Green and red lights above each parking spot signal where the open spots are.

Green and red lights above each parking spot signal where the open spots are.

Every parking lot in the U.S. should have this feature.  Chicago parking lots are generally fine, but you’ll want to know this one.

The area around Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, specifically, a suburb called Rosemont, is a hot new entertainment district — something you should keep in mind if you find yourself stuck at O’Hare one snowy night. You can read all about Rosemont’s offerings here.
But what I want to tell you about is the parking lot.

The parking lot attached to Rosemont’s massive, new designer outlet mall, Fashion Outlets of Chicago, has this fantastic feature that I’ve never seen in all of my tourist attraction parking: little lights in front of each parking space. If there’s a car there, it’s red. If it’s open, it’s green.

Find open parking spaces easily in the garage of Rosemont, Illinois' new Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall.

Find open parking spaces at Rosemont, Illinois’ new Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall.

So rather than drive up and down long rows of parking spaces, hoping to find an open spot, you just gaze down the rows and look at the lights.
Genius, right? Honestly, I was so thrilled by this simple technology, I kept repeating “I love this!” to my friend in the passenger seat. And because of it, we found a spot quickly, and close to the mall entrance.

Not only could I easily see if there was a parking spot available in the row I was near, I could glance at the rows a few rows in front of me to see if there was a closer one. I want to shop there again just because the parking lot was so convenient (and free for the first 2 hours — something that’s rare in pricey Rosemont).

For me, a big deterrent to visiting places like giant shopping malls, theme parks, or other mega attractions is the daunting parking situation. Not in Rosemont’s mall parking lot.

Now, if only local malls could install this before Christmas.