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How Much Of Our Lives Do We Waste Looking For Parking Each Year?

(Photo by Chris Camargo via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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It's Friday night, you're meeting your friends for dinner in West Hollywood and for some reason you'd decided to drive instead of taking an Uber. Now you're circling the same blocks again and again, over and over, like Sisyphus with his rock, trying to find a parking spot. You were actually five minutes early when you got here, but now you're 20 minutes late and still haven't found something.

You're wasting time spent doing other things, no doubt. But how much of an Angeleno's time (nay, life) is wasted looking for parking in a given year? 85 hours, at least according to the number crunchers at global traffic data firm Inrix. That's about as long as watching the entirety of The Sopranos plus the entirety of Big Little Lies PLUS the entirety of Master of None (yeah, weird combo, we know, but, hey, we're down if you are).

So, you spend more than 3.5 days of your life each year just looking for parking. And if you think Angelenos have it bad, we're only second on the list. New Yorkers spend a whopping 107 hours (almost 4.5 days) a year searching for parking (that's like The Sopranos plus Master of None plus….nevermind).

But the figures go on. The report suggests that this perennial search costs $1,785 per Angeleno per year ($3.7 billion total). In New York City, that number is $2,243 per person per year, or $4.3 billion for the whole year. Yikes.

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Luckily, the Auto Club of Southern California has some tips for parking. "It’s really best to find one parking row and wait for someone to come out and leave that space, rather than driving around and wasting money and gas,” Doug Shupe, spokesman for the organization, said, notes KPCC. Other pointers? Arrive earlier (duh) and consider parking farther away (walking is healthy, so, sure).

Seems like self-driving cars can't come fast enough. Then again, anyone ever heard of public transportation?

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