Fighting for a parking spot is never fun, especially when you're in a hurry. But some parking lots in our area make it even more challenging to get to your favorite store.

The Hudson Valley is getting more and more crowded. And now that summer is here, tourists are joining residents in battling it out for a good parking spot. It's become so bad that there are some times that I've left without even parking after deciding that the hassle wasn't worth it.

For me, there are a few places that are especially frustrating to park at. While I love these stores, their parking experiences can sometimes be a challenge. Let me know if you agree with my list of the five worst parking lots in the Hudson Valley.

If I have to get some home improvement items I try to do it on weekdays because the parking lot at the Home Depot in Wappingers Falls is unbearable on the weekends. Getting a spot close to the store is important when buying large, heavy items, but almost impossible because of the placement of the handicapped spots. The design, coupled with the fact that the Home Depot parks their rental trucks in the best spots makes it hard to find a good spot. The store also recently designated not one, but four extra spots for wounded veterans. While this is something I fully support, the four spots are right next to the handicapped spots, so they're rarely ever used whenever I visit.  At certain times of the year, even more spots are blocked off to showcase outdoor power equipment or landscaping material. Throw in the obnoxiously large pickups used by contractors that park right next to your driver's side door and it becomes the perfect recipe for a parking nightmare.

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One place I just have to visit at least once a week is Adams' Fairace Farms in Poughkeepsie. I love this store, but the parking can be challenging at times. The narrow spots in front of the store are situated where cars are entering from Route 44, so it can take quite a while to safely move your car in or out of a space. Also, many elderly people enjoy shopping at Adams' and, while I hate to stereotype, let's just say that some of them don't see very well and can make navigating the lot a bit more challenging. Because of the popularity of the store, spots fill up quickly and the lot is usually full of people walking in front or behind your car. You need to be extra alert and watch every angle so you don't hit another car or person.

If you've ever had to pick up a prescription at the Walgreens in Wappingers Falls you know why this parking lot also makes my list. The store shares a small parking lot with Mexicali Blue next door and while it has enough room for cars, the strange decision to put diamond shaped planters between the spaces makes it impossible to pull through. With everyone backing in and out of their spots, the lot can get extra crowded. And because the exit onto Market Street is so narrow it usually takes extra time waiting for busy traffic from Route 9 to allow cars to leave. These cars block other parked cars, causing a jam that can become extremely frustrating.

But probably the worst parking lot to leave after shopping is the Walmart in Fishkill.  Even on a weekday, this parking lot nightmare is enough to drive even the calmest person into a frenzy. After leaving the main parking lot, cars have to navigate smaller roads that eventually filter out to one exit. That exit has a traffic light that is always red. The cars predictably back up, blocking everyone else from exiting the main lot and trapping people in their parked cars while they wait for traffic to move along. This lot is so terrible that after shopping I will drive all the way to the Sam's Club parking lot and leave out of that exit instead. It's quite a bit out of the way but cuts the time in half not having to wait for that nightmare traffic light.

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Finally, the worst lot in all of Dutchess County has to be the one in front of the Marshall's strip mall on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie. Finding a spot anywhere near the store you want to visit is almost impossible, and it's about to get even worse. With TJ Maxx, Homegoods and Burlington Coat Factory soon moving into the same mall, customers are already wondering where they're going to park. With only one exit to Route 9, cars have to navigate one narrow lane that cuts down the middle of the lot. The lane has randomly sized speed bumps that can slow things down even more. With all of the construction happening at the mall, we haven't seen any signs that the parking lot will change, so many are wondering just how much worse this lot will be once the new stores open up.

While these parking lots are pretty bad, I'm sure that there are plenty more out there that drive you crazy. You can share your own list of the worst parking lots in the Hudson Valley on our Facebook page.

Listen to Afternoons With Simon weekdays from 3 PM to 7 PM on 92.7/96.9 WRRV. Stream us live through the website, your Alexa-enabled device, Google Home or the WRRV mobile app.

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