Saturday, September 27, 2014

Why is street parking so fucking hard?

Street parking.

Why is this so fucking hard? Those of you who live in East Bumblefuck won't understand this, but I must commiserate with my fellow urbanites.

  1. When street parking is constrained, it matters where you park. To be a considerate neighbor, do not park 7 feet from the nearest driveway cutout, and/or leave 5 feet between you and the next car. All that does is reduce the parking capacity of the street.

    Earlier this week, there were two cars parked along a section of curb that normally accommodates 3 or 4 cars. The first car was positioned about ¾ car length from the stop line; then a gap that one might have squeezed a compact car into, with a few floor jacks; then another car about ¾ car length from the driveway cutout. Those gaps add up to almost 2½ car lengths.

    Be considerate when deciding where to park your car. If you can't tell how far you are from the nearest driveway, or from the car behind you, get out and look. It's not that fucking hard. Eventually, with practice and observation, you'll develop a much better feel for where your car is in relation to other objects, which will help in driving, as well.

    A corollary to this is not to box someone in. After you park, take a quick look to see whether the cars in front of and behind you are able to get out. If they aren't, you should move.
  2. I see this one all the time in the winter: a snowstorm drops a foot or two of snow, which turns to ice when it is not moved before the next warming/cooling cycle. People then conclude that it is okay to park next to the huge, 2-foot wide block of ice adjacent to the curb, thus effectively reducing the width of the road by 4 feet when parking is permitted on both sides.

    The best part is when the person who parks this way leaves their car there for weeks after all the snow melts. This actually happened on my street last winter: one woman's car was practically sitting in the middle of the road for two weeks until she finally got around to moving it. Mind-blowing.

    Don't do this. If you have a truck or SUV, it's probably okay to drive up onto the ice and leave it there to slowly descend as the ice melts. If you don't, either break up the ice or call the city and have them do it. (The ice is in the right of way, so they should take care of it upon request.)
  3. Do not park in front of someone else's driveway. Ever. For any reason, and for any length of time. Seriously, does this even need to be said? Where did the people who think this is okay grow up?
I must be forgetting some. What else do bad urban street parkers do?

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