August 22, 2008, - 2:05 pm

Are You Tired of Special Parking Spaces?: Hybrid Drivers the Latest So Anointed

By Debbie Schlussel
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of the gazillion special classes of people for whom parking spaces are reserved.
We began with handicapped spots. Fine. People with disabilities, I understand that. I feel bad for their physical misfortunes . . . though many of the people I see using those aren’t actually handicapped (a lot of fraud there). And it’s hard on businesses who have small lots, very few spaces, and must provide the mandated number of empty spots that rarely go used.
Then, there were the “expectant mother” and “mother to be” spots. In many cases, those are the women who probably need the most exercise of walking across the lot, as they’ve eaten more ice cream than pickles.
And don’t forget the “employee of the month” parking spot at many retail giants.


Now, the latest is hybrid-only spaces at Home Depot, Office Depot, and Ikea. Completely annoying, especially when you consider that many hybrids are neither cheaper nor do they save much gas. Why do they deserve special treatment while we search in vain for an empty parking space within a mile of the front door?
I wonder what would happen to me if I parked in a hybrid spot (I don’t drive a hybrid). Would Ikea’s green-nazis give me a ticket? Would they not let me purchase their pressed particle-board contemporary splendor? (For the record, I like modern furniture, and while I dislike Ikea’s lefty policies and gazillionaire hypocrite owner, I love the furnishings.)
What’s next–special parking spots for illegal aliens, the non-English speaking, Muslims, vegan lesbian yoga teachers who were artificially inseminated?
Don’t laugh. At least some of these are likely in our future.
A business is free to do what it wants to attract customers. But sooner or later, people will grow tired of a retailer that deals in cheap chic but engages in tactics, which repeatedly elevate certain political classes.
It’s a bad way to do business. And eventually, it backfires.

10 Responses

HA HA HA HA!!!!!!
This reminds me of the mother of all flame wars. You see Debbie, I’m a LEED AP; annointed by the U.S. Green Building Council as an “expert” on sustainable construction. (FYI, the word “expert” is a license to violate your common sense. Remember where you heard that first!) Anyway, you can google “LEED” for more information.
So lemme tell ya a story. About 3 years ago, I had just gotten my LEED acreditation and was designing my first LEED building. At the time, LEED gave you a point for having specially designated parking spots complete with a charging station for electric cars. There was just one little problem: there was no UL or otherwise listed WEATHERPROOF device for charging electric vehicles. All of them had to be indoors and/or sheltered.
So the USGBC has its bulletin board where all the LEED AP’s comment on the scoring system and such. Some of the sparkies asked whether putting a typical outdoor GFI duplex receptacle (the kind you typically have on the outside of your home) at a parking spot qualified for the LEED credit. The tree-huggers at the USGBC said “Nuh-uh! No way! It must be a legitimate electric vehicle recharging device.” Thus started one of the greatest flame wars I’ve ever witnessed amongst professionals.
Electrical Engineers like myself were screaming: “What part of ‘No such thing exists!’ do you not understand?” (I assure you I did not participate. I merely witnessed it.)
This did not stop some architects from taking the LEED point for electric vehicle parking spots. They would simply run a branch circuit out to a typical outdoor receptacle (like the one outside your house) and put up a sign that said: “Electric Vehicle Recharging Station”. They took the point and hoped they wouldn’t get audited.
Ultimately, the elitists at the USGBC got the message and changed their scoring system to include “alternatively powered vehicles” or something like that. In other words, hybrids were now allowed to use these spots as well as flex fueled vehicles. In fact, for the past 2 years GM has been putting a cute little Flex Fuel tag on the trunks of all their flex fueled cars in order to allow people to park in these spots unmolested.
So alls well that ends well (unless you “cheated” and get audited). All in the name of “global warming”.
Imagine if we just spent this kind of effort and human energy developing alternative fuels and propulsion systems for motor vehicles!
BTW, you gotta hook up with Dr. Robert Zubrin one of these days. Dr. Zubrin explains why a conservation-only strategy is a BIG WIN for the Saudi Jihadists.
Here’s his powerpoint presentation. Please check it out if you have time. You can skim past the Jihad slides since you already know all about that. Get to the energy slides. This guy really knows his stuff!
TINSC (aka There is NO Santa Claus)

