Last Call: Dost thou fancy park?

How do you prefer your parking? Pull in and make it work. Stop, drop, pop it back so you’re ready to rock on out of there. Or are you a Parking is Hard allstar who couldn’t fit in a space if your life depended on it?

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.


    1. This made me laugh, perfect.

      When I was younger, I took pride in fast one swipe parking. Alas, I drove rubber-bumpered Volvos back then.

      Now I do as urban planners recommend and back into parking spots (it’s safer for pedestrians when you leave again to MAXIMUM VISION).

      When I told my wife about that almost a decade ago, she came home the day after and told me she had annihilated the kindergarten fence while backing up into a spot…which everyone noticed, of course. A Camry bumper is rare in Norway and a new one costs >1000$, so we kept the split piece on the car…

      1. That’s funny! Before this GX460 (Prado for you?), she still drove an 84 760 GLE (turbo!!). Both are big , body on frame, solid axle beasts. She’s come along way.

  1. Every time I parallel park I give myself a 60% chance I’m going to cock up dramatically, and a 40% chance I’ll nail it on the first swing. It never turns out ‘halfway decent’; I’m either 6 – 10 inches from the curb on both ends or I look like someone cut one of my mooring lines. I’ve been driving commercial vehicles in urban traffic since the ’80s and to this day it’s either a cakewalk or a dog’s breakfast and the Devil himself doesn’t know which one it will be.

    I love it. I love the small adventure, the anticipation, the mystery, the hilarious self immolation of failure and the smug ain’t-no-‘thang of success.

  2. I shall have to ask the driver what he does with the car after he drops me at the door….I honestly have never thought about what he might do between dropping me off and picking me up.

  3. I back into a spot if it doesn’t inconvenience others, and usually nail it on parallel parking first try (despite not needing to do it very often). I prefer mirrors over backup cameras, which don’t feel intuitive to me.

    When someone does a poor job parking and the spot beside them is my only option, I make sure I park as closely as possible to them while staying within my own space, preferably crowding their driver’s door to the point that they have to get in from the other side.

  4. It generally comes down to an assessment of whether the vehicle currently has reverse and, if so, whether it can be selected and, if so, how likely it is that it will work when selected.

      1. I’ve learned to defer that question until it’s time to leave the parking spot, otherwise I’d never get anywhere.

  5. I like a good reverse entry!

    Seriously though, I do like a good back-in on occasion. Gives me a chance to sound off the exhaust a little, let people know what’s what.

  6. Always back in, unless I need to load the trunk. Makes for a faster departure if you need to. Once you have, you never forget.

  7. Pretty much everyone at work parks their trucks facing outward for what ever reason, but I usually don’t. I don’t have the patience to bother with that at 6 in the morning.

  8. Certain facilities require everyone to back into parking spots to enable a rapid mass GTFO maneuver. I have also learned that from a safety angle, when you are leaving from doing whatever it is that you were doing prior to driving, that your mind is often still engaged in that, so it’s actually safer to perform the slightly more mentally taxing task of backing the car in when your brain is in driving mode and have a better view out when you start driving again.

    For longer trucks, it also seems easier to have the steering axle go in to tight spots last, but that might just be me.

    1. I work for a company that had mandatory reverse parking before started working there. At the time of my new hire orientation, it was still mandatory, though not particularly enforced. A year and a half later, they started enforcing it, and I heard a lot of complaints, “My car doesn’t have a camera. How do they expect me to back up?” Good thing those people never tried to drive a car from before the mid-70’s, when a passenger-side mirror was optional.

  9. No. It’s much better to park normal. It’s a lot harder to reverse into a parking spot then it is to reverse out. There’s much more room to reversing out

  10. I find it easier to back in than to back out, or at least leaving nose out provides better visibility. But, it’s not always convenient as people don’t expect it and pedestrians and other drivers are thrown for a loop.

    Given our crowded driveway (4 cars and 5-ish spots), I’ve been backing the Tundra in all 75 yards from the road, when traffic allows. Easier than trying to turn it around in the driveway. Sight lines would make backing out onto a 55 mph road a bit dicey.

  11. Yup, I prefer to back in whenever possible. If it’s a crowded parking lot and there’s someone else trolling through the lot shortly behind me I’ll think twice (the pulling the “wrong way”, sudden stop and reverse lights coming on catch a lot of people out), but in general, I won’t have to worry about cross traffic on the way INTO the parking space, and I find it a lot easier to keep an eye on any cross traffic when nosing out than backing out.

    Parallel parking, however, I’m pretty terrible at. I can do a curb approach just fine, but add a limited space length into the mix and things don’t look so hot. The backup camera on the new car and the aftermarket backup camera I added to the WRX help a lot, though; it’s hugely helpful/comforting to see exactly where that rear bumper is. Weirdly, I had a pretty darn good handle on where the rear bumper of the old Ford E-150 conversion van I used to drive was, but I never got that same uncanny sense for the end of the car’s envelope in any of the cars I’ve driven since. At this point I suppose it’s just that I have the backup cameras and don’t “need” to, but if I’m honest I think I’m too lazy to wean myself off of them.

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