The FINANCIAL -- Have you ever abandoned your plans because the thought of finding and paying for parking was just too much to handle? If so, you're not alone. According to a new poll from PEMCO Insurance, one in five Northwest drivers have actually gone elsewhere because of the high price and scarcity of parking spots in cities across Washington and Oregon.
In light of the region's rapid growth, the latest PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll asked drivers about how they deal with the costs – and headaches – caused by the dwindling number of parking spots, particularly within the area's more urban communities.
For those willing to endure the hassle, the poll found that a majority of drivers (72 percent) say they tend to go out of their way and park further from their destination just to pay less for a parking spot. And 41 percent of those surveyed said they're willing to go even further to pay as little as possible.
"As spots disappear and the fees increase, our poll seems to conclude that parking close to your destination is becoming a price that some just aren't willing to pay," said PEMCO Spokesperson Derek Wing. "And we were surprised to learn that some people go as far as to change or cancel their plans completely, just to avoid the cost."
But the poll also found that many drivers – particularly younger ones – are willing to ditch their cars in order to avoid the time consuming and costly toll of circling the block for an available parking space.
According to the poll, just under half of all drivers (43 percent) say they opt for public transportation, walking or biking to avoid the pains of parking. Compared to their older counterparts, about twice as many drivers under 35 say they seek these alternatives, and younger drivers also are significantly more likely to take a taxi or rideshare as an alternative to parking or paying to park (27 percent vs. 12 percent).
"Though many cities are focused on finding solutions to our growing parking woes, it's probably safe to say that we'll continue to see drivers turning to less frustrating methods of transportation to avoid the hassle all together," Wing added. "Until then, we can all work on building up our parking karma to try and score that rock star spot!"