The Whole World Happens in a Parking Lot


The Whole World Happens in a Parking Lot

If it’s happening anywhere, it’s happening in a parking lot. A simple internet search unearths parking headlines from the good, the bad, the crazy and the unbelievable. This time around, there were more “shooting in parking lot” than “baby born in parking lot” headlines, and that’s a concern.

But there are still “free parking for veterans” headlines and “pay your parking fines with donations to a food bank” headlines, so all is not lost.
I’m sharing the ones that really caught my attention.

Phoenix Police Blow Up Unattended Backpack | Phoenix

An unattended package prompted a call for a robotic bomb-disposal device and actual human bomb-squad members, but it turned out to be nothing but … an unattended package. I’m not making fun, because there’s enough terrorism going on to justify caution, but there has to be a step between forgotten backpack and bomb-squad-bots.

Fight Over South LA Parking Spot Turns into ‘Demolition Derby’ | Los Angeles

I saw this headline and thought, “I’d kinda like to see that.” Turns out, there’s video, and it was so much less glamorous than I expected. Without Hollywood’s heavy-handed choreography and filming techniques, this was just a clumsy brawl complete with hair-pulling, profanity and enthusiastic onlookers. It ended in a series of low-speed fender benders that looked more like bumper cars than a demolition derby. The whole thing was just plain embarrassing.

How Self-Parking Car Technology Works: The First Step to Autonomous Vehicles

I’d like to know how an autonomous car handles the scenario above. Does it start talking and try to reason with the other driver? Apologize? Suggest group therapy? Whatever the approach, I think a British accent is a must. I have little doubt about the eventual proliferation of autonomous vehicle technology, but lots of reservations about the technology’s ability to interact with the human component.

Downtown Biddeford’s All Abuzz, But the Parking’s a Buzzkill | Biddeford, ME

Whatever the problem, blame parking. As Biddeford experiences gentrification first-hand, parking issues are inhibiting the growth of the hive. All the busy bees moving in, buying real estate and looking for work are thwarted by the city’s inadequate parking supply. Now the city is on the task. And none too soon, because all

those fancy lofts, bistros and start-ups are going nowhere without parking.

Cuomo Vetoes Bill on Parking Ramp Inspections | Albany, NY

We’re still enforcing a ban on political discussions here at my house. But politics is everywhere and even reaches into the world of parking, as in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill to increase inspections of parking ramps. Cuomo said the bill is flawed, and as redundant; his opponents say they’re sorry he doesn’t care about his constituents, and that if anybody dies, it’s his fault — or something like that, only in a less explicit, more passive-aggressive way.

Stranded Octopus Found in Florida Garage | Miami Beach

An adult octopus, probably living in drainage pipes under a parking garage, was flushed out into the parking bays by extra-high tides. It might be the first time an octopus chose the self-park option, but marine biologists say it won’t be the last. As climate change continues and sea levels rise, the ocean and its inhabitants will encroach on civilization more frequently.

Distracted Drivers Worsen Holiday Parking Woes | Honolulu

Parking woes are a theme any time of year, but during the holidays, they are especially dramatic. You don’t want to get between a grandma and the ToysRUs “doorbuster” sale. Besides the competition, what’s gotten worse are the texting, talking, dialing and video-chatting habits of drivers in parking lots and garages.

How Our Cars Outgrew Our Car Park Spaces

English cars have adopted the American diet – and they’re just getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Standard parking space sizes in England are no longer adequate due to a “vehicular obesity epidemic.” I’m not sure if I’m entertained or offended, but I’m going to go with just super-proud of the generosity and expansiveness of my culture and country.

Why Copenhageners’ Parking Habits Are Being Monitored by Drones | Copenhagen

Because … why not? If you’re going to be monitored without your permission, it should be as creepy and high-tech as possible. All of the data collected by Copenhagen’s drone force will be used to address parking concerns. The information will be added to facts gathered through interviews with residents who might or might not be experiencing justifiable paranoia.

Article contributed by:
Melissa Bean Sterzick
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