Whether doing some grocery shopping, dropping children off for school or trying to grab a quick coffee, one thing is clear -- Merced residents hate parking lots.
Some of them are designed with tight stalls, others are full of potholes or are just crowded. Then there's the inconsiderate drivers who park taking up two stalls, according to Merced Sun-Star readers on Facebook.
Parking lots can make you want to pull your hair out, or even fear for your safety.
A common complaint was the parking at the Promenade, the shopping center on corner of Yosemite Avenue and and Paulson Road. The parking lot can be busy many hours of the day with several restaurants, as well as businesses popular with college students, like Starbucks and Quickly.
"The Promenade is the worst parking lot in Merced. To accommodate for more cars, the stalls are super tight," Curtis Ashley Linden wrote on Facebook, noting the lot recently added time limits on stalls. "Technically, there are enough parking stalls per retail units..... you just have to park behind Bobcat Diner or over by the management/UC offices."
The Yosemite Avenue parking lot for Raley's and other businesses also drew a number of complaints about drivers circling and circling to find a space.
Then there were complaints about Costco, which readers said can be particularly bad around the holidays or weekday evenings.
"Costco! Their lot is always full and people block the row waiting for someone else to pull out," Priscilla Bautista wrote on Facebook. "Like move to one side people!"
Parents said dropping off or picking up their children at school can be an almost daily headache. Amber Villanueva wrote that it's "a mess" at Fremont Elementary school, which has virtually no on-campus parking.
Other campuses frustrated parents as well.
"Rivera elementary. Absolutely no parking," Nancy León wrote. "When it rains I have to go 30-45 (minutes) early other than that it's easier/faster to walk there and back. The meter lady is always giving tickets there too."
Even if a parking lot is designed correctly, you have to deal with jerks.
"Not so much the parking lots which are definitely bad but more so the people who don't know how to park; especially those with big trucks, SUVs, etc trying to park in the compact car only spot," Debbie Dunn wrote. "(Or) worse yet those who abuse handicap spots!"
The problem with parking is not unique to Merced, readers said. Atwater has some frustrating lots. "The parking lot for Wal-Mart, Target in Atwater," Kelly Dowell wrote. "Stop signs at the end of every row. Nobody obeys them."
Commentor Rico Johnson and other readers also disliked a Bellevue Road lot. "The shopping center in Atwater in front of Wells Fargo, Starbucks," Johnson wrote. "Terrible and small."