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wdlove
Jan 3, 2005, 03:02 PM
The Bernardsville, N.J. city council voted last month to increase the size of parking spaces. It is reversing a trend that began in the 1980's to accommodate compact cars. The need is growing to accommodate the large SUV.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-01-02-parking_x.htm

Ugg
Jan 3, 2005, 04:07 PM
I hate it when 1 mondo SUV takes up two or three or sometimes even four parking spaces. It would be nice for them to have their own supersized spaces but it just means less parking for everybody. I say ban them from downtown parking altogether.

wordmunger
Jan 3, 2005, 04:09 PM
What we really need is some way for me to find my "tiny" Passat inbetween all the hulking H2s, Tahoes, and Land Rovers.

combatcolin
Jan 3, 2005, 04:19 PM
If you use more space you should pay more.

If simply put up a sign:

DRIVERS WITH LARGE CARS AND SMALL PENIS'S PARK HERE.

Bobs your uncle, everyone is happy

timmyOtool
Jan 3, 2005, 04:22 PM
If you use more space you should pay more.

If simply put up a sign:

DRIVERS WITH LARGE CARS AND SMALL PENIS'S PARK HERE.

Bobs your uncle, everyone is happy
Thatís precisely why I drive a Geo Metro.

Bigheadache
Jan 3, 2005, 07:12 PM
I don't live in the US but I often wonder about the propensity of Americans to buy really large vehicles. Surely you're not all fat asses? (apart from Timmy, Wordmunger, Ugg, etc)

topicolo
Jan 3, 2005, 07:16 PM
I don't live in the US but I often wonder about the propensity of Americans to buy really large vehicles. Surely you're not all fat asses? (apart from Timmy, Wordmunger, Ugg, etc)

refer to the small penises explanation

timmyOtool
Jan 3, 2005, 07:23 PM
it is interesting that the three people from the States in this thread all drive small cars.

But, anyway to answer your question I think it might have to do with cheap gas, longer car drives, crappy roads and of course small penises. :rolleyes:

wordmunger
Jan 3, 2005, 07:31 PM
I'd say cheap gas and cheap/ample parking.

Mr_Ed
Jan 3, 2005, 07:44 PM
Whatever the reason (SUVs or not), I welcome the idea of providing larger parking spaces. I don't think they are big enough even if you are not driving a truck/SUV. If you drive a coupe instead of a sedan, chances are your doors are "long" compared to a sedan and opening them enough to be able to get in and out comfortably is difficult in many situations. Even worse if the ******* in the next spot happened to park a bit too close to the line. Of course, that NEVER happens ;)

I think they have gone overboard with the trend of trying to cram as many parking spaces into a small area as possible, which is in my opinion, is the real reason for the small spaces. Putting a sign on a section of parking lot that reads "Compact Cars" is just a cop-out. The establishment/shopping mall couldn't care less about how much the looks/value of your car are affected by all the dings and scratches you pick up in the process.

hal0n
Jan 3, 2005, 08:28 PM
it is interesting that the three people from the States in this thread all drive small cars.

But, anyway to answer your question I think it might have to do with cheap gas, longer car drives, crappy roads and of course small penises. :rolleyes:

I don't think anybody would classify the passat as a small car.
:rolleyes:

Here in Taipei the passat is practically a limo, and a small car is a scooter.

I think it's a good move, bigger spaces and less compact car spots. In lower michigan they have these rows of compact car spots reasonably close to the buildings and inevitably it is jammed full of crown vics and SUVs. Lets stop pretending that everyone isn't a jerk. If you drive a truck and you see a good open spot that says "compact cars only". Nothing is stopping you from squeezing in, even if it means that you don't leave enough room on the passenger side for the other person to open their door. There are people who wouldn't feel like that behaviour is acceptable, but I feel like those people are becoming a small minority. So, I say bring on the king size parking spaces... and I can worry less about being able to open my door or getting a dent in my 15 year old miata.

I also like how they said that it could be a limitting factor on building new projects because of the required ration of parking spaces to building size. This also sounds like a good thing to me. It seems like we are getting out of control with the size of things lately. Does anyone remember when a grocery store was less than 2000 sq.ft.?

I can't say that I'm not disappointed by the whole situation... but I also can't say that I live in the US anymore either... so I shouldn't complain.

- Kevin

mactastic
Jan 3, 2005, 09:02 PM
Ah parking - the bane of the planner's existance. Well besides public hearings, but anyway...

Parking is yet another of those issues where thinking big helps. The church down the street isn't using most of it's spaces a good portion of the time. And the local shopping center is likely not full on Sunday mornings. But most likely both places will have a sign that says 'Parking for X use only. All others will be towed." Mixing uses in neighborhoods that aren't centered around a large shopping plaza can benefit them greatly in reducing the number of parking spaces globally by encouraging sharing between users who's peak uses are at different times. Of course the problem is in maintaining sharing agreements over time. And city officials are all too wary of things like this (for good reason) because of the potential downsides. But the potential upsides are that with fewer space dedicated to parking you can provide more room for pedestrian traffic in city areas. You can have narrower streets if you don't need so much street parking. Downtowns in particular benefit from people walking around. Those people spend more money than people driving through.

In my old beachside residence where much of the neighborhood was built in the '40s and '50s and used primarily as a vacation getaway they have a similar problem. Most places have single-car garages at most, and what with the density of permanant residents and the increase in number of cars per household since then, the streets are constantly packed with parked cars, and people jockeying for a good spot near their house. Now the city council has mandated that in order to do work that increases the square footage of your house you must provide a two-car garage and a sidewalk. It puts a huge damper on upgrading the existing stock of houses. But without it, people would build a four-bedroom where a two-bedroom was, and rent out two more rooms and put two or more cars on the street. It's no-win.

wordmunger
Jan 3, 2005, 09:02 PM
I don't think anybody would classify the passat as a small car.



Well, I don't think it's a small car, but it's pretty much the smallest car you ever see here in North Carolina, except for the occasional Mini Cooper. I'd actually like to get a smaller car for my second car, to replace a 10-year-old minivan. That's unheard of in these parts!

Ugg
Jan 3, 2005, 09:50 PM
I have a 2WD Ford Ranger. The other day I was at Costco and just after I pulled into my parking space a monstrous jacked up Ford F350 pulled in next to me. Out came mom, dad and one baby. Boy, they sure need that monster to carry them all around, huh... Anyway, they easily could have stepped onto the hood of my little pickup. Size is relative.

Prior to my Ranger, I had a Saturn Coupe. The mileage was great and all but I hated the fact that the roof of my car was lower than many SUV tires. I couldn't see or be seen and so traded to get better visibility.

Sir_Giggles
Jan 3, 2005, 10:49 PM
I have a Toyota 4-Runner. Gets decent mileage and average size for a SUV. I think I'll get a acura rsx in the future. Vroom vroom.

Abstract
Jan 4, 2005, 01:51 AM
So if you buy an expensive SUV, you get special treatment by getting larger spaces? I hope the spaces are not coincidentally located near the store entrance as well. It would be like the parking spaces designated for people with small children. Its not MY fault they chose to buy large cars, is it?

The remedy isn't to give them larger spaces. If they park in more than 1 parking space, they should get a ticket. They knew the size of their SUV before they bought the car. Deal with it.

Sir_Giggles
Jan 4, 2005, 02:00 AM
Ford is phasing out their largest SUV. I forget the name, I think it was Ford Expedition Extended or the Excursion.

absolut_mac
Jan 4, 2005, 04:10 AM
I hate it when 1 mondo SUV takes up two or three or sometimes even four parking spaces. It would be nice for them to have their own supersized spaces but it just means less parking for everybody. I say ban them from downtown parking altogether.

I'm with Ugg and combatcolin on this one.

And the worst part about these drivers is not their parking IMHO, it's their driving. They haven't a clue as to how wide their vehicles are, so they drive on the wrong side of the street just to make sure that they don't inadvertantly side-swipe cars parked on *their* side :mad:

Sir_Giggles
Jan 4, 2005, 04:14 AM
I'm with Ugg and combatcolin on this one.

And the worst part about these drivers is not their parking IMHO, it's their driving. They haven't a clue as to how wide their vehicles are, so they drive on the wrong side of the street just to make sure that they don't inadvertantly side-swipe cars parked on *their* side :mad:

There goes my dream of owning a Humvee. :mad:

Mr_Ed
Jan 4, 2005, 05:39 AM
So if you buy an expensive SUV, you get special treatment by getting larger spaces? I hope the spaces are not coincidentally located near the store entrance as well. It would be like the parking spaces designated for people with small children. Its not MY fault they chose to buy large cars, is it?

