PARKING GARAGE COURTESY

Parking garages are … an invention. Logically, I understand their purpose in cities where space is more coveted than followers. Let’s be honest, they are space savers. You can fit more cars in the same amount of land if you build vertically than you can on a ground level only surface. That’s just common sense. Taller equals more capacity. This is true for houses, ice cream cones, beer glasses, mohawks, the new Starbucks shipping freight container looking stores, anything really. Build up – it’s the future. They say shoot for the stars, so why not start closer to them?

Aside from the logical purpose of these structures, they suck. Basically the seventh level of Dante’s inferno. Never in my life have I been excited about the chance, or the requirement, to park in a garage. Where to even begin? The beautiful concrete architecture? Sure, because apparently we are still in the brutalist movement. They’re all giant striped rectangles made out of the world’s most bland material. Concrete. I’m sure there’s some structural reasoning behind that, but aesthetically? Bleh. You can never miss a parking garage, that’s for sure.

I’m going to give the architects the benefit of the doubt with the material they are limited with. Let’s move on to the next awful thing about the invention of the parking garage. Attendant booths. In other words, a way to charge you for parking. Why? Because how else would we pay for the cost to build the beautiful monstrosity? Does anyone look forward to paying for parking? I mean, you’re paying to leave your car somewhere. Somewhere that is not even responsible for what happens to your vehicle while you’re not in it. What kind of scheme is this?

Design and money are one thing. My main problem with parking garages, though, is how people choose to drive in them. Before driving up that ramp, I would like to know who keeps approving garages that are wide enough for anywhere between 1.25 – 1.5 cars in any given driveable path. If you are building a two way garage, why on Earth would you not make it wide enough for 2 entire vehicles? How is that helpful to anybody? Vehicles do not do well in confined spaces. They are not ninjas. They do not pivot well. They do not recover if bumped into. What is this madness? 

On that note, all garages with blind corners need mirrors. Not mirrors the size of a smartphone, either. Giant, clear, well placed mirrors so you can see oncoming vehicles that will not fit in the space designed for less than 2 cars. Otherwise, it’s just a hope and a prayer. Might as well close our eyes and have Jesus take the wheel all the way up. Up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up until eventually you find a spot in the one area that makes the potential benefit of using a garage disappear. Covered parking would be the one plus. Because, you know, birds have to poop too. But at the top, welp, so sorry you spent money to park in the elements.

I would also like to know why people think it’s ok to drive at city speeds through a garage where there are corners involved and not enough space. Where are you trying to go? There is one way up and one way down. Slow down. Think about your actions. Are you trying to steal the closest space? From who? While you’re at it, stop driving in the middle of the lane! It’s meant for two cars. You are not special. You do not get extra space. Be courteous. STAY IN YOUR LANE. And don’t give me a dirty look when you whip around a corner on my side of the garage and almost hit me. I’m following the rules and you, well nobody knows what you’re doing. Back your driver’s license all the way back to the DMV so you can get a lesson in two way traffic.

So, we’ve trusted our cars to the concrete jungle, spent way too much money to leave it there, successfully navigated the blind corners, dealt with all the questionably licensed drivers, and found a spot. Now, getting out on foot. Why is this always the most complicated thing in the world. Where are all the exits? Why are they so hard to find? Let me be free. But, first, better remember some combination of letters, numbers, colors, and / or symbols or you’ll never see your car again.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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HONKING WON’T MAKE TRAFFIC MOVE ANY FASTER

The car horn can save lives…when used correctly. Unfortunately, like most things with good intentions, it gets abused. Heavily, obnoxiously, unnecessarily abused. Despite popular belief, the sound of a car horn is not pleasant and doesn’t instill feelings of confidence, peace, and joy. No, the car horn usually evokes feelings of panic, fear, and anger. So why do so many drivers think it’s acceptable to play a little horn karaoke during every commute that they take?

This may come as a surprise for our horn-loving friends, but your horn is not all powerful. In fact, it cannot do any of the following:

  • Make ALL the cars in front of the one you’re stopped behind move
  • Clear up an intersection traffic jam
  • Make a lane blocking accident disappear into thin air
  • Change a light from red to green
  • Make a highway parking lot suddenly move
  • Force the pedestrian to walk faster
  • Make the muscle movement to take the foot off the brake and put it on the gas any faster than immediate when the light turns green

If any of those surprise you, or if you just disagree, then you are a horn abuser and need to chill. Clearly you are hoping to accomplish one of those things, right? But you can’t. It’s impossible. That’s not how the car horn works! Let me enlighten you on the PROPER ways to use your horn:

  • To scare the crap out of someone who is trying to merge into your lane, but isn’t paying attention and is about to merge into you
  • To scare the crap out of an oblivious pedestrian who thinks that the crosswalk rules don’t apply to them and just cross the street wherever…even in the middle of traffic
  • To scare the crap out of a driver who is backing up, but not paying attention, and is about to back right into your front bumper
  • To scare the crap out of a pedestrian who doesn’t believe in speed and is literally crawling across the crosswalk for zero reason
  • To scare the crap out of someone who isn’t paying attention to the traffic lights and has been sitting at the green light for more than 5 seconds (because reaction times vary)

In other words, horns are used to scare the crap out of people so they don’t hurt you, or themselves. Otherwise, it just pisses people off and trains them not to pay attention to the piercing, eardrum-bursting, sound that is a horn. So in effect, you horn-happy idiots are making it worse. Do you not get that?! Especially since the state of drivers in this country is already questionable, at best. We don’t need to give them one more excuse to drive like brainless children.

So the next time you’re stuck in traffic, and are late, and have to use the bathroom, and are already in a terrible mood because work, just roll your window down and let the drivers in front of you know how you really feel about sitting on the highway. Save the horn for when it actually counts – to save lives. Words are more powerful than sounds anyways because it allows you to elaborate in a colorful manner and really get your point across. Sounds are interpreted differently by everyone so they might think you’re just honking because you love Jesus. Stop the madness, end the unnecessary honking, and learn how to communicate with others.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to lay on the horn for no reason, pass this along so they can practice verbalizing their thoughts and opinions on me instead of simply using a horrible sound to try and relay a point. Thanks for reading!


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