Lots of us wish that cars would not only drive themselves, but that they would park themselves too. While a few automakers are starting to create cars that can do that, for most of us, finding a parking place at the mall during the Christmas season is a process of driving around and around in a frustrating search for somewhere to leave our vehicle. It’s enough to make you wish you had a psychic in the back seat.

Some people have suspected they were being followed–even stalked–when it turned out the other driver just wanted their parking place. Fist fights have been fought over two cars arriving at a parking spot at the same time.

But the truth about mall parking lots is that there are usually available spots–most mall lots fill to just 30% to 35% of capacity. So how do you find one of those elusive spots?

In the December 15th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Kelli B. Grant quotes says Tom Diamond, president of a consulting firm that uses satellite imaging of parking lots to help solve parking problems, as saying, "We rarely see mall parking lots that are full, except for the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Lots fill up in an almost perfect bell-curved shape, with spaces at the front and directly opposite the entrance claimed first."

So if you need a place to park, you may need to walk a little farther. This is fine for most shoppers when they’re going TO the mall, but when they’re coming out loaded with heavy packages, they’ll wish they’d parked closer to the door.

Smartphone apps could be developed that could be used to find a spot in a particular lot, and there’s already an app that you can click after you finally do park that will lead you back to your car. The problem? Most cell phones can’t pick up a signal underground, and that’s where most mall parking lots are located.

It may be hard to decide where to park, but one decision that should be EASY to make is whether or not to support this website. Let’s face it, you love our edge news and great radio shows, or you wouldn’t be reading this now, but how would you feel if we just weren’t here when you turn on your computer tomorrow? THIS COULD HAPPEN, so do YOUR part: Subscribe today!

You may not be first to squeeze into that parking spot–someone else may beat you to it—but you CAN be AMONG THE FIRST to get a copy of "Solving the Communion Enigma," Whitley Strieber’s first nonfiction book in a decade! You can watch the video here.

Once you have purchased the book, you’ll need to either forward the e-receipt or send as a jpg, screenshot (etc.) to the publisher. You will then receive an autoresponse that will include a link to a page where you can input your address. Tarcher will send a special "Communion Enigma" bookplate out to the recipients shortly before publication date. To learn more, click here.

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