The remedy isn't to give them larger spaces. If they park in more than 1 parking space, they should get a ticket. They knew the size of their SUV before they bought the car. Deal with it.

Where is it written that owning an automobile must be an exercise in difficulty (as in the act of entering/exiting the vehicle with little room between vehicles) or lack of comfort (especially for rear passengers)? Many vehicles out there are not compacts/subcompacts and are not SUVs. The fact is larger vehicles were around long before the gas crisis of the 70's, they are still here today, and they will continue to be whether we like it or not. The problem in this case isn't the larger vehicles, it's making the spaces smaller in the first place since large vehicles never really went away, did they?

Having "small" parking spaces is really a two way street for a small car owner anyway. If someone with a vehicle larger than a compact parks next to you in a narrow spot, there is a greater likelihood your car will be damaged when doors are opened. The remedy is to have larger spaces across the board, just like we used to have. I agree with you about not having "special" sections with different size spaces, be them larger or smaller.

Sir_Giggles
Jan 4, 2005, 05:46 AM
Everybody who opposes fattening parking stalls, buy a SUV! :cool:

EJBasile
Jan 4, 2005, 06:20 AM
I think its a good idea for at least "some" larger parking places. My SUV is not really that big compared to Hummers (even H2s), suberbans, etc. Also think about Sedan that are HUGE: toyota avalon, mercedes s-class, caddis (all those old pople in there giant boats with wheels).

Aeolius
Jan 4, 2005, 07:55 AM
Hopefully having wider parking spaces available will discourage that select breed of brainless idiots, who always park in the loading zone (striped area) of the handicap-designated parking area, from illegally taking space that isn't theirs.

Granted, there are still those clueless imbeciles who leave their shopping carts there or chain their moped to the handicap signs. It's doesn't take owning an SUV to prove to the world that you are devoid of intelligence.

Yes, I drive a Chevy Suburban (it's a company car), but then again I do own a 20-acre farm and need the option of 4-wheel drive in case of inclement weather, to get to work (owners are expected to show up when it snows. Go figure).

SilentPanda
Jan 4, 2005, 09:05 AM
I hate it when 1 mondo SUV takes up two or three or sometimes even four parking spaces.

Wow. I've never ever in my life seen this happening. Maybe if somebody buys a new car and they don't want it dinged or whatever they'll park at the far end of the lot and straddle some spaces so people can't park next to them but... that's not SUV specific...

srobert
Jan 4, 2005, 10:02 AM
Let's just put rubber bumpers on car doors. Another problem solved. ^_^

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 4, 2005, 10:10 AM
If you use more space you should pay more.

If simply put up a sign:

DRIVERS WITH LARGE CARS AND SMALL PENIS'S PARK HERE.

Bobs your uncle, everyone is happy

Amen!

And there should be fines that equal Handicap Parking violations for those that use "compact car" parking spaces.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 4, 2005, 10:12 AM
I don't live in the US but I often wonder about the propensity of Americans to buy really large vehicles. Surely you're not all fat asses? (apart from Timmy, Wordmunger, Ugg, etc)

Simply it is called "status". The larger the vehicle, the "better off" you appear to others.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 4, 2005, 10:18 AM
I have a 2WD Ford Ranger. The other day I was at Costco and just after I pulled into my parking space a monstrous jacked up Ford F350 pulled in next to me. Out came mom, dad and one baby. Boy, they sure need that monster to carry them all around, huh... Anyway, they easily could have stepped onto the hood of my little pickup. Size is relative.

Prior to my Ranger, I had a Saturn Coupe. The mileage was great and all but I hated the fact that the roof of my car was lower than many SUV tires. I couldn't see or be seen and so traded to get better visibility.

My Subaru Baja has you beat there in width. Though the length puts me out of the compact car parking. Had two different Rangers, both extended cabs ('93 and a '98). The poor quality of the '98 pushed me towards a Civic, and then towards the Baja.

makisushi
Jan 4, 2005, 10:26 AM
If you use more space you should pay more.

If simply put up a sign:

DRIVERS WITH LARGE CARS AND SMALL PENIS'S PARK HERE.

Bobs your uncle, everyone is happy


Such hatred...

makisushi
Jan 4, 2005, 10:28 AM
Simply it is called "status". The larger the vehicle, the "better off" you appear to others.


That isn't neccesarily true.
I have a Hummer H2, but I didn't buy it to show it off.
If someone wants to buy a certain car more power to them. I am not going to judge someone by the car they drive.

Mr_Ed
Jan 4, 2005, 10:32 AM
Simply it is called "status". The larger the vehicle, the "better off" you appear to others.

Get real! By that logic, someone driving a $28,000 Ford Crown Victoria looks like he's "better off" than a guy driving a $50,000 Porsche Boxster. :rolleyes:

"Status" is not necessarily the reason for someone wanting a larger vehicle. Is it really that hard to acknowledge that some people just don't want to cram 3 passengers in a back seat without having one of them lose a leg due to lack of circulation :D

rainman::|:|
Jan 4, 2005, 10:33 AM
makisushi: If not for appearance, why on earth did you buy a hummer? Which branch of the military are you in? Or do you do heavy contracting work? Please don't tell me something inane like, you need something to go down dirt roads for fishing. The Hummer, for civilians, is totally and utterly useless in terms of it's own bloated, disgusting excess.

The remedy isn't to give them larger spaces. If they park in more than 1 parking space, they should get a ticket. They knew the size of their SUV before they bought the car. Deal with it.

Good call. I get so sick of seeing spots wasted because *******s in big trucks take space... Hell, even if the truck isn't too wide for the space, they'll still park 3 feet to the right of the space. Then everyone parks around them, and when they leave, the whole row is a mess. 10 spots but only 7 cars can park there. Because old Jimmy over there can't be bothered to guide his guzzler in between two lines.

Other day, I was furiously pissed because of a fight my mom and I were having, and I went to get in my car-- Another car had parked so close to my driver's door, I had to crawl in through the passenger door. So, bearing in mind that my current car is a temporary junker, I opened the door as hard as i could into the other car, rubbing and gouging it, as i snaked my way to leave a rather nasty note under the wiper. I felt good about myself. And the moron in that car now parks in a different lot and just walks to the building :D

paul

makisushi
Jan 4, 2005, 10:47 AM
makisushi: If not for appearance, why on earth did you buy a hummer? Which branch of the military are you in? Or do you do heavy contracting work? Please don't tell me something inane like, you need something to go down dirt roads for fishing. The Hummer, for civilians, is totally and utterly useless in terms of it's own bloated, disgusting excess.

I think the more important question is why do you care?!? If you must know, i race catamarans, and I use it to pull and store my stuff.



Good call. I get so sick of seeing spots wasted because *******s in big trucks take space... Hell, even if the truck isn't too wide for the space, they'll still park 3 feet to the right of the space. Then everyone parks around them, and when they leave, the whole row is a mess. 10 spots but only 7 cars can park there. Because old Jimmy over there can't be bothered to guide his guzzler in between two lines.

Other day, I was furiously pissed because of a fight my mom and I were having, and I went to get in my car-- Another car had parked so close to my driver's door, I had to crawl in through the passenger door. So, bearing in mind that my current car is a temporary junker, I opened the door as hard as i could into the other car, rubbing and gouging it, as i snaked my way to leave a rather nasty note under the wiper. I felt good about myself. And the moron in that car now parks in a different lot and just walks to the building :D

paul

After reading this, I would suggest anger management. Desctruction of personal property is a crime.

mactastic
Jan 4, 2005, 11:28 AM
All of you who are wanting larger spots, are you also willing to circle the lot 'sharking' for a spot? Are you OK with not being able to park in a lot at certain times, but rather having to park farther away and walk in?

That's the trade off you're talking about. More space per space = Less total spaces available.

I know when I was in college there was terminal debate about parking. Never enough of it. And I went to an Ag school, so there were plenty of larger vehicles in the lots all the time, and the spaces were already small. At peak times of the day it could be a half-hour of scouring the lot looking for a place to park. Waste of time and gas. And someone would always complain 'How come they sell so many parking permits for so few spaces?' Well, because otherwise you'd have to lottery off or sell off the spaces, and someone who lives far away risks having quarters where you can't park on campus at all, any time even when the lots AREN'T full.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't make spaces bigger. But understand the consequences of reducing the available parking stock, which is what larger spaces mean. Either that or increased cost of development or decreased size of retail space. TANSTAAFL.

