This Is Actually Not The Worst Idea Ever

The Crack Den has been all about the urban/suburban planning lately, and I could write long screeds bitching about parking in my neighborhood, and it’s not so much that there isn’t enough of it (sometimes you have to walk A WHOLE BLOCK which is inconvenient when hauling something heavy but otherwise mainly serves to annoy the out-of-town friends who can’t understand how anyone can LIVE LIKE THIS) but that the permit systems, snow routes and ticket periods and street-cleaning days are so confusing as a result of having been amended every time somebody writes city hall a letter that I think they make most of their money by betting we’re all just too busy to make the flow chart necessary to figure this shit out.

Therefore I likethis a lot more.

I’d rather the city just send me a bill every year – call it a driving
surtax – instead of making me go through the hassle of feeding meters
and dodging permit parking zones and fighting with the bureaucracy over
one stupid thing or another every year.

I would pay more money to be left the fuck alone than I would be willing to via an escalating series of small hassles. The city gets the money, I get away from having to play Parking Valet every morning moving the car around, everybody’s happy.


12 thoughts on “This Is Actually Not The Worst Idea Ever

  1. What you are proposing makes way too much sense for it ever to be adopted by any municipal government.

  2. Tom Tomorrow griped about this just a few days ago. Living in Oklahoma I’m not familiar with this kind of a hassle. Here we would probably just stand in the front yard with a shotgun waiting for anyone to dare touch our cars.

  3. in denmark, they pay enough taxes to be left alone. it’s quite nice not seeing sheriffs on their highways and thy drive quite well.

  4. A, you know me and the places I’ve lived. I loves my parking. I needs my parking. In fact, I’ve never owned a home with less than a 2.5 car garage (and this one is too small for me). When I was in college, the random rolling, street by street, desperately looking for a half a space to cram my car into sucked royally.
    To be fair, I’ve worked at several universities where the parking got progressively cheaper and better (until I got to this shithole) and at each stop I was told there wasn’t enough parking, it was too expensive and it wasn’t where it needed to be.
    I think until people are physically able to drive directly into their office/cubicle and park at their desk, people will piss and moan about parking.

  5. I came to really appreciate the parking issues in my old South Philly neighborhood. In many ways, having to parallel park everyday under those conditions is what made me into a man. It’s the little things: the way you can take credit for finding a spot close on the same block as home, the self satisfaction that comes with cramming in a minivan with less than 6 inches wiggle room on either side, the familiarity you develop with your neighborhood spending so many hours of your life driving around the block – the kind of familiarity where you know every out-of-place driveway, every fire hydrant, every loading zone.
    One of my favorite tricks was to squeeze into a space so small that I literally had to lean on the gas to nudge the car in front of me forward a few extra millimeters. You don’t get too attached to bumpers in the city.
    Street cleaning laws, etc. are all part of the experience. You know you belong when the rules are so internalized as urban moral code that you’re willing to defend them as I have.
    Urban parking hassles make tough, sarcastic urban residents. It’s important.
    It’s culture.
    As Philly guy, there is nothing better in life than seeing a Jersey car with a big fat ticket. The only thing better is cracking a sly smile at the sight and then walking by someone else that has just seen the same thing and has a half smile on their face too.

  6. Ohhhhh, Doc, your comment on people being able to drive into their cubicles at work reminded me of an episode of Top Gear when the giant big host ( blanking on his name, sorry) drove this teensy car to work at the Beeb and took the elevator upstairs still driving and went all over the building in the car. God, that show makes me giggle. See if you can find it on the Youtubes, it’s amusing stuff.

  7. Question: How much precious oil is wasted on driving around the block and moving cars unnecessarily?
    You’ve got to frame this right – It is a matter of homeland security.

  8. e., when we lived in Somerville, MA, it was the same sort of thing. And in winter it got even worse, so that if you dug your car out of a parking spot in the morning, and someone else parked in that spot during the day, you had the right to slash the miscreant’s tires or smash his windshield or do even worse damage to his car.
    Memories, memories.

  9. And hereI am, trying to convince people that most people (since most of us are, in fact, urban these days) don’t need single-passenger cars for most applications anymore. ‘Course, I think most of you would feel differently about cars if more modern urban development was actually scaled for people to live in, instead of to be convenient to cars…

  10. i have a parking slab(the 1920’s era garage full of shit), but in winter it is the alley from hell if we have too much snow. otherwise, i have no parking problems and that included when i was driving a 73 crhysler new yorker-the blue barge.

  11. I’m with Interrobang–I would really, really love to be able to take a bus or a train from my house to my job. I lived in London for a year, and the tube was fantastic. I got to the point that I really, really enjoyed having that half hour of commute time–I read, listened to music, and transitioned from home-brain to work-brain and back again.
    It’s either mass transit or a Star Trek transporter. Barring those, I’m stuck with stupid parking. (And Doc is right, too–it doesn’t matter how good your parking situation is, people will still complain.)

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