Friday, April 17, 2015

Urban Etiquette: Parking Wars

We open on a busy San Francisco thoroughfare.  The time is earlier this morning.  Our protagonist, ME, is just returning to his street from dropping off his adorable daughter at day care.  (Or, as she would put it, "day tare."  She can't do hard c's or k's yet.)

Our Protagonist rolls up to his block and LO AND BEHOLD there is a parking spot not 3 buildings away from his building.

[BRIEF INTERJECTION: I am #blessed enough to live on a street specifically, and a neighborhood generally, where parking isn't that hard.  You can usually find a space within 5 to 7 minutes.  On weekdays during the day, you can find a space basically anywhere you want.  I USED to live in North Beach and no fooling one Sunday night I once spent almost an hour looking for a space and finally found one on Bay Street which if you're familar with the area is NOT REALLY in North Beach at all.]

O.P. pulls into the spot and parks.  BUT WHAT'S THIS.  There's a pickup truck up ahead with its backing up lights on.  Let me illustrate our relative positions with a diagram.

I love trolling with Comic Sans. Someone is going to feel COMPELLED to say something about the Comic Sans.  The yellow thing is a bike lane BTW.
As you can see, Pickup Truck is double parked at least 3 cars up ahead.  O.P turns off his car and then sees Pickup Truck backing up towards him once the traffic clears.  Pickup Truck has his window down and is saying something.

Pickup Truck is staffed by a maybe early to mid-20's kid with a an attempt at a beard.  "Hey man," he says.  "I've been waiting for that space.  I was waiting for traffic to clear so I could back up."

"What, from all the way up there?" O.P. says.  Notice that O.P did not shrug and say "Tough shit, kid."

"Yeah," Pickup Truck says.

Now, at this point, O.P has two options.  He's already IN the space, so he could get out of his car, lock the doors, and walk away.  Like everything else in life, it's like that scene from Seinfeld.

O.P., however, chose Option Two: Roll Eyes So Broadly It's Visible From Heaven, say "Fine," get back in the car, and park around the corner.

HERE'S WHERE YOU COME IN.  Was that right?  Did Pickup Truck have any sort of viable claim on the space from 3 cars ahead?  If he wanted that space so bad, why wasn't he waiting, say, RIGHT NEXT TO IT?  Did someone pull out just as I arrived, when P.T. was already way ahead and he saw it in his rearview and decided to impose a Retroactive Space Save on a space he had absolutely no entitlement to?  What is right?  What is the nature of justice?

In a related humorous story, when The Sister lived in the Lower Haight she was getting ready to pull into a space when an angry woman pulled up next to her and yelled "YOU SAW ME TURN AROUND BITCH" implying that if you see someone turn around to get a space you lose all rights to that space.  I don't even think she saw her turn around bitch in the first place.  Life is complicated.


Unknown said...

You have to read the odds of how likely he is to key your car when you leave it parked and walk away.

GG said...

Villain was clearly in the wrong. If you're waiting for a space, you wait directly BEHIND the space (so the person has room to exit the space), then pull directly IN FRONT OF the space and back in IMMEDIATELY. On the upside, you gave up the space even though you were entitled to keep it, so you have earned yourself some valuable parking karma from the universe, which will be redeemed when you need it most.

Stoney said...

I probably would have done the same, TK. Especially in your neighborhood, where other spots can be found. You made your point by saying "really?"

I can sort of understand why the guy was waiting so far up. I had to go to the pet hospital on your thoroughfare yesterday morning, and pulling over to park was sort of fraught, thanks to an unbroken stream of bikes and cars.

Stephen said...

I agree with Stoney that one may find oneself in the position of Villain, eyeing a space and unable to maintain ideal position. HOWEVER, Villain should accept the maxim, "hope for the best, expect the worst." He should not expect the rest of the world to either perceive or respect his desires and intent. If he can get it, great. If he can't, he needs to move along. Are you supposed to be looking in all directions at all distances, assessing the validity of your claim to a space? Fuck that.

Morgan Driver said...

