Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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parking regulations

make it so that you can't park in New York City
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
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Oh you've got trouble,right here in Manhattan with a capital M which ryhmes with them which stands for people driving and polluting the streets. My suggestion is the people who regulate where people are allowed to park make it so that you can not park at all in New York City. Only through traffic,patrolling tow trucks, police cars, trucks loading goods into stores, and buses would be allowed to roam the endless catacombs of blacktop. to help facilitate these changes we should also make maps and change machines at every bus stop.
Hmm. I didn't write this. Probably my son Tim (age 12) used my account [I recognize his sense of humor and spelling], since this was a dinner-table discussion topic one day last week, while we were on our Christmas vacation in New York. What kicked off the conversation was that out-of-towners have a lot more trouble with the buses than the subways, because it's harder to figure out where the buses go, and the exact-change rule discourages casual use. We kicked around a bunch of ways of encouraging use of the buses, including the above.
td, Dec 30 2000


       Let's move this idea and make it a little less ethnocentric--after all, there IS life beyond New York, though it may not be all that interesting or fun. Parking is a problem in many cities, I'm sorry to say. Personal experience suggests Boston is sheer hell and Atlanta, where I currrently live, is bad because there's a whole ticket conspiracy. So here's what I propose (other than efficient pulic transportation, which seems to be too much to ask): Let's replace our clunky, probematic and danger-inviting cars with Hoppity-Hops! Insurance would be minimal, wrecks would be fun (remember bumper cars?), and it'd take four days to get to work, which means a one-day work week. Sure, we'd look silly hopping our way up the interstate, but who cares? It's much safer, and that joyful little burst of nostalgia is probably worth it. Wrecks are no big deal and, when it's time to park, you simply deflate your vehicle.
rachele, Jan 03 2001

       I spelled :"public" incorrectly and I probably screwed up a lot of other stuff, but ignore that. Too much booze and too many ideas that seem viable right now. But hell, let's have fun with all your ideas. As for the parking thing, here's a nifty solution:   

       When I lived in Boston, I saw a lady solve this problem with sheer ingenuity. I lived in the North End, where parking spaces were at a premium. One had to wait FOREVER to park streetside. One day, I saw this lady get out of a car, which drove off, and she pretended to have some sort of fit right in front of an empty space. She did this whole dramatic act and fell down right there on the side of a busy street. Others where waiting for that particular space, but what were they going to do? Here was this poor lady having what appeared to be some sort of attack. The driver left; she simply fell down in her fur coat and acted like something was terribly wrong. Her partner, the driver, drove around the block, and she--who had warded off the other vultures seeking a parking space--suddenly jumped up and motioned him into the space she had been "saving." Her little "attack" was miraculously over and now she was guiding the driver into a very convenient parking space.   

       I think ingenuity sometimes takes very simple forms. Clearly, this wasn't an "invention," but in a way, it was. Parking problems will forever plague us, just as tasteless tomatoes, solicitors and hangovers will. But here was this lady in her fur coat who'd found a way around things. Now THAT'S invention.
rachele, Jan 03 2001

       They've already made it so you can't park in San Francisco. First they built streets on 45-degree hills. Then they imposed exorbitant fines for parking on the streets for longer than 15 seconds -- that is, if your brakes don't fail and your cars don't roll down the hill into the Bay. Finally, the parking garages got together and started charging $50 an hour to park. It does nothing to keep cars out of the city. What you have to do is to ban cars completely and/or improve public transportation so you don't need a car to get around town.
arghblah, Jan 05 2001, last modified Mar 28 2001

       $5 an hour? Is that supposed to be high or something? That's pathetic. We have plenty of lots here that charge more than that, and I've seen lots in NYC that charge six times that much.
egnor, Jan 06 2001


       Sorry for the confusion. Let me explain it a little better. In Boston, or at least in the North End, cars actually circle around for an hour or so looking for a space. Otherwise, drivers are forced to shell out insane amounts of cash just to park. In this case, someone had JUST pulled out of this particular space, leaving it empty, so she jumped out of the car she happened to be riding in (the car was doing the "vulture" bit, but it was caught in traffic--it couldn't just pull over), and then she planted herself in the newly empty space. That's when she had her "fit" and "fainted" (or whatever it was)--but suddenly she magically "recovered" when the driver had circled around and got to the space. When she saw her driver approach, that's when she jumped up and motioned him into the space.   

       Now THAT's desperate. Especially when you consider that Boston has a relatively decent mass transit system, unlike Atlanta, where it's a nightmare.
rachele, Jan 07 2001

       The real issue is that the city doesn't charge market rate for parking stalls...
egnor, Jan 07 2001

       PeterSealy, your link only works for WSJ subscribers. (Yeah, I know, free 30 day trial, but still.) Can you summarise the relevant parts instead?
jutta, Jan 12 2001

       And the very best idea: demolish NY and start again.
jetckalz, Jan 12 2001


       You are absolutely right. Boston's transit system is incredible, especially by comparison. Atlanta's is absolutely horrible. I won't even go into the head-cases, like the one who spent the entire bus ride picking his nose and examining his fingernails like he'd just extracted a ruby or something. I know you get that sort of thing everywhere, but at least in Boston, you get to your destination the same day--and without the B.O., beepers and all the other requisite gross-out stuff.
rachele, Jan 19 2001


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