral areas.
- Be a Mindful Pedestrian. Parking lot etiquette also applies to pedestrians. Do not walk in the middle of the lane, refrain from texting while walking, and avoid jaywalking--instead use marked pedestrian crosswalks.
- Watch for Small Children. Children can be hard to see in busy parking areas and often make sudden, unpredictable moves. Keep a close eye on any children with you and look out for others as well.
- Buckle Up and Be Patient. Even low speed collisions can result in injuries. Resist the temptation to honk the horn (or worse). Showing grace instead of anger prevents reciprocal aggression.
- Stay Alert and Aware of Your Surroundings. Park in well-lit areas and always make sure you've rolled up your car windows and locked your doors. Have your keys out and ready when returning to your car.
- Time Yourself. If you park at a metered spot, note the expiration time and plan to return a few minutes early, setting an alarm as a reminder. Some on-street spaces now offer the ability to extend your parking time remotely through your mobile phone.