This is equal parts an etiquette related question and a rant about the willfully inconsiderate behavior that people exhibit and which adversely impacts others in already stressful situations. The commuter train station close to my home is currently expanding its parking lot to include a large, covered lot that in the long term, will greatly alleviate the horrible parking spot drought from which it currently suffers. At this time last year, arriving after 8:30am generally meant that you would not find a spot. Commuters adjusted their schedules accordingly. However, at the moment, the situation has become quite unbearable:
1. Now that there is construction on-going, one full row of spots adjacent to the work site is out of commission for safety reasons.
2. Given that the construction workers need to park somewhere and likely arrive early, that’s several more spots unavailable to train commuters.
3. We’ve been having a spate of inclement weather with colder temperatures and more relevantly, a fair bit of snow this winter. They are optimistically describing this as a “classic winter” but what it really means is that we have been spoiled with milder weather for the last 10-15 years and now Old Man Winter is back with a vengeance ?. Presumably, in order to efficiently clear snow when required, there are two snow plows permanently parked in the lot, taking up a further 8 spots.
4. Lots of snow means the big piles of packed snow and ice shoveled off the roads and the rest of the parking lot, taking up yet more viable spots.
5. There is a bank of 12 carpool spots at the front of the lot. These are free to anyone after 9:30am. Generally, if I was unable to be at the station by 8:30, I would delay my arrival until 9:30am in order to legally park in a carpool spot. Until recently, there have been 4-5 still available at 9:30, or at least 1-2 on the odd busier day. Now, they are all gone by 8:30. One explanation could be that the number of carpoolers has gone up. More likely though, desperate people are “risking it” in order to make their trains.
All in all, the condition is pretty dire. Everyone is suffering and we understand that it’s short term pain for longer term gain. However, a bit of consideration from fellow commuters would go a long way towards improving things or at the very least, not worsening them. What prompted me to write was my mounting feeling of desperation as I scoured the lot for a parking spot today. I was later than usual and expected to have trouble but not to see the senseless waste of perfectly good parking spots thanks to morons who don’t know how to park. This is what I saw today:
1. One end spot taken by a dumpster (sad Christmas ? ) parked very close to the dividing line between spots. Fine, can’t do anything about that. Perfectly viable spot was available next to the dumpster, only, I couldn’t park in it because the moron on the other side had parked on the yellow line also, leaving a ton of space on his other side. I could have gotten my car in but would not have been able to get out of the car. I drove away sadly.
2. Another giant idiot parked over the yellow line, effectively taking up two spots. There isn’t enough snow to make the excuse “I couldn’t see the line” a valid one so I have no idea what he/she was thinking.
3. Quite a few angled cars, with angles severe enough that they are closer to or over the line on one side at the front and the other at the back, basically making their neighbors lives hell. People adjust so they can get out of their cars and eventually this results in waste down the row when everyone has adjusted enough.
4. Douchebag with a giant truck, once again, parked almost on the line on one side, inciting that same bad behaviour starting with his neighbor all the way down the line. I get it, large vehicles are harder to park but YOU bought the frakking car, YOU make the effort to park it properly even if it takes you 3 or 4 tries. Don’t make it my problem.
All of the above are problems whether there’s a dearth of parking spots or not. They’re just easier when you can shake your head in disbelief and annoyance before moving your car to another open spot. I’m not really looking for a solution because there isn’t one. How do you make people behave? How do you make them stop to consider the impact of their negligence on others? I’d love to hear coping mechanisms or fun ideas or anything, really…. Otherwise, please join me in a rant! 0129-18