Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dallas' compact car spots are too compact?

This is one of those situations where I, who made the smart choice and bought a small, fuel-efficient car, get shafted by people who insist on buying giant road hogs (from the DMN):

Now, after years of complaints from drivers and developers, the Dallas City Council appears poised to do something next year about the narrow spaces that so often crop up between behemoth SUVs.

So...instead of punishing people for being stupid, the city decides to cave and encourage people to keep driving their oversize monsters? Well, let's be fair and see what they have to say:

"I have a small car, and it doesn't even fit in these spaces. It's virtually impossible to get in and out of the car," said council member Angela Hunt, whose four-door Audi tests the 7 ½ -foot width of a compact space.

Whine, whine, whine. Is it really so difficult to walk that extra 50 feet from the normal sized parking spots? And all those people who drive the extra large vehicles could usually use the exercise!

A standard parking space is a foot wider. But sometime in the late 1980s, no one seems to recall exactly when, the city adopted a policy that it hoped would help solve growing parking woes and nudge people toward buying smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

Like so many programs that start out with good intentions, however, it didn't quite work out that way.

No argument there. I think that's a fairly worthless incentive. But it is a perq for those of us who did buy small cars that compact car spacing is sometimes available simply because people can't fit their bigass trucks and SUVs in the spots.

"The reality of the marketplace is that even the hybrids are big," said Theresa O'Donnell, director of the city's Development Services department.

What, are you kidding me? My car in that space has almost a foot of space on either side inside the stripes. A car of similar width parked on one side leaves 2 feet of space to open the door for both cars. I don't see a problem with that.

And to cite one final example showing the absolute absurdity of the opposition's point, I'll also share this quote:

Mr. Plum and three friends were grabbing a quick takeaway lunch, but his friend Patrick Garcia had a tough time squeezing his Dodge Durango into one of the compact-car spots.

Mr. Garcia said that when he goes out in central Dallas "you're forced pretty much to valet."

Yeah, uh, dude, it's called "compact-car" for a reason. Or perhaps he doesn't understand that a Dodge Durango is not compact. My point is this: the compact car parking is not the problem. The problem is people insisting that all things be made convenient for them. The article goes on to say that the city is probably going to change ordinances to allow fewer parking spaces and require more large-width parking spots. But they also say that the city expects the issue to become less of a problem as developments lead toward more walkable shopping areas. All I'm saying is, people need to get what they deserve for insisting on driving the biggest vehicles they can buy, so don't take away the one time I get the advantage over them.

1 comment:

Xanthippas said...

We have some of the stupidest drivers in the country, and this only confirms it.