Parking is Necessary


Parking is Necessary

We are constantly harangued by those who know more than we do that the world’s problems relate back to parking. There is too much of it. It costs too much, or too little. It takes up space that could be put to better use. You know the rest.

Nature has forced me to spend a lot of time driving between this office building and that, between this restaurant and that, between this shopping center and that. In every case, I have been able to make use of parking that was available for me. Frankly, if there was no parking, I wouldn’t go there.

And there would be no office building, no restaurant, no shopping center. Let me stop you right there. I can hear the speech coming. It’s all about bicycles, scooters, buses, and rapid transit. And of course, good ole shoe leather. Well, balderdash.

I live in the real world. The places I need to visit are 10 miles apart. Whereas I can zip between them in my Belchfire V12, and visit four or five in a day, using any of the modes I have listed above I could maybe hit two. And I would come home exhausted. 

We don’t live in compact European cities that have streetcars at every corner, extensive underground metros, and are foot accessible. My town is 100 miles across, as is yours if you live in Chicago, Houston, Atlanta or any of the other mega cities we have created.

We live in an auto centric world. Accept it, embrace it, it’s not going to change. And parking is a critical part of our society. Can we do a better job of planning, promoting, and administering our parking? Sure. And we had better get on board with that right away. But believe me, parking isn’t going away any time soon.

Remember that when you stop off at the drug store on the way home to pick up that script, or pop in to the 7/11 for a quart of milk (or six pack), or take that herd of kids to band practice, a soccer game, or just drop them off at school. In every case, your life was made easier, and let’s face it, possible, due to that parking space you used, even for only a few minutes. 

I know it’s not popular, but parking is necessary. We do ourselves a disservice by not embracing this fact and promoting it. Are our parking organizations looking inward rather than outward? Our customers often get the idea that parking is just ‘there.’ Is it not possible that we should begin to tell our story? 

 Parking in necessary. And it doesn’t just ‘happen.’

What if We Can No Longer Afford Sunshine?

I sound like a broken record (all you over 50 know what I mean). I am so frustrated by our betters (sorry, Tony) telling us about what we should do, how we should live, and the like, but never taking into account what their rules, laws, ideas, and pronouncements mean, particularly to our pocketbooks.

I don’t want to get into a political argument, but I can’t help it. The Greens have been talking about the end of the world for the past 50 years. They have been listing upcoming natural disasters and none, zero, zip, have come to fruition. Yet, we still move headlong into saving the world with wind farms, solar farms, and the like.

We now have seen the result in Europe. Country after country is pulling out of such energy disasters and looking to return to natural gas, coal, and dare I say it, nuclear power. How long do we have to put up with this baloney until we wake up and look out the window and understand what really is happening?

What really bothers me is that we are asking the poorest among us to pay for all these boondoggles through higher costs of goods and services created by inflation. This is brought on by planned increases in the cost of energy. Virtually everything we buy is affected by the cost of fuel. The so-called middle class and above may be able to afford it (but not like it), however, it’s those with lower incomes who take it in the shorts.

I’m not making this up. We have been told by our leaders that the increased costs of fuel to heat and cool our homes and drive our cars is done on purpose. Why? To save us from ourselves. See paragraph two above. The end result is brownouts in the summer, cold winters, and inflation. What I don’t understand is that no one appears to care.

Elsewhere, in my PT blog, Mary Smith tells me I’m bashing EVs. Well, yeah. As I told her, I think that there are some EVs that are the greatest cars ever made. I just think it’s inappropriate for us to be forced into them. If you want to buy one, go for it. But don’t force me into it through higher fuel costs. And don’t use my taxes to support it. See paragraph four above.

The U.S. is the third largest country on earth. Over the past few decades, we have lowered our carbon output substantially while the two largest countries on earth have increased theirs. Between China and India, they are causing more pollution than the rest of the world put together. Has anyone asked why they haven’t been tasked with correcting their environmental sins and Americans been allowed to go on our merry way? 

Our industry is based on the automobile. The privately owned vehicle. Our country is of such a size that alternatives to POVs are difficult to come by. The use of rapid transit and buses has not increased percentage wise in 70 years. Trillions of dollars have been invested in such transportation and its use has not increased. Why is that?

The first mile, last mile problem is not going to be wished away with uber and scooters. Someone pointed out to me that the main freeway from Atlanta airport to downtown has a high-speed train above it, but the traffic on the freeway has not been reduced. People are still driving.

So, our government in its infinite wisdom is attempting to force us into those trains and buses by making its financially impossible not to. President Reagan use to say that the most feared phrase in the English language was “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

My frustration is causing this post to meander around and it’s time for a brilliant conclusion. Except that there is none. We as a people continue to elect the same people time after time and we expect a different result. (Remember what Einstein said about doing the same thing over and over?)

I’m reaching a point where I copy Howard Beale from the movie “Network” who leaned out his window and yelled: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking it anymore.” The problem is that my windows are sealed and won’t open, and if they were able to open, there would be no one to hear me.

P.S. – the subhead (What if we can…) comes from a colleague. If we have to work two or three jobs just to survive, basically what is the use?

Article contributed by:
John Van Horn
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