The Politics of Parking

Before I start today’s column, I want to remind you to pay particular attention to shade and water for any animals under your care as it is finally hot!  GN

I would like to talk about the politics of parking your car. Politics
usually brings to mind the management of counties or cities but it
can also be used to describe how people relate to each other in
society. On-street parking is quite well defined with colored curbs
and signs, although some folks go “selectively blind” around such
signs or insist that that these signs are meant for other,
less-important people. The real creative minds, the great
free-thinkers, remove themselves from streets and roads when they want to truly flirt with their own insanity by finding harbor for
their car in a private lot-the lawless wild west of parking.

First off, one law that does apply to privately-held parking lots is
handicapped parking. If you see a signed and blue painted spot in a
lot then you may not park there unless you have the proper
handicapped signage for your vehicle. Law enforcement may ticket you for this and if I find you first the cost of the ticket may seem like the easy way out.

Private lots are highly-unregulated and here is where the creative
among us really pop. I frequent Pennington Main in Thief River Falls, Minnesota at least daily and find some real Picasso’s in the parking lot. I especially love the folks who park at every juxtaposition in front of the building. A large vehicle may have to park at an angle but most of us can park at 90 degrees to the building and make the most of the space available. I’ve also watched pick-ups with trailers park the full length in front of the building leaving mere scraps for the rest of us. Pick-up and trailer combinations should park on the street, although I realize laws regulating such street parking remove all of the fun of the anarchy enjoyed by some in a parking lot.

I have a suggestion for those trying to get in better shape, park
further away from the front door of the store you’re visiting. Hugo’s
has a nice big lot which would work well towards this end. I’ve
noticed many people miss this fact as they like to park either in the
fire lane or on top of the yellow slash lines that clearly mark an
area not meant for parking. I used to be more understanding about
folks who park on the yellow lines as I thought they must be older
and have trouble walking; however recently I’ve observed that most of them are young and could use a little parking lot exercise. As far as those of you who like to park in the fire lane, please know
that unless the vehicle you are driving is painted red, has a
Dalmatian on board and is marked “Fire Truck” then you have no
business in the fire lane-even if you’re just “running in quick.”

Here’s a simple rule for parking lots; be decent. Take your time,
make eye contact, let the other guy go first and use some common
sense. Also, remember that the rules insurance companies use to
determine liabilities in an accident are pretty much the same as they use on public roads. Yeah, think about that next time you decide to race another vehicle for a choice spot in the no parking zone.

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