Timelessblur
Jan 4, 2005, 11:34 AM
well there is also another way they do it and control parking permint. At my schools for the dorm lots they do not over sell it. They sell only the number of permits they have and it first come first served. order to late you get stuck wiht a commiter pass and they only sell a limited number of thoses as well for the oncampus lot (the satilight lot well they will never sell that one out). For the on campus one they sell a little more than they have spots for to account for the fact that everyone is never there at the same time and there are always a some spots advible to the students.

mactastic
Jan 4, 2005, 11:44 AM
You're lucky then, you're school hasn't reached a crisis level. My school did the same thing for on campus residents, vis-a-vis a lottery for those spots, but that's sort of a different problem since those kids theoretically don't need a car to get to school. When you run out of parking for the off-campus dwellers, then you have a problem.

Thomas Veil
Jan 4, 2005, 11:48 AM
I agree with Mr. Ed, for exactly the reasons he stated.

I once worked for an employer who was too cheap to spend much money on parking. As employment expanded, their first choice was never to add parking lot space or build up, but to narrow the parking spaces to ridiculous extremes. Needless to say, we had a lot of p.o.'d employees with new dents in their cars. Also, the narrowness actually seemed to encourage people with new or expensive cars to take two spaces.

Mactastic, I actually prefer what you're talking about. I hate it when people circle and circle and circle for a "prime" space, when they could've already been parked a little further down, and walking to the building. Again, at my old job we actually had people who arrived early for their shift and camped near the building, blocking half a driving lane, just because the lazy asses were waiting for someone in a "prime" space on the previous shift to leave.

Timelessblur
Jan 4, 2005, 11:50 AM
You're lucky then, you're school hasn't reached a crisis level. My school did the same thing for on campus residents, vis-a-vis a lottery for those spots, but that's sort of a different problem since those kids theoretically don't need a car to get to school. When you run out of parking for the off-campus dwellers, then you have a problem.


oh but they have. there is not enough parking on campus mainly because they lost over 1000 places they wya they solved it was by having a lot of spots at the satilight (where perments are 26 buck compared to the 100+ for oncampus) satilight parking is a few miles from campus and you have to take the bus from there. for the dorms I dont think they will run into a problem there since they have enough to where 3/4 of the residents (prouble more) can have a spot. As for getting a spot on campus close to you deparment if you are do not have dorm parking permint you are pretty much SOL unless you are an engineer. I love the fact that on of the big lots is right be hind the engineering key so little walking to do onces I do park my car

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 4, 2005, 11:55 AM
That isn't neccesarily true.
I have a Hummer H2, but I didn't buy it to show it off.
If someone wants to buy a certain car more power to them. I am not going to judge someone by the car they drive.

I know that. But for some of the Hummer owners I have met or known, the vehicle is a "safety" or "status" issue. Lets face it, even for your needs there may have been more "eco friendly" and "society friendly" vehicles that would have met your needs.

Don't get me wrong, even my Baja would earns "knocks" by some out there. And there are times that I would like to have a car that is better in MPG than the Baja. But the AWD is what I needed for my "job" - having to be there in even the worst weather; and for my love of the back country.

In the end you have only to look at the depth of offerings here in the US to get the feeling that needs are not the only thing being met; but also status. And in those cases that is not a bad thing. It is also a matter of of looking towards the greater need of society and how our choices affect the rest.

For myself it is more about the owners of larger SUV's not realizing that they have to be good neighbors. That may mean being forced to park in more isolated areas so as to not ding or make difficult the exiting and entry of the smaller vehicles. Even realizing that the larger SUV posses a greater threat to the safety of other drivers.

In the end, my post was not to knock or attack your choice. In the end I think you can agree though there are those that are buying the "power" vehicles because of the image alone, not a real need. The question that was asked was why Americans seemed compelled to buy these vehicles. And with the numbers behind the sales until recently, I think that "status" is the driving force.

"Status" can be money, size, or power. None of which is bad, depending on how you view things.

mactastic
Jan 4, 2005, 12:01 PM
oh but they have. there is not enough parking on campus mainly because they lost over 1000 places they wya they solved it was by having a lot of spots at the satilight (where perments are 26 buck compared to the 100+ for oncampus) satilight parking is a few miles from campus and you have to take the bus from there.

Ah, but you have busses to take you from satellite parking to campus core. No such funding in the CSU budget these days...

Heck the city bus service to campus is terrible.

Moxiemike
Jan 4, 2005, 12:07 PM
Other day, I was furiously pissed because of a fight my mom and I were having, and I went to get in my car-- Another car had parked so close to my driver's door, I had to crawl in through the passenger door. So, bearing in mind that my current car is a temporary junker, I opened the door as hard as i could into the other car, rubbing and gouging it, as i snaked my way to leave a rather nasty note under the wiper. I felt good about myself. And the moron in that car now parks in a different lot and just walks to the building :D

paul

Hehe! Nice! I often park in this garage in town that is smallish, underground, but reasonably priced and quick to enter/exit as i do a lot of running around town for photo shoots and the like. If i park in a spot and am crowded by an SUV that's taking up two spaces, which is common, spaces are tight, and people in SUVs generally can't park worth poop because the vehicles are TOO big, they'll park over a yellow line, making it a tight fit for me! Consider that I have to lug a camera bag with 5-7 big lenses, two camera bodies, support (tripod) and lighting gear, i'll often have to rub up against said SUV to get the stuff out, i'll get my suit dirty since they NEVER seem to clean their cars, and i'll "accidently" swing my heavy, metal tripod around and bump the SUV. Oops! Maybe park a little better, or get a car you can drive, i say!

The best was a Hummer who ignored the clearance signs in the garage running his roof against the garage roof for about 150 feet. I laughed hysterically, they messed up piping in the garage, the garage security came down, and I can only imagine the damage on their nice yellow brand-spankin' new H2. :)

The thing i do hate is that my lovely Saab is now made by the same demons who have unleashed that Hummer upon us. Ah well. :)

m

combatcolin
Jan 4, 2005, 12:21 PM
Paris are bringing in laws charging and restricting 4X4 (or SUV's depending where you live).

Agree completly.

rainman::|:|
Jan 4, 2005, 03:57 PM
I think the more important question is why do you care?!? If you must know, i race catamarans, and I use it to pull and store my stuff.

Ah, sailing. A sport that did not exist before the H2 was there to lug equipment. Three cheers for the H2!

And I only care that you're lying when you say you didn't buy it for looks/size appeal. That's the final reason that anyone would buy one. You may have had other things on your mind, but a realistic solution to your equipment hauling needs could have been attained at a better price with better results.

After reading this, I would suggest anger management. Desctruction of personal property is a crime.

When a huge, 4-door Dodge Ram (or whatever the hell it was) pins my car in a space, and keeps me from getting in, it's car theft. He's lucky I was in a hurry, or I would have called makisushi to help me tow his vehicle away. Honestly I couldn't decide whether to scratch it or call the cops, in the end it probably cost him the same.

I would die laughing if i ever saw a hummer get nailed by low-clearance... Things like that are why I need a camera phone.

paul

Ugg
Jan 4, 2005, 05:34 PM
The best was a Hummer who ignored the clearance signs in the garage running his roof against the garage roof for about 150 feet. I laughed hysterically, they messed up piping in the garage, the garage security came down, and I can only imagine the damage on their nice yellow brand-spankin' new H2. :)


That's the other aspect of parking monster vehicles that would make me never buy one. Can you imagine the billions of dollars it would cost to tear down parking garages and build new ones just so these monstrosities can use them! Personally I think they should be banned from parking garages as they are too big for the spaces and block the ability to see beyond them.

The sooner they are banned from areas where they are useless, the better.

EJBasile
Jan 4, 2005, 05:47 PM
Whats with many of you people hating SUVs.

Its all opinion....
Some people want MPG
Some people want luxery
Some people want to ride higher on the road
Some people want preformance
Some people need room in there cars for stuff
Some people want seating capicity

Just because people have $50,000 porshes does not necessarily mean they're being showy- its because they can afford to own one and it suits there needs. Yea i get yelled at for driving a "Gas Guzzling" SUV, well I am willing to pay the Gas Guzzling Tax when I buy the car and bay $2.00 a gallon for fuel.

Also, some of you may not realize that some of the SUVs out there get the same gas milage as minivans. Think about how many people own minivans.

In addition to people buying expensive cars to look "showy", maybe they like the fit and finish of a nicer car. If you had enough money to spare to buy a porshe (as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc car, would you?). In the moive "Ferris Buelers Day Off" doesn't Farris say something like "Now if you had the oppertunity to drive a car like this (ferrari), wouldn't you?"

stcanard
Jan 4, 2005, 05:52 PM
I think a lot of people are missing the statement "reversing a trend that began in the 80's" in that sentence.

