Magazine

Point of View

Philly, Parents, P2 and PIE

John Van Horn

Yes, by the time you read this, Thanksgiving will be history and Christmas will be upon us. All of us here at Parking Today wish all of you the very best of holiday seasons. Here’s to you…
I just love it when a politician takes Claude Rains’ line from “Casablanca” – you know: “I’m shocked, shocked to find there is gambling going on here [at Rick’s]” – just as he is handed his winnings...
As usual, most of the hue and cry in Philly is about money. Seems the parking authority has raised salaries and increased its staff, but the amount of money going to the local schools and the city has remained constant. They are calling for an audit.
The governor is “shocked” at the political patronage, and politicians are staking out positions on both sides of the issue.
But as you read the local press, you find that as with most government issues, it’s all about the money, and who gets it. The schools say they are due more and it should come from the piece that goes to the city. The city says it can’t because the amount it gets covers a budget shortfall. And everyone says all the governor has to do is write a letter and all will be well.
Oh, please. Whenever there is a lot of money and the government is involved, even a quasi-government such as a parking authority, an eagle eye has to be kept on the entire operation. This is particularly true when the folks running the operation have an (R) or a (D) after their names that that party affiliation is more important than running a tight ship.
The Ds were thrown out a few years ago to “clean up the parking authority,” and now the Rs are being accused of the same or worse.
I reiterate what I said earlier – let’s get the politics out of parking and focus on caring for this valuable resource. Can you imagine what our parks would look like if they were run by one or the other of our political parties?
I have no clue what the “truth” is in Philadelphia, but it really makes no difference. The parking operation is run by politicians, and it’s awash with money, and that always causes a problem.
***
Yuppie parents in New York City are up in arms because the cops are ticketing their cars that are double-parked in front of a nursery school while they are inside picking up their kids. So?
It seems to me they deserve what they get. Double-parking is a pain to everyone – to pedestrians, kids walking to school, and of course to drivers who have to move around the cars double-parked on the streets.
What I can’t understand is why the school, parents and local authorities haven’t sat down together and tried to work out a plan. Some ideas:
1. Cut a deal with that church or business down the block to let the parents park there.
2. Find a spot nearby and shuttle the kids over there.
3. Give the parents “exact times” to pick up their kids – say, three minutes apart – and have a “standing zone” outside school where parents can wait and the school can bring the kids to the cars, rather than vice versa.
Well, you get the idea – there are solutions if people want to try to find them. However, they would rather complain about the “parking Nazis” and tear up tickets and get their pictures in the paper.
Doesn’t surprise me a bit.
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I have been seeing billboards all over town hawking the latest horror thriller – “P2 – a new level of fear.” Naturally, it’s all about the parking structure that ate Toledo – well, almost ...
I, being the most knowledgeable in all things odd about parking, plus living in the heart of Hollywood, have been given a peek at the script and find that a parking attendant kidnaps and tortures a woman he has been stalking for months. She escapes his grasp, but not the grasp of the garage.
Just another day in Parking Paradise.
For those who missed the “one sheet,” we have printed it nearby, the Photoshop insert of yours truly is courtesy of Jeff Wolfe:
For anyone who cares, my guess is that you have never heard of anyone in this movie, nor anyone associated with the movie. However, I have trouble if the lead isn’t Harrison Ford.
We had a feature last month on this very topic – fear of garages, not torture – in the November issue of PT. Melissa Sterzick, or new columnist on all things parking from the distaff point of view, held forth on fear and garages. Once again, Parking Today is ahead of the headlines.
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The Parking Industry Exhibition is upon us, and elsewhere in this month’s edition, the complete information is revealed. Due to scheduling issues, we didn’t hold PIE last year and were roundly criticized for it. This year, we are back and in spades. The hotel has been completely renovated; the presentations are focused and fresh.
We have set the dates at March 30, March 31 and April 1. The place is the same – the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago, right at the airport. The cost is well within all budgets. It’s short, compact, and gives you the information and networking that you need.
See you in Chicago.

Article Abstract from December, 2007




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