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Photo by Andrew Stawarz via Flickr

When you self-park in a garage where there are likely to be timed exits, then don’t park on the downward spiral if you can help it. For example, a multi-storey parking garage at a commuter railway station is likely to disgorge a large number of passengers at regular times during the peak home traffic hours (about 4-8pm). So what’s the problem?

With many rushing to leave the parking lot at once, those who park on the exit path (typically a downward spiral) will have difficulty backing out into a fast moving stream of homeward bound traffic.

This would apply to airport, theatre, sports and concert parking as well.

In the city you’ll mostly only find valet parking, so you won’t have a problem — until you hit the street in traffic hour.

Other considerations for an easy exit …

  • Avoid parking in the garage — look for space in a nearby parking lot
  • Park close to the exit — not on the downward spiral
  • Park higher up — if you must park on the downward spiral
  • Reverse into the parking bay (if allowed, my station garage does not)
  • Relax, leave when the rush is over (but before the next train, plane etc. arrives)


So, lesson number one, don’t park on the downward spiral unless you have to!

Note: My family and I emigrated to New York from South Africa more than a decade ago. We live nearby on Long Island and work in New York City. This will be an occasional series of blog posts about how we’ve learned to cope with NYC and enjoy it. Initially some frustrations, then the highlights. Today’s blog offers some helpful hints on how to park in a busy parking garage in New York.


  1. Cool picture. Did you use camera+ for this pic with the “clarity” filter? Lol sorry but that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw it.

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