Tag Archives: parking

Cold ‘n dark parking garage

Cold 'n dark parking garage
"Cold and dark" would ordinarily imply dingy and scary, but cold and dark concrete parking garages are great in our summer months. Instead of parking out in the street, paying ~R10 per hour, and returning to a blazing-hot car, rather hunt down one of the underground parkades - like this one below Thibault Square. It normally works out cheaper and you get to return to a car that's absorbed the cool basement air. :)

Underground parking garage

Underground parking garage
I heard once that shopping malls charge parking fees to encourage people to get their shopping done and leave, instead of hanging around for hours on end window shopping. The rational is that even if they charge a small hourly fee that it triggers a part of our brain that's wired to be frugal.

What's interesting is that we spend about 40 minutes at Cavendish Square mall and that cost us R10 in parking. We then spent about two or three hours at the V&A Waterfront for the same amount of parking money.

I'd guess then that the cost of parking is relative to the mall's floor space and number of available parking bays. The V&A Waterfront has a huge amount of space, and comparatively far more parking than what Cavendish does - but still, for some reason a felt a little robbed at Cavendish, expecting the cost for an hour's worth of parking to be around R5 - similar to that charged by large malls in the northern suburbs.

City parking parkade

City parking parkade
It's no doubt that during the week you'd find hundreds of cars parked above each other in the multi-level Golden Acre parking garage.

Do you ever find that having so much concrete above you makes you a little nervous? I have to admit that I feel a twinge of unease if, while in this kind of structure, I dwell on this point for too long. :)

How to exit an underground parking garage

Underground parking garage exit
On hot days I really appreciate the layers of thick concrete under which we're able to park. Unfortunately, facilities such as in this parking garage is extremely limited in Cape Town - so most folk park in the direct sun, and return to cars that appear to almost glow with heat inside.

While I greatly appreciate underground parking, the thing that I find almost unbearable is the rush to get out from undercover parking after an event. When going to see shows at the CTICC and Waterfront it's almost mandatory to park in such an undercover parking lot. While the exits manage regular traffic perfectly adequately, if everyone leaves the venue at once it can easily take between 1 and 2 hours to get through the boom gates.

Perhaps it's obvious to you, but the experience that I've had has taught me to:

  1. preempt where traffic exiting the garage will be congested
  2. park as close to the garage exit as possible, even if it entails walking a few hundred meters more
  3. reverse into the parking bay so that you can make a quick and easy exit
  4. consider finding a coffee shop and relax while everyone else fights to leave :)