Rethinking Parking, Indy at 40, Common Sense
I know, I know – I’m a contrarian. Someone says up, I say down. Someone says white, I say black. I get this from being right so many times. (No arrogance there).
My contrarian roots got tickled by an article in the Wall Street Journal. Astrid grabbed it and the story can be found on Parknews.biz. Its title is “No Parking, Cities Rethink Parking with Fewer Personal Cars.”
This article is heavily researched. They quote everyone from UCLA’s Don Shoup to Walker’s Mary Smith to Flash’s Don Sharplin to Las Vegas’ Brandy Stanley to Parkway’s Robert Zuritsky to Gensler’s Andy Cohen. These are some pretty heavy hitters in our industry, and far be it from me to be contrary to them. However…
The gist of the article is that with the advent of self driving cars and the popularity of ride hailing services, traffic in central cities would be down as much as 70 percent, and all the folks quoted spoke of different uses for garages from mobility hubs to mobile kitchens, from parks (on the roof) to offices and apartments. Fair enough.
However, I wondered if the editors of the august WSJ actually read their own newspaper. There have been a number of articles as recent as last week saying that basically, self driving cars were a nonstarter and that it will take a complete change in how artificial intelligence works before the true self-driving vehicle can actually hit the streets. These articles said that the advent of these mechanical marvels could be up to 30 to 40 years out.
There have also been stories crying the blues for ride hailing services, noting that prices are skyrocketing in the face of too few drivers to meet the demand. That has caused folks to rethink their usage and go back to privately owned vehicles.
Another article stressed that young folks were actually buying cars and driving rather than taking rapid transit (granted, this was due to covid) but the so called ‘trend’ to young people giving up cars seems to have stalled.
I understand that the world wants electric vehicles to happen and everyone is on that bandwagon. From where I stand, there are a few pesky details that need to be resolved, including the extremely disruptive mining for materials needed for batteries, the ongoing problem with the electrical grid and its inability to service a fleet of EVs, and the fact that the vast majority of drivers don’t seem to be on board with the higher cost of EVs, range anxiety, the time it takes to charge, and the like.
Taking all the above into account, should we start a wholesale demolition or renovation of downtown garages? Although planning for the future is a good idea, should we not also be realistic about what we see when we look out the window?
It was interesting that the author of the WSJ article didn’t mention any of the above issues, or have any quotes contrary to the point of the story. Was it agenda driven, or was it simply a naïve author who made a bunch of phone calls and asked questions that didn’t truly cover the topic?
Can you believe it? Raiders of the Lost Ark, Steven Spielberg’s and George Lucas’ blockbuster adventure opened in theaters 40 years ago this past weekend. How does that make you feel?
There can be no question that this movie changed the scope of adventure flicks as Indy and Co. romped around the globe, fighting Nazis and discovering great treasure. For those of you living in a cave for the last four decades, the story revolves around archeologist Indiana Jones and his race to find the Ark of the Covenant before it is taken from the sands of Egypt by the Nazis and turned over to Hitler. The story takes place in 1935.
From the moment the famous Paramount Logo Mountain morphs into a landscape in Peru this movie grabs you and doesn’t let go for the next two hours. Whether he is battling Nazis, a bear chested behemoth, snakes, aboriginal natives, snakes, an evil opponent, snakes, the Egyptian desert, spies, Arab swordsmen, or even the odd left hook from his girlfriend, Marion, Indy never gives up, besting them all in one of the greatest chase scenes of all time, only to have the Ark snatched from his grasp by his own government. By the way, Indy does not like snakes.
Unlike the rest of us, Raiders doesn’t get old. Seeing it again brings back fond memories of swashbuckling and derring-do. Check it out – you can download from Amazon, or practically anywhere else.
Oh, and you Big Bang nuts that believe the story would have come out the same without Indy. So what!
When Thomas Paine wrote his famous pamphlet in 1775, (published in 1776) it became an immediate success. This was due as much to his marketing campaign as to its content. He set forth clearly his ideas concerning separating from England and created a text that was read and reread during the revolutionary period. It was also controversial, with some more conservative revolutionary leaders, such that John Adams called it “so democratical, without any restraint or even an attempt at any equilibrium or counter poise, that it must produce confusion and every evil work.”
Nevertheless, according to Wikipedia, it “was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history. As of 2006, it remains the all-time best-selling American title and is still in print today.”
The textbook description of “common sense” is: “common sense refers to having sound judgment, not necessarily based on specialized knowledge.”
An example might be the news we have received about the pandemic, from day one. Virtually everything that has been said about Covid-19, one way or another, has been proven incorrect. Scientists, politicians, government officials, all have made statements that have been changed, retracted, or proven to be outright wrong. They have flown in the face of simple common sense.
Oh, you might say, as more information became available, the dialogue changed to fit that information. Perhaps, but in fact, those with basic common sense, looking at the situation could see through the actions. For example, the arrest of a surfer off the coast using the resources of half a dozen police and boats. It flies in the face of common sense.
I know I’m treading on thin ice here, but I have not been able to get my mind around allowing boys who say they are girls to participate in girls’ sports or use girl’s locker rooms. Can’t anyone use come common sense?
Defund the police is another one. The majority of crime takes place in minority communities. The police are the only thing that stands between the average person and the gangsters. Removing the police would only hurt those people. Common sense.
Increase unemployment insurance to more than a person could make working 8 to 5. Businesses cannot get enough staff to run their concerns properly. Remove the unemployment insurance increase. Businesses now have a pool of potential workers to call upon. Common sense.
I could go on, but you get the point. We have lost our ability to trust our common sense. How do we get that back?
Believe what you see, and not what you hear. Stop listening to the media (it is wrong virtually every time.) Live your life based on common sense. I say, you will not go wrong.