Buying Cars Out of Fear, The Button, and Pray or Park


Buying Cars Out of Fear, The Button, and Pray or Park

Over on, Astrid has posted an article from the The Atlantic Magazine. The article posits that millennials are buying cars. Yes, this group that shunned personal vehicles is buying them in very large numbers. Although the person quoted in the article (it’s actually a podcast interview where an Atlantic writer is interviewed, for some reason) claims to dislike car ownership and is concerned about the future of our cities because of the virus, he bought a car anyway.

This can only be good for the parking industry.

What I found interesting was the reason for these auto purchases: FEAR!!!

Yes, these healthy young people, all under 35, are afraid to ride in rapid transit, trains, Uber or Lyft or even rent a car, for fear of catching Covid. Their progressive politics, environmental causes, anger at congestion and air pollution were all put aside due to the fear of possibly catching the virus.

I wonder what has happened to our younger generation. When I was that age, I was invincible. I was heading out to slay dragons, as were my friends. Now it appears they are cowed by a virus that, from all information we can find, is not a true threat to those in that age group. The vast majority of those succumbing to the disease are those nearing 80 or those who have certain preexisting conditions. Are there 25 year olds in perfect health that have died of the virus? I’m sure there have been. But that number is approaching zero. The media has driven fear into the hearts of the young. But that’s a discussion for another time.

In the Atlantic interview, this young man didn’t mince words. He was afraid.

For those of us who make a living dealing with the storage of cars, there is an upside to this epidemic of fear that has the younger generation in its grip. The more cars, the more that need to park.

For instance, according to the article, they are finding that if they own a car, they can partake in more activities than they could without one. Visiting the country for picnics or hiking is difficult using rapid transit. Making a quick decision to go to the beach might be impossible if your only way to get there was through a car rental. It also turns out that owning a car means that you have more flexibility in your choice of jobs, and therefore you might be able to find a more lucrative or interesting position that was outside walking distance of the metro or bus stop. In every case, you have to park your car somewhere.

These folks actually discovered that purchasing and owning a ‘used’ car costs very little more than taking Uber or Lyft or renting, when necessary.

Perhaps they will find, as their parents and grandparents did, that car ownership is actually a good thing. The freedom and flexibility of having transportation at your fingertips far outweighs a crowded bus, train, or the “who rode here last?” Uber.

Plus, as Malcolm Gladwell pointed out, “It’s fun to drive.”

Welcome to car ownership, my friend. You are gonna love it.


If I asked you what is the most important button on your phone or computer, what would you say? “E” is the one used the most. “Space” is necessary to make the sentences readable. What about “forward” or “archive” or “send?” I’ve been thinking about this and I have come to the conclusion that the most important button on your communications device is “delete.” Preferably, it should be used before you read the message.

Let’s face it, a message from a Nigerian prince, or from Amazon touting something you just bought, or from Costco with the subject “New and Exclusive” can go straight to trash. How about “Joe Schmoe has sent you a message on Linkedin.” Oh, please. I have never heard of Joe Schmoe. I don’t want to hear from Joe Schmoe. Chances are, Joe Schmoe wants to sell me something. Delete.

How about messages from “Team” something or other. Frankly I don’t trust ‘teams’ that write to me. If someone is afraid to give me their name, then do I want to talk to them. Into the trash.

How about ‘downers.’ You know who they are. They add nothing to your life but negativity. You just had a new baby and they will tell you all the bad things that are going to happen now – late nights, colic, dirty diapers, doctor visits, the cost of college… Delete.

The most important key – “Delete”.

You have probably read about Grace Community Church in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. They have gone to court and won an injunction against the County of Los Angeles who was attempting to prevent them from holding services. 

The church leases from the county a parking lot across the street, where the majority of congregants park each Sunday, and has been leasing it for 45 years. I guess the county figures that if they can’t close the church, they will simply close the parking lot. It has notified the church that effective October 1, the church can no longer park there and if they do, the cars will be confiscated by the county.

The President can have 1,500 people at his nomination acceptance speech, many thousands can show up at a demonstration on the capitol mall, marches can take place across the country with mayors, city council members, and other officials joining in, riots are seemingly allowed with impunity (going on for 100 consecutive nights in Portland), you can buy pot, liquor, and of course go to Costco, your supermarket, and Home Depot, but you can’t go to church, even though everything points to the fact that we are on the back side of this pandemic.

What part of “the court is not issuing an injunction against the church” don’t you understand, County of LA?

Article contributed by:
John Van Horn
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