Mar 17, 2009

Using MapQuest To Do Things You Never Thought You Could Series. Tip #1: Find and save a collection of parking garages for future use

For the seasoned Midwesterner, traveling to Boston during the winter is a daunting challenge to say the least. I have done my time in the city since I lived there in the early 90′s and have a comfortable ignorance when it comes to driving and parking downtown.

While the Back-Bay represents a modern side to Boston, the Financial District is full of twists, turns, and one-way’s with hard to maneuver, narrow side streets. If you have been there, then you know what I am talking about. Great city to walk in, but a nightmare to drive and park.

As most parking garages fill-up before 8am on a typical weekday, I have spent many a time driving to the top of a garage only to find that the last spot has just been filled. Without some type of easy to find parking garage map at my ready, I have had to blindly drive around looking for my next target.

So here is where MapQuest fits in. With the recent introduction of the new On-Map Search Tool, I can bring up a map of my intended destination, and then click the handy little [P] icon to display all the parking garages within that map’s view. Since I will be driving, I print the map to visually see my options and have at-the-ready.

Printing my map of Parking Garage locations is one thing, but the cool thing is the ability to save this customized map to my My Places account for future use. While I know Summer will see me back in Boston, it is highly likely that I will forget where I parked and the various options available. A quick login into My Places displays my custom map entitled “Boston Parking Garage, spots downtown“.

Now, I can blindly file away my troubles finding a parking garage in Beantown and know that in a few months I can return to My Places and once again easily print my map for this Summer’s return visit.