Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm having parking garage envy

The Mister, a colleague, and I spent the weekend in Kuwait because we got a day off for Saudi National Day. I must say, a road trip like this one far surpasses the way we spent SND last year. We were able to hang out with a couple of the Hubsy's friends from middle school (he lived in Kuwait for 2 years in the 90s), visit an aquarium, and enjoy some fantastically yummy food.

It was really interesting getting to mark another Middle Eastern country off our list. The culture was slightly different from Saudi, with a LOT more entertainment options, female drivers, and a heavier dose of malls to choose from. But I have to say the best part--and possibly the biggest reason we should move to Kuwait next--was the mall parking garage.

You heard me.

The Avenues and Kuwait City have solved an age old problem: finding a parking spot in the garage. You know the drill, you pull in to the garage and commence to trolling the aisles looking for a spot. At the same time, you're scanning the aisles on either side of you in case there's an empty spot just one row away. Inevitably, there is no spot open on your row, but you did spot one on the row to the right. You pick up speed and try to beat the other cars to it, but that never happens. Grandma or a soccer mom beat you to it, and the whole mad cycle begins again.

NOT THE CASE in Kuwait City!!

When you pull in to the parking garage at The Avenues, you see a sign with green numbers and arrows.

The numbers represent the amount of open parking spaces, and the arrows indicate in which direction you must travel in order to snag one of those spots. After you turn down one of the rows, you see red and green lights hovering above each parking spot, just below the ceiling.

Can you see them? All the spots in this row were taken. You can see the red lights just above all the cars on the left side of the photo.

These lights are attached to censors. When a car is in the parking spot, the light turns red. When there is no car in the spot, the light turns green. This allows you to see in one quick glance if there are any spots open on that row.

It looks like this spot is taken, but it's not. See the green light near the middle/left of the photo? It's above the empty space behind that Toyota Land Cruiser.

The genius part is the lights are only visible when you're traveling in the direction the arrows on the ground indicate. This discourages the selfish jerk that you invariably run into in every parking garage: the guy who will elbow is way into your parking space because he's caused a log jam in your row.


I must say, well done mall planners of Kuwait City. You have shown the rest of the world how to park quickly in order to expedite the spending of money in your facilities.

Vicariously yours,

No comments:

Post a Comment