Yuppie says what?Posted: October 13, 2009 | |
I found Mary Schmich’s recent column on the parking meters hilarious and upsetting at the same time. In her column, Schmich explains her preference for the new parking boxes because now she can always find parking.
And parking is easier with the new boxes.
It’s easier to find a spot to park. It’s easier to pay.
It’s also true that parking costs more now. That hurts. But cheap parking isn’t all good. It encourages people to drive and so discourages them from taking public transportation.
It’s all well and good to get people to use public transit, even if that public transportation system is in need of major overhauls. It’s widely known that CTA ridership exceeds capacity during rush hour, that the train bridges are crumbling, and there is no way to transfer between lines except at the loop. Schmich also mentions riding your bike, which would have been a better point in June. In October, during the rain and snow, it’s not quite as practical. Why doesn’t Schmich ride her bike? (Oh, yeah, because she can afford parking.)
Schmich mistakenly assumes the anger is over a 10-second walk, and has clearly not read this piece on how the new parking meter boxes are devastating business on Clark.
It’s true — this is a common complaint — that now you have to walk up the block to get to the box and then walk back.
Fellow citizens, please. Chicago prides itself on being tough. We can’t handle a 10-second walk?
The “10-second walk” is a fairly obvious straw-man argument. When people have complained about the walk, it’s usually been in reference to the possibility of getting a ticket in the time it takes to pay the box.
Schmich’s article unfortunately views the parking problem through her financially secure, well-to-do lifestyle. At a time when most people are struggling with debt, jobless, or at the least trying to pinch pennies wherever possible, Schmich’s column seems staggeringly out of touch. Her article is the mental hoop jumping of a yuppie ignoring the fact that she can park because others can no longer afford to.
Take the train she says! Let them eat cake!