This is different from supersizing movie theatre seats because people have gotten too fat to fit in them. Lease-holders have been actively reducing the size of spots for decades to try and generate more parking revenue, and it has hit the point where a lot of downtown parkades are too small to fit even a mid-sized car. I am glad they are finally reversing this trend and creating spots that are a reasonable size for cars, even if they are blaming it on SUV's .

I drive a 2 door Mazda MX-6, not a small car but not a big car by any stretch of the imagination. Yet 90% of the downtown parkades have spots small enough that once parked I have about 10 inches between the side of the car and the painted lines. Combine that with someone who parks too close on one side, and the fact that a 2 door has bigger doors than a 4-door, and I frequently find myself having to turn sideways and slither out the doors.

On the weekend I was driving my wife's Camry into a London Drugs parking lot, and the spots were so narrow, combined with a narrow lane that I actually had to do a 3 point turn to get into it.

It's about time parking spots were once again readjusted to be reasonable, like they were 15 years ago. This is being blamed on SUV's because the spots are now at the point where they are so ridiculously small that one won't even physically fit in it, but due to greed they have for a long time been too small for anything larger than a Geo Metro.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 4, 2005, 06:05 PM
When a huge, 4-door Dodge Ram (or whatever the hell it was) pins my car in a space, and keeps me from getting in, it's car theft. He's lucky I was in a hurry, or I would have called makisushi to help me tow his vehicle away. Honestly I couldn't decide whether to scratch it or call the cops, in the end it probably cost him the same.

I would die laughing if i ever saw a hummer get nailed by low-clearance... Things like that are why I need a camera phone.

paul

What I hear is that those of us that have suffered through the dents and scrapes in parking lots of our "lower cost vehicles" are tired. Why should I give up a parking space fit only for an Echo or smaller, simply because someone else decided that they were more important?

I know that it is not the "norm"; but some of those that drive big SUV's have little regard to anyone else. For the dings and scrapes they see are far less than what the "little people" see.

Many years ago I drove a Suburban as a company vehicle. I felt the need to park in "Siberia" only because I could not feel "safe" in parking near other vehicles.

In difference to some that have posted; it is starting to show the "class" difference within our nation.

stcanard
Jan 4, 2005, 06:12 PM
That's the other aspect of parking monster vehicles that would make me never buy one. Can you imagine the billions of dollars it would cost to tear down parking garages and build new ones just so these monstrosities can use them!

I would assume the cost of repainting the spots would be no more than the last time they repainted the spots to make them smaller, and thus created this problem in the first place.

Or am I totally missing something here?

mactastic
Jan 4, 2005, 06:14 PM
I would assume the cost of repainting the spots would be no more than the last time they repainted the spots to make them smaller, and thus created this problem in the first place.

Or am I totally missing something here?

I believe he was talking about height...

stcanard
Jan 4, 2005, 06:15 PM
When a huge, 4-door Dodge Ram (or whatever the hell it was) pins my car in a space, and keeps me from getting in, it's car theft. He's lucky I was in a hurry, or I would have called makisushi to help me tow his vehicle away. Honestly I couldn't decide whether to scratch it or call the cops, in the end it probably cost him the same.

If someone double-parks, it's a crime whether he's in a Dodge Ram or a Prius.

If a place has made their spots too small for vehicles that are being driven, and don't forget that although most people do not need a 4-door Dodge Ram there is a not insgnificant part of the population that does require it -- ever tried to carry a tonne of dirt in a Prius? -- why should you take your frustration out on someone who has no control over the size of a parking spot?

stcanard
Jan 4, 2005, 06:24 PM
I believe he was talking about height...

Well parkades have been able to handle pickups for as long as I've been driving, SUV's on the roads are no higher than pickups, and the shrinking of the spots has not to my knowledge included rebuilding parkades to lower vertical clearances, that didn't make sense to me.

makisushi
Jan 4, 2005, 06:39 PM
Ah, sailing. A sport that did not exist before the H2 was there to lug equipment. Three cheers for the H2!

And I only care that you're lying when you say you didn't buy it for looks/size appeal. That's the final reason that anyone would buy one. You may have had other things on your mind, but a realistic solution to your equipment hauling needs could have been attained at a better price with better results.

If it makes you feel any better, you can think whatever you want. Man, I knew, I should have called you for advice...my life would have a much better quality to it if only I did every thing according to Paul Whinnel...I think you should embrace people's difference of opinions and not let my decisions rile you so much.



When a huge, 4-door Dodge Ram (or whatever the hell it was) pins my car in a space, and keeps me from getting in, it's car theft. He's lucky I was in a hurry, or I would have called makisushi to help me tow his vehicle away. Honestly I couldn't decide whether to scratch it or call the cops, in the end it probably cost him the same.

I would die laughing if i ever saw a hummer get nailed by low-clearance... Things like that are why I need a camera phone.

paul

I am not sure how you think destroying someones property is an answer, again, I am suggesting anger management for you.

mactastic
Jan 4, 2005, 06:43 PM
Well this thread is rapidly spinning out of control... :o

EJBasile
Jan 4, 2005, 09:03 PM
Has anyone ever seen the fraiser episode where his neighbors parking space is next to his in the parking garage and his neighbor has a hummer. The hummer being so wide takes up so much of the parking space that fraiser cannot get out of his car (i think it was a BMW) so he climbs of the sunroof and hits a pipe which then burts and drentches the interrior of his car with water.


This discussion just reminded mo of that

srobert
Jan 4, 2005, 09:15 PM
It's funny. We live in a time when SUVs are a more touchy subject than the death penalty, religion or abortion. ^_^

raiderz182. Please. You don't have to leave simply because some fellow forum members have opposite views on this subject. (Even though some are expressing themselves a little too vocally to my liking) I don'T think most of us are idiot. The grass won't be greener on other discusssion boards. ;) Stay for all those other threads you enjoyed and forget this one. I think it should have been moved to the political section a while ago. :D Anyway, you do as you like but think it over. And please, no more big words, all of you. IT's against the rules

Abstract
Jan 4, 2005, 11:32 PM
Also, some of you may not realize that some of the SUVs out there get the same gas milage as minivans. Think about how many people own minivans.

In addition to people buying expensive cars to look "showy", maybe they like the fit and finish of a nicer car. If you had enough money to spare to buy a porshe (as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc car, would you?). In the moive "Ferris Buelers Day Off" doesn't Farris say something like "Now if you had the oppertunity to drive a car like this (ferrari), wouldn't you?"

People don't buy minivans for vanity --- only because they have kids and need things to carry. The SUVs that have the same mileage as minivans are smaller than minivans. An SUV is like a minivan that carries less and looks tougher and cooler. So really, if you have need to carry things, a decent station wagon or minivan would suffice for most people.

And Porsches are made to perform. Forget Ferrari -- Porsches are probably the best cars designed for performance (if only looking at the sports cars and not the Cayenne ;) ). SUVs are just.....big. You can get many different types of nice, fast cars with great finish and better performance and handling for the price of a great SUV.

redAPPLE
Jan 5, 2005, 05:18 AM
Thatís precisely why I drive a Geo Metro.

i walk. ;)

combatcolin
Jan 5, 2005, 07:10 AM
There is nothing wrong in aspiring to buy an expensive car.

However, in the UK expensive does not always mean "massive" with "dire fuel economy".

BMW, Audi, Mercedes are just 3 (all German so last forever) examples.

Moxiemike
Jan 5, 2005, 08:50 AM
That's the other aspect of parking monster vehicles that would make me never buy one. Can you imagine the billions of dollars it would cost to tear down parking garages and build new ones just so these monstrosities can use them! Personally I think they should be banned from parking garages as they are too big for the spaces and block the ability to see beyond them.

The sooner they are banned from areas where they are useless, the better.

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! My other favorite is when they drive SOOOOO slow around the garage because they're too close to the roof. Hysterical.

But yea. In Pittsburgh, there's not much street parking, and they almost HAVE to use garages. Some are higher roofed, but most aren't. I kinda think "if i had to drive to work everyday, wouldn't i pick a vehicle that was appropriate for the ride in?" and by that I mean something that a) fits easily into parking spaces (and yes, my 9-3, not a small car by ANY means, fits into 99.9% of the spaces out there...even compact ones) and b) pick a vehicle that is actually easy to park--if you're late, who wants to struggle to find street parking? During day baseball games, the city closes most of the garages in the AM so the baseball fans (in Pittsburgh, I think there's maybe 3 or 4 of them. hehe) can use the garages. You should see the scramble for spaces during those times.

