On Street Parking: Pros and Cons

City street parking has many downsides, as anyone living in a city without a parking space knows, but I was thinking about it, and realized there are plus sides too. Maybe it’s the whole half full/half empty dichotomy, but here’s what I came up with:

Con: no assigned parking space, time wasted looking for a spot

Pro: I get to know the neighborhood, find new streets I hadn’t previously been on, and see what is there! As in any neighborhood, things change. New grafitti, new abandoned furniture, and new businesses go in. It is good to see these changes, be knowledgeable about them.


Con: frequently have to park a couple blocks away

Pro: I get my exercise in, walking up and down the hills of the neighborhood to get to my car. What with waiting for traffic lights to change and give the walk signal, I sometimes need to add 10 minutes to a commute, just to include time to get to my car.


Con: With anti-gridlock rules, street meters and street sweeping, you have to know how long a car can stay in that particular spot before it must be moved again.

Pro: This is an active memory game. In two years, I have never gotten a parking ticket or even towed for forgetting where I am parked, only for not waking up when the alarm goes off. So on a daily basis, before falling asleep, I must visualize where I am parked, to know when I MUST wake up and move the car by. Or, conversely, when parking, I must remember what my schedule is as to when I will next move my car, to know on which street and spot are the best where to park.

Yes, I do suffer from the scenario offered in sitcoms set in New York City, where people actually refuse to do something fun, because it would mean sacrificing their fabulous parking spot. The worst nights are if I am out late Wednesday or Thursday, because everyone is vying for the free parking spots not effected by the streetsweepers the next day. Usually I have to park in a metered spot, or the street sweep side, guaranteed to have to move the car the next day.

Interestingly enough, none of this was obvious when I had a job that started at 7 am, and was still at when the street sweepers came. I always used to park in the same metered spot that no one else wanted, because I knew I would be gone by the time it was illegal and possible to be towed if still there after 7.  It was almost like I had an assigned spot, half a block away and facing the direction I needed to go. Back then, it was the weekends I feared finding a spot, since the meters are still running on Saturday. There are cars that only move once a week, when the street sweepers come. These days, I am one of those people.

Then again, if I would just renounce my car using ways, none of this would be an issue. Repent, oil-consumer-sinner, repent!

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