Smart Parking

Densely packed Jersey is known for our massive malls. But circling the mall for the umpteenth time trying to find a parking spot has got to be the worst part of shopping in our area.



Densely packed Jersey is known for our massive malls. But circling the mall for the umpteenth time trying to find a parking spot has got to be the worst part of shopping in our area. Thankfully, local malls are using new technology to make it easier.

In 2011, The Westfield Garden State Plaza launched the Park Assist system, which uses red and green lights to guide drivers toward open spaces in two parking decks. And late last year, the mall added a reserved parking system where you can buy a premium spot using an app called MyPark. The cost for this convenience: $10 for four hours, and $5 for each additional hour. The reserved spaces are in parking deck B on level one next to the elevators, the parking lot under the movie theater wing and parking deck A next to Nordstrom. A metal barrier blocks each spot until its paid for through the app. Valet parking is still an option too, of course, but many people don’t want to give their keys to a stranger or wait for their car when they’re ready to go home, say mall developers. “One of the things people like about the app is that they are getting just as good a spot without having to valet,” says Howard Glazer, vice president of business development at MyPark. “And once they sign up, it becomes a really easy tool to use. You just tap a button.”

So far, the Garden State Plaza is the only mall in the state using MyPark, but others are bound to follow with similar reserved parking systems. The Shops at Riverside, which is undergoing a major overhaul, says that their renovated covered parking garages will include a “state-of-the-art ‘park assist’ system.”

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