Eh. But it's america. I've heard teens gossiping about who's local target or best buy is bigger. I can only imagine the kinds of cars these schmucks will end up driving. Daddy and Mommy dun taught 'em bigger is better. Just like the US vs. Iraq. We're bigger, so we're better. Yeehaw.

Man. I saw this nice island for sale.... Ugg, Paul, you wanna help chip in? Only $1.5 million! :D We could ban all SUVs except for exploring the little rainforest area on the southern coast. Get some old (1960s!) Land Rovers. And actually use 'em offroad. Hehe.

The funny thing is, people use the "I have to go do xxx in the woods" justification for having an SUV. I mean, i've gone camping, storing everything i need in my car. And parked well off road near my campsite.

Well, I took my lowly, no 4x4 Saab out into some fairly deep and muddy woods, parked well off road in a bunch of mud, and boy the car handled it like a champ. Sure, there's a limit to how much I can do with this, but if you can take a Saab sedan out into the forest, drive about a mile off road (albeit carefully. carefully = key word here) and do my woodsy explorations with my camera and hang with my 4 other passengers. That's pretty damn flexible to me. Oh. And on the way out there, it's all big highway. So my Saab gets 37.2 mile per gallon. Yipppppeee!

;)

hal0n
Jan 5, 2005, 11:01 AM
People don't buy minivans for vanity --- only because they have kids and need things to carry. The SUVs that have the same mileage as minivans are smaller than minivans. An SUV is like a minivan that carries less and looks tougher and cooler. So really, if you have need to carry things, a decent station wagon or minivan would suffice for most people.

And Porsches are made to perform. Forget Ferrari -- Porsches are probably the best cars designed for performance (if only looking at the sports cars and not the Cayenne ;) ). SUVs are just.....big. You can get many different types of nice, fast cars with great finish and better performance and handling for the price of a great SUV.

As long as we are on a tangent... Porsche races cars to sell more street cars, Ferrari sells racing cars to afford to race. As far as performance is concerned Ferrari's are probably the top make in the class. Before the Porsche CGT the largest engine you could getin a Porsche was a flat 6 that was mounted behind the rear wheels (rear overhang!!! gack!!!). I would definately take Ferrari's smallest displacement vehicle over that! It happens to be the V8 mid engined 360 modena. Also, to keep this on topic, I used to see a red 360 parked on campus at the U of M. I wouldn't even consider that if I had a $135K car. And that thing is a beast too. There is nothing small about the current italian racing cars.

I think if you can afford an H2 to pull your boat you can also afford a car that you can actually use in an urban setting.

- Kevin

stcanard
Jan 5, 2005, 12:21 PM
i walk. ;)

Ahh, you hit the nail on the head. This is all about moral superiority. "I'm better than he is because I drive a smaller car."

Apparently I'm better than him, because I commute to work by bike. I don't see why they need these huge parking spots to fit cars into, if I'm happy riding my bike everyone should be happy, I think they should take all the parking spots out and replace them with bike racks and lockers so everyone will have to ride a bike.

I'm sure you could make a case that society would be better served by taking all the money spent on road infrastructure and instead supplying free shoes to the country so they can walk everywhere.

And that it the problem with trying to take a moral argument and apply it to society at large. Morality is not an absolute, it is a relative.

makisushi
Jan 5, 2005, 01:30 PM
The funny thing is, people use the "I have to go do xxx in the woods" justification for having an SUV. I mean, i've gone camping, storing everything i need in my car. And parked well off road near my campsite.



Why should anyone have to justify anything to you? I am having a hard time understanding why you guys care so much about other people's purchases.

EJBasile
Jan 5, 2005, 02:03 PM
People don't buy minivans for vanity --- only because they have kids and need things to carry. The SUVs that have the same mileage as minivans are smaller than minivans. An SUV is like a minivan that carries less and looks tougher and cooler. So really, if you have need to carry things, a decent station wagon or minivan would suffice for most people.

And Porsches are made to perform. Forget Ferrari -- Porsches are probably the best cars designed for performance (if only looking at the sports cars and not the Cayenne ;) ). SUVs are just.....big. You can get many different types of nice, fast cars with great finish and better performance and handling for the price of a great SUV.

I know quite a few people with only 1 kid that buy minivans. Also, say i you had 2 kids, needed room for luggage, and wanted something that would go through the snow well, would you buy a porshe? I do agree that the Cayenne is sorta- ugly.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 5, 2005, 03:38 PM
<snip> I am having a hard time understanding why you guys care so much about other people's purchases.

I think the issue on some SUV's for me are:

- They are not required to meet the same safety standards as cars are.

- Because of the above they are dangerous to the other drivers in a collision.

- Because they are not cars, they have headlights that blind the car drivers.

- They fall through a loophole on CAFE milage standards.

The above are objective reasons IMO. The subjective (not reflected by all SUV drivers, but enough that stereotypes evolve):

- The "I'll make this fit" mentality.

- The "Gee, I have 4x4 drive, so I'll drive 60mph+ during a snowstorm or on icy roads" mentality. This causes delays for those that were trying to drive according to conditions when the SUV spins out or crashes. (This one even applies to folks like me that have AWD "cars")

- The "intimidation factor"; because of the size and weight advantage of some of the SUVs - some muscle in, just because their time is more important than the rest. (Yes, smaller cars fall prey to this too, through "I am small enough to fit anywhere" mentality)

Keep in mind stereotypes of certain vehicles and drivers has been around forever. At one time it was women drivers. Another was the VW Beetle owner/driver. The "pick your nationality" driver. The cell phone user behind the wheel. The list can go on.

Another factor that can not be ignored is the growing differences between the classes here in the US. The "haves" and "have-nots" if you will. Never before in our nations history IMO have we had such disparity in wages. This is spilling over on to our highways. Living in Northern Virginia, you know of the HOV lanes. Some are enforced, but for the Dulles Toll Road, some have nicknamed the HOV lanes - the Lexus lanes. For the fines are low enough that for the first couple of infractions, it can be considered a cost of doing business.

At the same time we have seen the ability of the local governments to keep law enforcement levels up. I am old enough to remember that you could not sneeze on the Beltway, without a police officer seeing you. Traffic laws were enforced. Today, you or I can make a three trips around the Beltway - and never see a police officer enforcing traffic laws.

For myself, I have no problems with the purchase of an SUV. I would like some of the SUV owners to realize that they can not find parking up close, that won't ding my Baja. That the larger SUV owners to realize that they pose a greater treat to the safety of others on the road because of their size and weight. Or just because they have 4x4, they can create parking spaces on the grassy areas when they take their kids to a soccer game, destroying the grass for others to enjoy. Sort of like the responsibility I took when a company vehicle was a Suburban, I tried to be a good neighbor.

I understand that you feel like you are under attack by some. You just have to look at the frustration of some of the comments being made. I think some of it is missed place outrage at the excess consumerism that we have in this country. It does not help when some SUV owners try to justify their choice, with comments like "I needed the interior space". For when a minivan or the station wagons of old, have/had much more space than their SUV. Even I have had to defend my Baja.

Sorry for the long response. Hope it puts some of what has been said in to perspective.

makisushi
Jan 5, 2005, 04:25 PM
I think the issue on some SUV's for me are:

- They are not required to meet the same safety standards as cars are.

- Because of the above they are dangerous to the other drivers in a collision.

- Because they are not cars, they have headlights that blind the car drivers.

- They fall through a loophole on CAFE milage standards.

The above are objective reasons IMO. The subjective (not reflected by all SUV drivers, but enough that stereotypes evolve):

- The "I'll make this fit" mentality.

- The "Gee, I have 4x4 drive, so I'll drive 60mph+ during a snowstorm or on icy roads" mentality. This causes delays for those that were trying to drive according to conditions when the SUV spins out or crashes. (This one even applies to folks like me that have AWD "cars")

- The "intimidation factor"; because of the size and weight advantage of some of the SUVs - some muscle in, just because their time is more important than the rest. (Yes, smaller cars fall prey to this too, through "I am small enough to fit anywhere" mentality)


I do understand your concerns, but the same can be said of 18 wheelers.


Keep in mind stereotypes of certain vehicles and drivers has been around forever. At one time it was women drivers. Another was the VW Beetle owner/driver. The "pick your nationality" driver. The cell phone user behind the wheel. The list can go on.