There is NO Santa Claus on August 22, 2008 at 3:23 pm

This topic drives me crazy and it’s one which personally affects me.
Luxury vs. Necessity.
I have to use a wheelchair to get around in my daily living, therefore I’m mobility impaired. Just because someone is “disabled” doesn’t mean they need to use a wheelchair, yet that’s what I see mostly to and from these spots.
Same thing at the airport everyone wants the wheelchair to get on the flight, yet as soon as it lands they’re outta there, while I sit there and wait to be carried off.
The doctors don’t get a pass from me either one would think they get a quota for handing these things out like nothing.
One would think it was a privilege whenever I confront someone on this as how indignant they become.

pep84 on August 22, 2008 at 3:24 pm

I have mixed feelings about this. I agree that it is lousy to have all this stupid affirmative action and PC — it gets worse and worse, and I also agree that a lot of the disabilities are phony.
On the other hand, all the hospitals and medical schoools recommend, everything else being equal, that people try to park far from the supermarket, or whatever, so they will get a little exercise to & from the store, the same as using the stairs where possible, instead of the elevator. I always park on the far end of the lot, and when I see these phony affirmative action people, I just keep in mind that many of them are adversely affecting their health, since, everything else being equal, they are cutting down on the amount of exercise.

c f on August 22, 2008 at 3:37 pm

These “special, hybrid vehicle” parking spaces are bogus. There is nothing in the vehicle code in any state or territory that says they can be enforced by citation/fine. You can park your Ford Excursion in that spot any time you like; AND I DO! These lame hybrid vehicle parking spots are here in San Diego at IKEA, Home Depot, & City/County Facilities. I PARK IN THESE SPACES ALL THE TIME!!

Yiddish Steel on August 22, 2008 at 4:09 pm

I would never park any of my perceived guzzlers, e. g., Corvette, Cadillac, Lincoln, in a hybrid spot. Even here in heaven, there are fringe, climate-change adherents who, owning nothing of value themselves, think little of vandalizing the property of others to telegraph their thoughtless outrage. Plus, I’ve been parking my dinosaurs in the lot’s outer limits for years in order to avoid proximity with the unwashed masses who tend to fling open their doors when parked next to upscale vehicles. The ‘vette as a working class dream car is at particular risk. When I was growing up, my focus was on how to get one of my own, not on how to damage someone else’s. I shouldn’t whine, however. It will be a good ten years before any of that stuff shows up over here. Des Moines and the Quad Cities are sullied by proximity to Illinois. We’re safe on the western perimeter.

iowavette on August 22, 2008 at 5:09 pm

P. S. Huck fybrids.

iowavette on August 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm

I just want to take this opportunity to thank you and your fellow Iowans for making all that ethanol I put in my motor vehicle. I’d rather send my automotive fuel dollars to Iowa/Illinois than Saudi Arabia.

There is NO Santa Claus on August 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Does the hybrid space come complete with an outlet for recharging plug-in hybrids?
I was at a state fair yesterday and an energy company had on display a late model Prius with a $10K plug in modification . Could this be the reason for the new ‘privilege’/need?

heroyalwhyness on August 22, 2008 at 5:27 pm

I have a handicap sticker and I sometimes park in the women & children spot. I’d park in the Hybrid spot if there wasn’t a handicap spot. fyi: I have trouble walking far, but I don’t always use my cane – so sometimes it seems like I’m not disabled. Yes there is fraud but sometimes the disability is not visible.
Worse than fraud with a handicap sticker is folks without a sticker who park in the HC spot leaving someone in the car – as if that makes it okay.
Worse fraud I saw in Niantic CT. I was circling for a spot – any spot – because the HC’s were taken. The young man that was jogging, jogs right into the car parked in the HC spot. It looked like it was his mother’s car that he used and when he couldn’t find a spot, took the HC spot.

sandy on August 22, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Debbie, I made a trip to my local JCC the other day. I’ve never seen so many reserved parking spots. It wasn’t just handicapped, it was a number of specific individuals including staff, board members and donors. It seemed obnoxious to me, and I bet YMCA’s aren’t like that.

Anonymous1 on August 22, 2008 at 8:06 pm

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