LOS ANGELES - Every driver in Southern California knows parking can be a real pain, and now there's statistical proof to support that claim.
A new survey by transportation analytics firm INRIX looked over parking in 8,700 cities in more than 100 countries and found on average U.S. drivers spend 17 hours per year searching for a parking spot. That comes at a cost of $345 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions.
But as one may expect, Los Angeles drivers spend far more time parking spot hunting: 85 hours per year at a cost of $1,735 per driver.
That comes out to about 12 minutes each time. Los Angeles only trails a little behind New York for the worst parking experience. New Yorkers waste an average of 15 minutes to find a spot, which comes out to 107 hours.
Professor James Moore, director of the transportation engineering department at USC, believes he has a solution to stop L.A.'s parking dilemma. He suggests that the city stop requiring developers to provide off-street parking and charge more for on-street parking.
"Everybody is frustrated by their parking experience. Require folks who travel to pay market prices for parking on the curb. Don't require developers, whether residential or commercial, to provide off-street parking," he said.
He also suggests that L.A. develop a more user-friendly mass transit system.
But short of those major changes, AAA of Southern California suggests drivers build several minutes into their drive to allow time to find a parking spot and avoid circling in parking lots.
"If you're waiting for a spot, it's best to pick one row and wait for a spot to be open. Don't sit there driving up and down because you're going to be wasting more time, more gas, more frustrations," said Doug Shupe with AAA.