Park one, park all?

Last time I checked car parks are for everyone not just one or two. It’s called a public car park for a reason, if it was a private car park there would be a gate on it.

598299Car park is the term my dear friend from the UK uses to refer to parking lots, and I’ve come to adopt the term myself. (It also seems to be the perfect term for this post.) Just as we encounter in city parks, even dog parks, some visitors are better behaved than others. We also find that some visitors are more keenly aware of their surroundings and more interested in respecting the other visitors to the park. After all it is a public park. The same seems to hold true in car parks.

Over the last several months many of my friends have shared their frustrations, some even with pictures via their Facebook pages related to their car park experiences. For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of their stories and pet peeves. It might even be food for thought in some cases. Believe me, this is the short list. As we go through these stories and peeves, where do you fall?

So without further delay lets start with just a few of the pet peeves that continue to be shared:

  • Folks returning to their cars to find that the car next to them is parked so close that it is next to impossible to get into their car. (How did the person who parked the car so close get out of the car?)
  • Cars that refuse to stop in the crosswalks when there are people or even worse people with children or pets in the crosswalk. (If you are in such a hurry that you can’t wait the few seconds it will take for someone to cross, why don’t you turn up the aisle before the crosswalk? Or drive along the backside of the lot?)
  • Cars that are parked across several spots or straddling their spot. (If your car or cargo is so precious then might we suggest you park further away from the others? Or how about you take to shopping only in places that have a drive-thru?)
  • Shoppers who refuse to return their carts to the place allotted for cart return and leave them in the spots next to theirs or even worse up against another car in the lot. (What if you came out to find your car had become the spot for cart returns and there were more than several up against your car?) trashcan
  • People who collect the trash in their car carefully place in a bag and then leave it next to the curb or the parking space they are exiting. Or how about the people who are walking their dogs in the car parks and allow the dogs to poop and don’t pick it up? (How difficult is it to just drop your trash in its proper place? What if someone gathered up their trash and started leaving it in your driveway?)

Lets move on to some of the incidents that have been shared with me over the past few weeks:

  • One friend was in her car with her son, preparing to back out of her space and a car pulled in next to her. When the person in that car went to open their car door to get out, they hit her car so hard it actually shook her car. As if that wasn’t enough, when it was kindly pointed out that person had hit my friend’s car, the person denied it. The culprit even got cranky with my friend and marched off in a huff.
  • How about this? Another friend was loading the last of her groceries into her car when someone pulled up and proceeded to wait for her spot. Quickly my friend finished putting her groceries away and then proceeded to take the cart to the cart return area. (Just a few steps away) The person waiting for the spot began to honk their  horn and motion for my friend to hurry up and to just leave the cart in the empty spot close by. (If the spot is so close why couldn’t the honker just park there?)

Before we close, I want to share one more incident that might be humorous but infuriating as well. And if I didn’t know the person sharing it with me, I might not believe it. But true story here:

you_parked_a_little_too_close_to_my_car_stickers-rc43a1975a84d41ccab48cff227757ea0_v9waf_8byvr_512A girlfriend went to a business meeting. When she pulled into her spot there was the customary space between her car and those on either side of her. Upon returning to her car, she discovered that the cars parked on either side of her had left. And the cars that were now parked on either side were parked entirely too close. After a few minutes of trying to figure out a way to get into her car via the driver or even passenger doors it became evident that it was impossible. She waited a few more minutes to see if either of the owners would return to their car… no such luck. Thankfully, her car has a hatch not a trunk. So she proceeded to climb in through the hatch. About halfway into the car, she began to hope that she wasn’t flashing anyone. Remember she was here for a business meeting and wearing a skirt not pants. After the gymnastics that was required to make it into the drivers seat, she was ready to leave. Deep breath, whew she’s now ready to go. However ,as she began to back out she discovered that backing out of the space was almost as frustrating as it was to get into her car. However, there was no other way out than to very carefully, patiently and slowly back out and head on her way…finally!

So as we wrap up our time together, I’m guessing you find yourself identifying with one or more of these peeves or stories. So the question becomes which side do you find resonating with you? If we wrote citations inside these car parks would you be a giver or a receiver of these citations? Would you like to share some of your own stories? I’d love to hear them.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Hile April 3, 2014 at

My parking story…

I had the misfortune to drive our school’s twelve-passenger van to a symphony concert downtown. Traffic made us late, and I discovered that parking spots were set aside only for school buses, not vans. So I was on my own for parking. This meant finding a parking structure.

Turns out that many structures in downtown Portland have low (6 ft 6 in) clearance. When I finally found one that we could enter, the spaces were for midget cars. Up and up we went, searching for a space that was long enough. Down and down came the ceiling height! Soon the antennae was bending back. Not touching the cement ceiling, but bending. Should I add that the van was filled with middle school boys?

“Aaaaieee,” they yelled, yes, like girls. “It’s … Inception!

And that freaked me out. Because it kind of was.

I beat a hasty retreat, afraid that I would end up scraping the top of the van. The parking lot attendant didn’t charge us. The shake of his head was enough.

A great story. Now that its’ over.

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Robyn April 3, 2014 at

Laura, this is a great story! However, I am guessing when you were in the middle of it – a good story had to be the furthest thing from your mind. Thank you for sharing it!

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dsimorte April 3, 2014 at

I share all of these peeves, and if I were being honked at to hurry up and leave so someone could have my parking spot, I believe I’d take a nice slow walk.

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