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Why Do They Do It?
Parking Lots

By Patrick - 11-07-02

Well, I have been noticing quite troubling choices and actions made by the average person driving on the roads. Whether the driving is on the highways, parking lots, or even residential streets there seems to be a marked propensity towards a lack of common sense. The most basic of rules and ideals of courtesy are constantly ignored in favor of selfishness (and sometimes, frankly, idiocy).  Perhaps some light may be shed upon what I am remarking about with some examples:

Parking Lots

There are some simple rules in parking lots: entrances from main roads always have the right of way unless there are traffic signs dictating otherwise, follow the arrows for direction of travel, solid lines and the end of an aisle indicate STOP, and put your cart away!  I remember an instance when I witnessed someone leave their shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot (I guess they were too lazy to be bothered with moving the carts out of the way) and then that cart rolled right into their car!  I began to laugh hysterically as I noticed a small dent and portion of paint fall off (the cart had a sharp edge). The owner of the vehicle didnít think it was funny but when I pointed out that they caused the damage to their own vehicle through their laziness they had nothing further to say to me.  

One of my biggest pet peeves used to be direction of travel. If I ever noticed you driving the wrong way in my lane (in a one way lane) I would purposely position my vehicle so that you could not pass me.  I would then wait patiently for the person driving the wrong way to back up... Iíd even start honking the horn at them if necessary (Yes, I AM that much of an ass). It is also quite entertaining to watch someone drive down the lane in the wrong direction and then try to park their SUV (or similar large vehicle). Due to the angle of the parking they sit there for 10 minutes driving back and forth trying to fit between two cars parked correctly and still end up parked crooked in a manner that partially blocks both the other cars.  

Now my biggest pet peeve, since I moved to Washington , is the compact car parking. I prefer compact cars for increased performance and gas mileage so I was pleased to see that the state of Washington prefers to offer up parking spots specifically for me. Imagine the shock when I am trying to squeeze into these small spots between full-size conversion vans and ĺ ton pickups with dualies in the rear. What were they thinking? I had then lost all hope since I remembered how often the police monitored parking lots in Texas when all of a sudden a local police officer appeared. It was such a joyous moment to see these behemoths receive their just rewards for parking in the wrong spot.  [in case you were wondering... yes, I intend to just continue with one immense paragraph unless someone sees fit to re-edit this] (This paragraph has been re-edited - Michael)

How about those people who sit there waiting for 30 minutes to get a close parking spot? If I ever obtain close parking I like to sit in the car with it in reverse (to light the reverse lights) for about 10-15 minutes before I leave just to see if they will wait for me. It doesnít make any sense... are they afraid of a little exercise? I noticed a spot three cars back but the lady still wanted the closest spot possible. I hope they arenít trying to save time because all they do is waste gas to keep from walking the extra 15 feet. I sometimes think I would have had time to go inside, shop, and leave before some of those ďwaitersĒ find parking that is suitable for them.

Another point of interest to me is how there will be stop signs positioned to allow traffic from a highway to enter un-impeded. The stop signs will be for the parking lot traffic and the entering traffic will have the right of way with NO signs whatsoever. Now what happens here? As Iím sure you might have guessed already (or witnessed) the people without traffic control signs come to complete stops (I could understand yielding as Iíve seen the way people drive) while the traffic with the stop signs just keeps moving as if they donít have a stop sign. What happens next? Well, then we get traffic backed up onto the highway access road and maybe even the highway... while of course the people running the stop signs are probably the same people complaining about highway traffic jams in other instances when they are contributing to such in this case. Well, I guess Iíll just have to deal with it until we start having cars that can valet themselves.

-Patrick

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