I think you are a much better person than I. You were right and Villain was delusional. My other crazy-maker is when a person stands in a space to save it. Um - no - a human cannot save a place made for a metal death machine (sorry, been on Streetsblog today to aggravate myself)

Stoney said...

In re Sis' Lower Haight tale, I've been the Turner Around-er bitch, and I have been frustrated, but I did not blame the person who got the space.

Jef Poskanzer said...

Never argue over parking. Regardless of the merits of the respective cases, whoever ends up in the space runs the risk of getting keyed. Actually some would argue that you had a moral duty to return and key Villain's vehicle, so he learns this valuable lesson.

Andrea said...

It's nice to live across the street from a church parking lot in the way Outer Sunset. No real worries about finding parking where at best is right in front of my house, and at worst is not in front of my house but I can see my car from my house.
I once had a neighbor who was about 105 years old who rang the doorbell at 9pm to tell me he parked in front of my house for me so no one else would. I told him that I was parked in my driveway and it's a legal spot for anyone to park in, and his reply was, "but I parked there so nobody else would."

FineWashable said...

You left out a key piece of information for me... did the guy seem like a good honest dude? Or was their any air of entitlement and douche-baggery? Because that would inform my decision.

Unknown said...

Cloud based parking solutions
parking permmits

Free Parking Software for Town Houses, Condominiums, and Businesses Solves Parking Problems
Searching for a parking space is such as frustrating routine activity for lots of people in cities all over the world. This search is burning over a million barrels of oil of the world each day. There are also 4-parking spaces every vehicle in the US and almost all streets are most of the time, empty, which leads to urban environments that are ironically doing far more to accommodate the vehicles than people. As the global population continuously urbanize, without a convenience-driven and well-planned retreat from cars, these sort of parking problems will worsen. software is the first step in the right decision. It involves using low-cost sensors, mobile phone-enabled, and real time data collection automated payment systems enabling people to reserve parking in advance or predict accurately where they can find a spot. When deployed as a system, free parking software thereby reduces car emissions in the urban centers by means of reducing the necessity for the people to circle the city blocks needlessly searching for parking. Furthermore, it permits the cities to manage their parking supply carefully.
This free parking software is now being developed in many different states and cities around the United States and some other countries. For instance, in LA, smart meters and low-power sensors are tracking the occupancy of parking spaces across the Hollywood district, one of the most congested areas. The users will be able to access this occupancy data in order to determine the availability of the spots and then pay for them with their mobile phones. Other than the environmental benefits and lending convenience, free parking software is improving the utilization of the current parking, which lead to greater revenue for parking owners.
These programs will be able to make great differences on a neighborhood level, but more widespread development and deployment is necessary for free parking software to change the cities and to contribute to the transportation sector pollution reductions greenhouse gas. One problem is that there are no citywide solutions all over the fragmented private and public parking providers. The occupancy data has a tendency to have many owners and is not accessible or standardized in a way that may enable software developers to turn into user-friendly applications. Thereby, individual smart parking efforts are so far successful locally, but uncoordinated, and operates in their own entrepreneurial or bureaucratic vacuums without a need to take gap between current free parking software and more widespread transportation system planning is an enormous missed opportunity for the cities to reduce the transportation related emissions.
Moreover, free parking software has been hindered by a lack of insight into the complete benefits of this software, specifically when compared to the cost of building extra parking spaces. Lack of collaboration between communities with the parking software programs, as well as lack of coordination between hardware providers, municipalities, and developers is also contributing to the slower adoption of smart parking. Nevertheless, it is possible to overcome all these issues. Cities will be able further accelerate these advantages by means of updating the land use and building codes policies to reflect the reduced need for parking.

Unknown said...

We take the frustration out of parking management for Apartments, Home Owners Associations, Condominiums, Townhouses Co-ops, and other parking has reinvented how parking management should be done.

Parking Management Software
online parking software
Cloud based parking solutions

Blogger said...

Get all your favorite alcoholic drinks on Duty Free Depot!

All the popular brand name beverages for unbelievable discounted prices.

Jimmy said...

Impressive blog thanks

Blogger said...

If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you need to watch this video
right away...

(VIDEO) Have your ex CRAWLING back to you...?