Would you pay to reserve a parking space?

So you wish to take the car and drive to a Sunday afternoon Falcons football game in downtown Atlanta? Good luck these days. With crowds, construction and general complications with driving into downtown Atlanta, locating a parking place for your vehicle is like striking gold. The good folks over at Parking Panda have a solution for you. All you have to do is reserve a space. Reserve a parking space? Yes, that's correct. We as humans have evolved from reserving our spots in the form of tickets for public gatherings like concerts to restaurant reservations to parking space reservations. Indeed it has all come down to this, but when it comes to driving into crowded corridors like downtown Atlanta, Parking Panda does not seem to be a terrible idea.

As someone who has driven for over a quarter century in Atlanta metro traffic and into the downtown corridor, when an event is occurring, I prefer a crowded MARTA train to jockeying my vehicle on a crowded Williams Street any day of the week or in this case, weekend. Still, if you wish to deal with the traffic and "parking space hunt,"  then be my guest - or in this case, Parking Panda's guest.

Reserving a Parking Panda space seems quite simple. Visit Parking Panda's web site, click on "Find Parking" and enter your zip code. In my test, I entered 30303, which is the zip near the Georgia Dome. For $11, I could rent a space at 811 Peachtree Street which is about 1.5 miles from the zip code. You may enter the date and time block you need, input your credit card information and you have a parking space waiting for you! In this case, the catch is that 811 Peachtree may seem like a hike for some folks, but it's not bad on a Sunday afternoon with so much vehicular traffic on the area. Another catch is that there is typically a lot of foot traffic on game days. Foot traffic is still not as bad as negotiating a crowded street with your car, SUV, mini-van or pick-up truck. Obviously, driving in a congested situation needlessly guzzles gas and places wear and tear on your vehicle and nerves.  If you choose to park a few miles from the venue, you not only have to deal with foot traffic, you have to deal with jumpy drivers caught on the game day traffic. Certainly, the police are out there to protect you as a pedestrian, but the authorities can only do so much.

Parking Panda has actually partnered with the Atlanta Falcons to provide third-party options for fans! Check out Parking Panda's widget on the Falcons page for Falcons parking. 

Services like Parking Panda are another "pay to play" idea similar to the highway tolls in the metro. Those with the funds or those who are willing to put forth the funds, pay to get out of a sticky situation. In Parking Panda's case, people can pay to get out of the "parking space hunt hassle" and with the toll lanes, folks can pay to get out of bad traffic.  While some may say that these types of services are unfair, others may reply and state that if one has the ability to pay, then why not let him or her choose to place their hard-earned dollars where they may?

So, are you willing to pay a premium for a parking space by making a reservation? Parking Panda probably cannot solve all of your issues getting down to the Dome on game day, but it certainly can take the hassle out of searching for a space. On the other hand, would you like to save those dollars and spend them elsewhere, like say, for a game souvenir or food?

There are some other useful links on Parking Panda's site including one with free parking and a link for individuals and garage operators to sign up with the service. For more information on Parking Panda, visit their site or phone 1-800-232-6415.


Most viewed

Condos. Cutting-edge restaurants. Trendy shopping.

Take time out for Virginia’s Shenandoah region

Flashback: Billy Joel's Sax Player (Mark Rivera profile-March 2007)