Another factor that can not be ignored is the growing differences between the classes here in the US. The "haves" and "have-nots" if you will. Never before in our nations history IMO have we had such disparity in wages. This is spilling over on to our highways. Living in Northern Virginia, you know of the HOV lanes. Some are enforced, but for the Dulles Toll Road, some have nicknamed the HOV lanes - the Lexus lanes. For the fines are low enough that for the first couple of infractions, it can be considered a cost of doing business.


I agree with you completely on this...but it is the mentalities of the previous posters that perpetuate this type of behavior, much like the justification of destroying other peoples property because of a difference of opinion.

This thread should really be in the political area now, and I see that many people don't like my decisions (not just with which vehicles I purchase), but they are mine to make.

mactastic
Jan 5, 2005, 04:28 PM
I do understand your concerns, but the same can be said of 18 wheelers.

SUV drivers aren't required to have a special license, so it's not quite the same thing.

Frump
Jan 5, 2005, 04:30 PM
If you can justify it you can buy it! A very convenient argument.
I live in the German Alps and have to drive up a steep hill to get to my house. This is no problem in my Ford Fiesta in winter with winter tires.
I know a lot of American that live here and they justify their purchase because of where they live and in the winter they need 4 wheel drive!
There is a major keeping up with the Jones's factor when it comes to buying SUV's. If gas cost $5.00 a gallon you would not see so many SUV's on the road.

There are situations where you would need one of these type of vehicles. It has nothing to do with the size of ones penis but the size of ones wallet.

stcanard
Jan 5, 2005, 04:36 PM
This thread should really be in the political area now, and I see that many people don't like my decisions (not just with which vehicles I purchase), but they are mine to make.

Reminds me of a cartoon in today's paper:

http://www.ucomics.com/nonsequitur/2005/01/05

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 5, 2005, 05:07 PM
I do understand your concerns, but the same can be said of 18 wheelers.

As noted by someone else (above now), there is a difference in that they hold a CDL license. This may push this thread further towards the Political Forum, but I think that the needs to be stricter enforcement of CDL holders. Including the use of GPS to fine them, and suspend them for exceeding speed limits.

Also the number of 18 wheelers on the road are less than other vehicles. I am sure that someone will point out if I am wrong, but the number of accidents involving "big rigs" are far less than the "consumer" vehicles. And if you trust the trucking industry figures, many of those accidents are caused by the general driver not giving proper "berth" to the "big rigs". I also support the suspension or revocation of a CDL for those that demonstrate a total disregard of public safety while driving under a CDL.

The subjective factors I mentioned hold true with the "big rigs". The only objective factor that I can see working in reality is having a uniform headlight height, so that drivers are no blinded. For I see no way that CAFe standards, or car safety standards can be made to work for big rigs.

I agree with you completely on this...but it is the mentalities of the previous posters that perpetuate this type of behavior, much like the justification of destroying other peoples property because of a difference of opinion.

This seems to a losing argument here. Their actions are not right, nor are the actions of those that own larger vehicles that create a situation of not being able to get in to ones vehicle. It would be different if laws and law enforcement were available for those that were denied lawful entry to their vehicle by those that feel they are above common decency.

This thread should really be in the political area now, and I see that many people don't like my decisions (not just with which vehicles I purchase), but they are mine to make.

I am not sure that this needs to be moved. But that is my opinion.

Again I am sorry that you feel as if you have been put on a defensive posture. I do believe that it is wrong that your choice of vehicle is being made the poster child of the problem, if there is a problem.

In the end what we have is a situation that both sides are unwilling to yield on. To me that is the shame. For each side has staked their claim to their own "high ground".

What those that are against the SUV forget is that the auto industry is cyclical. In a few years time we will see a new trend emerge. Maybe it will be smaller vehicles. Or maybe vehicles that are more "friendly" to all. Only time will tell.

stcanard
Jan 5, 2005, 05:33 PM
It would be different if laws and law enforcement were available for those that were denied lawful entry to their vehicle by those that feel they are above common decency.

One thing I do find ironic is that if you look at this thread, the people that are claiming that they get upset that these vehicles are being parked and denying them entry to their own vehicles are the same people that are upset that an attempt is being made to rectify this by once again building parking spots that will accomodate vehicles larger than a sub-compact.

That goes back to my contention that it's got nothing to do with the affect of these things on the road. It's all about moral superiority. And the best part of moral superiority is you don't need facts to back it up, because you -know- it's right.

After all, if the issue is gas mileage, the destruction of our fossil fuels and the creation of greenhouse gases why do I not see a campaign to get all pre 1985 vehicles off the road? My 1980 Citation got significantly worse mileage than my friend's 1994 Pathfinder. It also had lower pollution standards.

What those that are against the SUV forget is that the auto industry is cyclical. In a few years time we will see a new trend emerge. Maybe it will be smaller vehicles. Or maybe vehicles that are more "friendly" to all. Only time will tell.

It's already happening. Ford is discontinuing the Expedition because of low sales.

And funny, enough, for all the complaints I see about hummers, how many are actually on the road per 1,000 people? Claiming the Hummer causes a problem with vehicle size is like claiming Ferarri is creating a problem with speeding. The incidence of these things in the population is so low that it becomes statistically insignificant.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 5, 2005, 05:51 PM
One thing I do find ironic is that if you look at this thread, the people that are claiming that they get upset that these vehicles are being parked and denying them entry to their own vehicles are the same people that are upset that an attempt is being made to rectify this by once again building parking spots that will accomodate vehicles larger than a sub-compact.

The issue is that parking is a pain in most areas. Whether you are talking about urban or suburban; parking is harder to get. And in the end this will end up costing the consumer more.

And then it feeds the mentality that I mentioned of the "haves" and "have-nots", that those that can't or won't buy the "big SUVs" end up paying the price. It is a sad slope that there is no return by going down. Sort of along the lines of comments about those "mommy" spots that are popping up at some shopping centers.

That goes back to my contention that it's got nothing to do with the affect of these things on the road. It's all about moral superiority. And the best part of moral superiority is you don't need facts to back it up, because you -know- it's right.

And that goes for both sides.

After all, if the issue is gas mileage, the destruction of our fossil fuels and the creation of greenhouse gases why do I not see a campaign to get all pre 1985 vehicles off the road? My 1980 Citation got significantly worse mileage than my friend's 1994 Pathfinder. It also had lower pollution standards.

Actually I think there was a program in California to do just that.

Maybe a tax credit on your Federal return is in order if you scrap a pre '85 and get a vehicle that gets 30mpg at least highway.

It's already happening. Ford is discontinuing the Expedition because of low sales.

And funny, enough, for all the complaints I see about hummers, how many are actually on the road per 1,000 people? Claiming the Hummer causes a problem with vehicle size is like claiming Ferarri is creating a problem with speeding. The incidence of these things in the population is so low that it becomes statistically insignificant.

This what I meant that Maki's Hummer is being used as the poster child. And that is wrong. The issue is that GM say a market by taking a military vehicle and making a consumer vehicle. And then the follow on with "smaller" versions. But what most will focus on is the look and the name. It is not right that some "attacked" his choice.

stcanard
Jan 5, 2005, 06:43 PM
The issue is that parking is a pain in most areas. Whether you are talking about urban or suburban; parking is harder to get. And in the end this will end up costing the consumer more.

Then the question becomes why is the current size optimal? There needs to be a balance between parking availability, and sufficient space to accomodate a vehicle within a single spot. We have to balance the frustration of not having enough parking, against the frustration of being pinned in and risking accidental damage (I will ignore the intentional vandalism advocated by some, as I consider that a symptom not a cause).

Yet one of the arguments appears to be that parking shouldn't change, because it's a waste of (time && money && resources) to accomodate larger vehicles. The trend has been set that they change all the time to accomodate differing sizes, so I would contend that people can't just pick the size they are familiar with and decide that is best because that's what they know. However that appears to be exactly what a number of participants in this thread appear to be doing.

Of course this becomes completely pointless to argue without any studies to dtermine what is optimal. I personally rest assured that if the downtown lease-holders are planning to decrease parking revenues by increasing the size of spots (and thus lowering the amount of parking) parking spots that are too small is a serious issue.

(I'm not going to touch the issue of a widening class gulf, as not being a US resident I have no basis on which to argue, not have formed any opinions).

[re: moral superiority]
And that goes for both sides.

Oh, absolutely. Just go look at the rec.bicycles.[misc|soc] groups in usenet to get a hint of the other extreme!

It is not right that some "attacked" his choice.

Agreed.

Moxiemike
Jan 6, 2005, 08:28 AM
SUV drivers aren't required to have a special license, so it's not quite the same thing.

SUV drivers SHOULD have to pass a special test, IMHO.

