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'Tis the Season to be Shopping: Holiday Parkade Etiquette

Holiday Parking
Photo: iStock

Tomorrow is Black Friday in the U.S., the craziest shopping day of the year - and the craziness seems to have spread to Canada.

Several retailers are having big sales tomorrow and shoppers will be arriving early to snag the best deals. But before they can shop, they'll need to park. And if you think things get ugly in the store, you can imagine the scene in the parkade.

Black Friday really kicks off the holiday shopping season, so with that in mind, I figured we could all use a little refresher on parkade etiquette. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're cruising the parkade at the mall over the next several weeks.

Slow down. It may take a moment for your eyes to adjust to the shift from outside to parkade. Plus, there are families in here and it's harder to see tiny tots bundled up in cute snowsuits when you're whipping around the parkade like you're at NASCAR. Take your time and stay alert.

Pay close attention to signage. Parkades operate according to their own internal logic - sometimes the signage can be confusing or counter-intuitive. Take a moment to make sure you're not driving the wrong way or exiting where everyone else is trying to enter. Keep an eye on any parkade mirrors to see when other drivers are coming around corners.

Be alert for vehicles backing out of spots and yield the right of way. We've all felt the frustration of trying to back out of a spot with someone RIGHT. UP. BEHIND YOU. Don't be a creeper - give exiting drivers some room and you'll be first in line to slide into their spot.

Be the bigger driver. The holidays are supposed to be fun. But sometimes at the mall, people don't seem full of cheer. And sometimes those people "steal" your parking space. If you feel you've been wronged in the parkade, take a breath and let it go. As we noted in our Dealing with Aggressive Drivers post, sometimes the best course of action when dealing with an aggressive parker is to just avoid them and move on.

Don't be choosy about your spot when it's busy. Unless you have mobility issues and really need to park close to your destination, don't add to the congestion and exhaust in the parkade by driving around and around looking for a parking spot that really "speaks" to you. This is war. Pick a spot and park there.

Make sure you're parked between the lines and pulled all the way in. Taking up two parking spots, parking diagonally or parking with the back of your car hanging out is not cool, even if you're "just going in for a minute". Also, if you're a large vehicle, try to avoid parking in "small car" spots.

Keep your gifts to yourself. This is more of a safety note - if you're making a lot of different stops, be sure and store your purchases in the trunk out of sight to dissuade parkade thieves. An empty car is a lot less tempting than one stuffed with electronics or toys.

Do you have any parkade etiquette tips - or pet peeves to share? Let us know in the comments!

- Rose R.


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