Rivertown Crossings Mall introduces parking app

A full parking lot at RiverTown Crossings mall on Black Friday. (Nov. 25, 2016)
A full parking lot at RiverTown Crossings mall on Black Friday. (Nov. 25, 2016)


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — You’ve made you’re list and checked it twice. Now, it’s time to get to the mall.

But before you grab that bargain, you have to grab that parking spot — and that can be a challenge.

Most shoppers don’t have a system.

“No, we usually go for the farthest spot possible. So we don’t have to fight anybody,” said Laura Deweerd after she maneuvered her minivan into a spot at Rivertown Crossings Mall in Grandville Friday morning.

Your smartphone may help alleviate the parking challenge. General Growth Properties, the company that owns Rivertown Crossings Mall, has added a parking feature to their app.

Tap the parking icon at the bottom of the app, then tap availability and a map of the mall parking lots appear.

You’ll want to avoid areas in red, the map shows they’re 90 percent full. Yellow areas are at 75 percent capacity. Green means go — those sections are less than 50 percent full.

Mall security updates the map throughout the day based on their traffic observations.

“It sounds interesting. Never heard of it. I would probably use it,” Deweerd said.

Beyond the convenience factor, drivers say the app could make the parking spot hunt a little safer.

“It would be cool to map out where you can park, and wouldn’t have to do any careless driving around these parking lots and it’s actually better,” said shopper Davion Beal. “There is a lot of cars and it’s kind of crazy. You don’t want to get into a fender bender while you’re trying to get out there and shop.”

There is also an option that lets you mark where you parked, avoiding the more noisy option most of us use.

“Sometimes I push the little panic button on my car to find it,” Deweerd said.