Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 3:23 pm | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Danny Tyree: Parking Is Such Sweet Sorrow, And a Pain in the ... Trunk

Believe it or not, my only college-era clash with school authorities erupted because the campus was experiencing growing pains. Your cash-strapped author received a ticket for parking on the grass when I simply couldn’t find an authorized parking spot in time for class.

So, I guess it was only natural that my interest was piqued by a USA Today article about America’s parking crisis.

The AVERAGE American motorist spends 17 hours a year searching for parking spots. The quest adds up to an estimated $345 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions. (Of course, in urban areas such as New York City, the problem can be five times worse.)

It’s a frustrating stalemate. Retailers, government offices and entertainment venues refuse to provide adequate parking or convenient hours. (“How were we to know those dadgum horseless carriages would catch on?”) Motorists refuse to utilize mass transit or carpooling.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has hinted at asking the Israelis and Palestinians to help the feuding parties find a non-nuclear answer.

Some problems come about because developers try imitating a bipartisan congressional deal. (“We have zero customers when we’re closed. We anticipate 100 customers at peak hours. So, we’ll compromise and build 50 parking spots! After a two-week recess, we’ll commission a study to see why our sales are only half what we expected.”)

Set-asides are another problem. I have no qualms about convenient spots for the disabled; but some venues get carried away with Reserved for staff, Reserved for delivery trucks, Reserved for electric cars, Reserved for Amelia Earhart, Reserved for The Once And Future King ... (“Waiting for Godot? Here’s his reserved spot.”)

Let’s not overlook the problem caused by motorists who return to their vehicle (thus raising the hopes of those jockeying for position) and proceed to take a sloth-like approach to pulling out and going home. Preparations no longer stop with “Is everyone buckled in?” Now it’s “Has everyone checked for irregular moles and unusual breast lumps?”

Instead of making sure all electronic devices are recharging, the savvy shopper makes sure the audiobook of War And Peace works flawlessly from beginning to end before pulling away from the bookstore and risking a second trip.

Spooked by the presence of unsupervised 4-year-olds, speeding teen drivers, runaway shopping carts and smartphone-obsessed pedestrians, motorists understandably overcompensate with their defensive parking, although only 24 percent use the AAA’s recommended safer method of BACKING into a spot. (“Use my rear-view mirrors? Park BETWEEN the lines? Do I have to cure cancer and world hunger next?”)

Of course, some people bring problems on themselves, like the discriminating motorists who circle endlessly, looking for a spot 10 feet closer to the shoe store. News flash: if that’s your life philosophy, those new track shoes are probably going to stay in your closet.

More than just causing stress and road rage, the parking problem is subtly altering the parent-child relationship. Instead of listening to hear if baby’s first word is “Mama” or “Dada,” parents hope the infant will chime in with “I call dibs on Row 6, Spot 7.”

Let’s find a solution to the parking dilemma before it gets worse.

It’s bad enough that sprawling lots leave us saying, “Remember where we parked.” We’re on the verge of shifting to “Remember where we parked — and quit playing with that flag Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted, Junior!”

— Satirical columnist Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page Tyree’s Tyrades. He is syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Elizabeth Wagner
Elizabeth Wagner
"I typically do whatever it takes to properly expose the property and get it out to the widest possible audience."

Full Profile >

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >