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 over the past few months 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. Its 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 by 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 frankly 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, its 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 its 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.’