The Gordian Knot of Parking


The Gordian Knot of Parking

Here is an editorial written in the Newburyport (MA) News. Basically it says that parking is a complicated wild animal that cannot be tamed. The money quote:

“That’s been a constant in the never-ending search for a solution that will solve the problem of parking too many cars in too little space at the least cost and most revenue, and a challenge that makes the untying of the Gordian knot of ancient history child’s play.”

Sigh. The writer is not a classic scholar. If he was, he would know that the story of the Gordian knot has two parts. The first is as he refers – a complex problem with and extremely difficult solution.

The second part tells of Alexander the Great arriving at Gordium and being unable to find the ends of the rope (a necessary task when untying a knot) he simply withdrew his sword and cut the knot in two (This is called the Alexandrian Solution.)There was a thunderstorm that evening and the locals took that to say that Zeus was pleased with the solution and Alex would win many battles.

The metaphor is one of an intractable problem solved by a bold stroke.

So certainly if the mayor and city council wish to spend years looking for the ends of the rope, it may never be solved. Perhaps they need to consider a bold stroke. I know nothing about parking in Newburyport but that never stopped me before. – Potential Bold Strokes:

  1. Remove parking responsibility from everyone currently and hire someone who has solved parking problems in other like sized cities.
  2. Ensure that those coming up with solutions know that they not need to be politically correct.
  3. Charge market rates for parking and use that money to help clean up and support areas of downtown where the money came from.
  4. DO NOT use any of that money for anything else except supporting the parking program and local upgrades (streets sidewalks parks etc.)

Chances of them doing any of these things – Zero.

H/T Charles


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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