I've see too many 5-1 soccer moms who really can't control the car. It's simple, if you can't see over the steering wheel, you probably can't see out of the car and around the car.

I've also seen short women almost drop their kids who they're protecting with their SUVs because the wheel height is so high and the reach to take their babies out of the back seat is very great. Hell, that almost happened to my sister with my nephew in her SUV.

Do you think I want to see that? No. And that's irresponsible parenting.

Also, the SUV drivers who drive too close to the middle of the lane, and often over it on narrow roads (which pitts has a lot of) because they fear nailing traffic to their right, and in return, don't mind slowing down traffic on the left.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 08:56 AM
SUV drivers SHOULD have to pass a special test, IMHO.

I've see too many 5-1 soccer moms who really can't control the car. It's simple, if you can't see over the steering wheel, you probably can't see out of the car and around the car.

I've also seen short women almost drop their kids who they're protecting with their SUVs because the wheel height is so high and the reach to take their babies out of the back seat is very great. Hell, that almost happened to my sister with my nephew in her SUV.

Do you think I want to see that? No. And that's irresponsible parenting.

Also, the SUV drivers who drive too close to the middle of the lane, and often over it on narrow roads (which pitts has a lot of) because they fear nailing traffic to their right, and in return, don't mind slowing down traffic on the left.

Mike, it depends also how do you define "SUV". My Baja, the Toyota Rav4, and the Honda Element and CRV as examples are SUVs. But they are not part of the issue that some, like the examples you posted have.

To be fair, do we now create a new sub class of drivers license? Like we do for motorcycles? Motorcycles require a special skill in order to ridden/driven. The argument could be made that larger SUVs fit that description, but could not the same be said for those that want to drive some of the old Lincoln's that had hoods and trucks longer than a city block?

What if Maki asked me to take his catamaran down to the shore? Is that much different than my going down to Ryder and renting a 20 foot truck? What I am seeing and hearing is a lot of rage towards SUV drivers today. Yet not to the same level that we heard about those of us in the 80's and 90's that were buying pick-up trucks.

What changed is that since the '90s we have become a more polarized society. If we can't attack for some one for their politics, then we attack on their housing or car choices IMO. As I have said though, it is a two way street. Drivers of larger vehicles have to realize that they have to share the roads and parking lots. Same thing for those that drive smaller vehicles.

The greater issue is how do we overcome the "me first" attitude that has grown in this nation. Everyone thinks that their time is more valuable than the next person. Funereal processions are no longer given the respect or following of the law. People driving all sorts of cars block fire lanes at shopping centers, as they do using the handicapped spaces.

For me the issue is one that I raised above. As localities have been forced to cut their budgets, the police are asked to do more with less. They can now only afford to focus on major crime. But by ignoring the "quality of life" issues, we are only feeding the disregard for all laws.

In regards to the first elements of your post. I too have seen that. Then you had people like myself (275#) driving Honda Civics (my previous car, the Baja is just a bit better in that regard). At least for the miles I drive, the other situations you mentioned are the exception, not the rule. I have a far greater fear/dislike of those that talk on cell phones, or those that feel that the highways are their own personal Indy 500.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 09:41 AM
SUV drivers SHOULD have to pass a special test, IMHO.

I disagree

I've see too many 5-1 soccer moms who really can't control the car.

I agree 100%.

But ... the problem isn't an SUV. You probably notice the problems in SUVs because you are watching them more. I see just as many soccer moms (and a lot of other people) who can't control a Honda Civic either.

The problem is general driver education, not targetting a specific group.

Drgnhntr
Jan 6, 2005, 01:10 PM
What changed is that since the '90s we have become a more polarized society. If we can't attack for some one for their politics, then we attack on their housing or car choices IMO. As I have said though, it is a two way street. Drivers of larger vehicles have to realize that they have to share the roads and parking lots. Same thing for those that drive smaller vehicles.

The greater issue is how do we overcome the "me first" attitude that has grown in this nation. Everyone thinks that their time is more valuable than the next person. Funereal processions are no longer given the respect or following of the law. People driving all sorts of cars block fire lanes at shopping centers, as they do using the handicapped spaces.

I totally agree with your comments above that more of the issue is the drivers' disregard for others, not necessarily the car they drive.

I wanted to add something in regards to why people dislike others choices for cars. I think that if someone wants to spend the money and buy a large SUV they should be able to. What gets me a little pissed off is when those people claim no responsibly for any of the problems large cars introduce. One example for a large truck, no small car behind you can see past you and your headlights are blinding those in front of you. This tends to annoy those around you even if you are a good driver. The same is true of 18 wheelers, but they at least are supposed to be in only the right most lane.

I think the bottom line is that big and small vehicles don't mix well. Add to that discourteous drivers, and you have even more problems. The upside is that all the large cars on the road has increased my interest in public transit. Maybe something good will come out of all this, eventually. :)

Rower_CPU
Jan 6, 2005, 01:13 PM
I disagree



I agree 100%.

But ... the problem isn't an SUV. You probably notice the problems in SUVs because you are watching them more. I see just as many soccer moms (and a lot of other people) who can't control a Honda Civic either.

The problem is general driver education, not targetting a specific group.

But do you not agree with the assertion that poor driving/parking is exacerbated by larger vehicles?

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 01:27 PM
But do you not agree with the assertion that poor driving/parking is exacerbated by larger vehicles?

When a Honda Civic is parked over the line in a spot, it is just as impossible for me to park beside it as it is for an SUV

Pedestrians are just as dead when hit by a Honda Civic as when hit by an SUV

Cyclists are just as dead when hit by a Honda Civic as when hit by an SUV

Poor drivers cause problems, no matter what they're driving.

So no, I don't think the problem is exacerbated, but I do think people are watching them more.

I will tell you from my perspective riding my bike home, I have far more problems with Honda Civics thinking they can dart in and out of traffic, thinking "I'm narrow enough I can go around traffic in that bike lane", and driving by me at very dangerous speeds than I do with a Pathfinder trying to do the same.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 01:30 PM
your headlights are blinding those in front of you. This tends to annoy those around you even if you are a good driver.

I've seen a lot of comments about SUV headlights being blinding. Don't you find that the xenon lamps in new BMW's and Honda's far more blinding than the average SUV?

I agree headlights are a problem, but it is again a general problem, not one specific to SUV's. Some serious work has to be done to reduce the blinding headlights in all vehicles that are too bright and/or aimed improperly.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 01:55 PM
When a Honda Civic is parked over the line in a spot, it is just as impossible for me to park beside it as it is for an SUV

The issue then becomes why did the Civic "park" over the line? Was it a larger vehicle that was there before you got there, and the Civic made themselves fit?

I know that I have come across spaces that were to close for my comfort. Whether it was a small car that caused the issue, or an SUV - if I see an SUV there I will blame the SUV.

To put it in to perspective, there were far less complaints of the space hogging and road hogging till the SUV became the poster child of what is wrong in the US. Keep in mind it is not just the SUV that is seen as an issue. It is an easy scapegoat of the problems we face as a society.

In some way it is not much different than the African-Americans being blamed for the ills of the '60s. Or the SE Asian's being blamed for the ills of the '70s. Or the Salvadorians and Hondurans being balmed for the '80s. Becuase of the "PC" world that came about in the late '80s and early '90s; we could no longer find an ethic group to blame without being called a "racist". So in the '90s we had Wallstreet. Now we have the SUV.

Whether any side would be willing to agree, I see as a further defining the class system within the US.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 02:21 PM
I know that I have come across spaces that were to close for my comfort. Whether it was a small car that caused the issue, or an SUV - if I see an SUV there I will blame the SUV.

Which means that you see far more SUV's causing a problem, even if it was the civic causing it in the first place thus reinforcing your bias.

To put it in to perspective, there were far less complaints of the space hogging and road hogging till the SUV became the poster child of what is wrong in the US. Keep in mind it is not just the SUV that is seen as an issue. It is an easy scapegoat of the problems we face as a society.

I see two options here (and I believe in general we agree, since you also seem to be saying that SUV's are a convenient scapegoat, not the actual problem):

1) Increased numbers of SUV's are parking with an even distribution throughout the city thus causing everyone, no matter what size, to have trouble fitting in parking spots

2) Increasingly smaller parking spots are causing everyone, no matter what size, to have trouble fitting in parking spots

And I really have trouble figuring out why everyone jumps to conclusion (1) when occam's razor leads me to conclusion (2) that having a smaller space available to park in has a significant effect on increasing the difficulty bad drivers have fitting into parking spots.

