Parking Garage Etiquette

Like viturally everyone else in the U.S., I have been driving since I was 16. And that means I have been parking for that long as well. When I was a teenager, parking HereInFranklin was no big deal. Once I got to Knoxville and college, it was more challenging. (I wonder if they still have my name on the unpaid parking ticket list?)

In Little Rock, I parked in a multi-level garage that used one set of ramps for going up and the other for going down. There was a receptionist at the ad agency where I worked who never did get it right–she was always going up the down ramp. One day, she left for lunch and we never saw her again. The daily stress of parking finally got to her.

There have been many other garages and lots in between, but today I park in another multi-level garage in Nashville. My office building shares the lot with the upscale hotel next door, so there are always people unsure of where they’re going. 

In order to make parking easier for all of us, I have developed the following guidelines that I hope you will all follow.

1. If it takes you more than two tries to get into a space, give up. Either your car is too big or your ability to park is too limited.

2. You are only paying for one spot–so stay in between the lines. Failure to do so could result in unfortunate damage to your car.

3. Backing in just looks stupid…like you’re driving some kind of getaway car. Don’t do it.

4. If you’re a regular, have your electronic gate card ready before you reach the exit. Do not drive to the gate, stop, put your car in park and then start looking for it.

5. Share the road–this garage is of the two lane variety. You don’t get to hog this road any more than you do any other road.

6. Do not pass the poor person who isn’t sure of where they are going. (I actually saw someone pass another car IN THE GARAGE!)

7. If you are unsure of where you are going, DO NOT try to back up. I am behind  you and someone else is behind me. You have to keep moving forward.

Parking in an urban environment is no fun for anyone. But if you follow MY guidelines, we’ll all get along a little better. 🙂



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6 responses to “Parking Garage Etiquette

  1. Thanks for the laugh, Cindy. Mr. Spaghetti is always doing #3, and I can’t stand it. I laughed out loud when I read about the getaway car.

  2. Julie Fisher

    Oh my gosh–I AM the getaway car! I think I’ve gotten into the habit of parking that way because for the last several years I have been given the job of driving an ancient, cynical, non-living aunt around. Whenever I back into a parking space it drives her nuts, and so I can’t think of a better reason to do it than that–worth every cringe and seat-gripping that she performs.
    But wait, there’s more. I have to tell you about the time Rachel and I were driving into New York City. She was driving and I was reading the map. Anyway I very confidently told her to turn left at the next possible place. She did. She drove up this one-lane ramp and straight into a parking garage for off-duty city buses. It was worth it just for the laughs–well, we laughed so hard we couldn’t talk. The man at the gate at the topof the ramp(one way, remember) didn’t really see the humor.

  3. hereinfranklin

    That is a case of the blonde leading the blonde for sure!

  4. you ever thought about writing a book … Cindy’s guidlines for life … it would be hysterical and so very helpful – a gift to the world!

  5. Pingback: Elevator Etiquette–Simple Suggestions to Help Us All Get Along. « Here In Franklin

  6. Amy

    I like this post! This reminds me of my parking snafu in the parking garage at 2nd Ave & Church St in Nashville. I did not realize when driving in my Chevy 2500 Silverado that one laned parking garages existed. I found a spot that we had to back into. But, leaving was a whole different story. What a nightmare! I had to go down to the entrance & hold traffic until we could get out! My truck corners like a tank! They should have some kind of warning on these garages so people like me don’t get stuck.

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