If someone could present me with a study showing why SUV's have a larger impact on the general parking situation than than smaller parking spots do, or can give me a credible explanation on why they think that the 30% of vehicles have a larger affect on parking then the 100% of spots that have shrunk (again going back to the original article that states that parking spots have been shrinking) then I would happily change my tune.

But in the absence of evidence showing that, trying to blame this on the poster boy for society's ills, rather than what seems to me the obvious situation that smaller parking spots -> more parking difficulty leaves me very confused.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 03:13 PM
I've seen a lot of comments about SUV headlights being blinding. Don't you find that the xenon lamps in new BMW's and Honda's far more blinding than the average SUV?

I agree headlights are a problem, but it is again a general problem, not one specific to SUV's. Some serious work has to be done to reduce the blinding headlights in all vehicles that are too bright and/or aimed improperly.

You have hit on an issue of standardization verse regulation. Regulations allow for the Xenon headlights. But standardization does not meet the realities of both headlights to coexist on the road.

IMO we have three classes of vehicles on the road. The car, the SUV and the "big rig". For a majority of the vehicles on the road it breaks down to the car and SUV. Given that both classes do not require special license to drive, there should not be a distinction between the two. For that reason headlight height and brightness should be controlled to the same level.

To that end I do feel that we should headlights on all vehicles that are compatible for the roads that they are driven on. Given the discussion in Virginia about making a portion of I-81 trucks only, if we are willing to segregate cars and trucks this may allow an exception.

I also support a nationwide standard as we do in Virginia that all vehicles be inspected once a year. In my neighbor state, Maryland - cars are only inspected when they are sold. While in Virginia we don't go as far as Maryland - who will "reject" a vehicle for "excessive" rust.

Drgnhntr
Jan 6, 2005, 03:20 PM
I've seen a lot of comments about SUV headlights being blinding. Don't you find that the xenon lamps in new BMW's and Honda's far more blinding than the average SUV?

I agree headlights are a problem, but it is again a general problem, not one specific to SUV's. Some serious work has to be done to reduce the blinding headlights in all vehicles that are too bright and/or aimed improperly.

Xenon lamps are bad too, however, not all honda's or bmw's have these lamps. A large majority of SUV's and trucks have the height to blind smaller cars. You can choose to add these lamps after market to any vehicle, but you can't make an SUV shorter.

As for parking spaces, not all spaces are decreasing. I have yet to see a "uniform" parking space size. I have seen compact spots but other lots and business draw their own lines, some smaller, others larger. My overall observation is that people can't park or don't have the courtesy to re-park their car no matter what size the space. This goes for everyone in any car. Now the connection to how this affects larger vehicles more is because when a person in a small car parks poorly, it doesn't affect the other spaces as much, if at all. When a large vehicle does it, it can affect cars on either side of it to a degree that it throws off the entire line of parking spaces.

Which means that you see far more SUV's causing a problem, even if it was the civic causing it in the first place thus reinforcing your bias.

I see a bias in blaming the larger car. I ask you who would you blame if instead of a civic, it was an H2 and an SUV?

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 03:25 PM
Which means that you see far more SUV's causing a problem, even if it was the civic causing it in the first place thus reinforcing your bias.

For if I am not there when the three cars get there, I place blame on on one driver. That was my point. The lack of consideration regardless of the size of your vehicle is.

I see two options here (and I believe in general we agree, since you also seem to be saying that SUV's are a convenient scapegoat, not the actual problem):

1) Increased numbers of SUV's are parking with an even distribution throughout the city thus causing everyone, no matter what size, to have trouble fitting in parking spots

2) Increasingly smaller parking spots are causing everyone, no matter what size, to have trouble fitting in parking spots

And I really have trouble figuring out why everyone jumps to conclusion (1) when occam's razor leads me to conclusion (2) that having a smaller space available to park in has a significant effect on increasing the difficulty bad drivers have fitting into parking spots.

If someone could present me with a study showing why SUV's have a larger impact on the general parking situation than than smaller parking spots do, or can give me a credible explanation on why they think that the 30% of vehicles have a larger affect on parking then the 100% of spots that have shrunk (again going back to the original article that states that parking spots have been shrinking) then I would happily change my tune.

But in the absence of evidence showing that, trying to blame this on the poster boy for society's ills, rather than what seems to me the obvious situation that smaller parking spots -> more parking difficulty leaves me very confused.

I am sure that such studies exist. Even if they don't it shows a lack of respect on both sides of the issue to find solutions that don't result in vandalism. Keep in mind that I think the SUV "craze" is "short" lived. That soon enough there will be a shift to 'smarter" vehicles that fit the nation as a whole.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 03:30 PM
I have yet to see a "uniform" parking space size. I have seen compact spots but other lots and business draw their own lines, some smaller, others larger.


You hit on another topic. Here in Northern Virginia we have the Dulles Toll Road. For what ever reason they do not subscribe to Federal standards as to lane width. Great since they save $ expanding the roadway, but at the same time making it less safe when the "big rigs" share the same road.

Sort of like the narrow roadways of CT on I-95.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 03:45 PM
Xenon lamps are bad too, however, not all honda's or bmw's have these lamps. A large majority of SUV's and trucks have the height to blind smaller cars. You can choose to add these lamps after market to any vehicle, but you can't make an SUV shorter.

Since both you and ChipNoVaMac make a similar point, I'll respond to both in one shot ... this is an example of putting the blame in the wrong spot.

Just like xenon lights can be changed, made dimmer, made safe on the road, the blinding SUV lights can be changed. They can be placed lower in the grill, they can be aimed farther down. In both cases it is a design flaw of the lighting system, not an inherent problem in the vehicle. Xenon headlights also show that such design flaws are a general problem, not specific to a single class of vehicle.


As for parking spaces, not all spaces are decreasing. I have yet to see a "uniform" parking space size. I have seen compact spots but other lots and business draw their own lines, some smaller, others larger.

Since the aritcle states that increasing the size of the spots is reversing a trend that started in the 80's, we must assume that the average size of a spot has been decreasing.

This is borne out in personal observation. There are definitely differing sizes (heck, go to Banff and look at the RV parking!), but in general there has been a trend downwards. This has exascerbated a problem, and hit a critical mass.

[snip]
I see a bias in blaming the larger car. I ask you who would you blame if instead of a civic, it was an H2 and an SUV?

Hmm, I think you misread my meaning. I read ChipNoVaMac's statement as saying whenever he sees a misparked car next to a misparked SUV he always assumes it's the fault of the SUV. I was pointing out that is a fallacy. Saying whenever you see a misparked car you assume at some point an SUV was at fault, then backing it up by saying that SUV's are causing the problem is a circular logic.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 03:51 PM
I am sure that such studies exist. Even if they don't it shows a lack of respect on both sides of the issue to find solutions that don't result in vandalism. Keep in mind that I think the SUV "craze" is "short" lived. That soon enough there will be a shift to 'smarter" vehicles that fit the nation as a whole.

Are you saying that you believe that a small proportion of larger vehicles cause more problems than a large proportion of smaller parking spots? I just don't see how that is possible.

Again, I remind you that the original article states that there has been a trend since the 80's to make parking spots smaller. That is the whole point of my argument: all other things being equal, I would agree that increased parking problems would have to be due to an increased number of larger vehicles.

Given that it is an established fact that parking spots have been getting smaller, I see that as having a greater influence on parking behaviour than SUV's do.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 03:58 PM
Since both you and ChipNoVaMac make a similar point, I'll respond to both in one shot ... this is an example of putting the blame in the wrong spot.

Just like xenon lights can be changed, made dimmer, made safe on the road, the blinding SUV lights can be changed. They can be placed lower in the grill, they can be aimed farther down. In both cases it is a design flaw of the lighting system, not an inherent problem in the vehicle. Xenon headlights also show that such design flaws are a general problem, not specific to a single class of vehicle.

You ad I agree on this point. Headlights should be at a uniform level in all regards.

Since the aritcle states that increasing the size of the spots is reversing a trend that started in the 80's, we must assume that the average size of a spot has been decreasing.

This is borne out in personal observation. There are definitely differing sizes (heck, go to Banff and look at the RV parking!), but in general there has been a trend downwards. This has exascerbated a problem, and hit a critical mass.

The point I think you hit on is that since the mid to late '90s we have become a nation of consumption. To myself and many others we have become a nation of "greed". It is mine and no one else's.


[QUOTE=stcanard]Hmm, I think you misread my meaning. I read ChipNoVaMac's statement as saying whenever he sees a misparked car next to a misparked SUV he always assumes it's the fault of the SUV. I was pointing out that is a fallacy. Saying whenever you see a misparked car you assume at some point an SUV was at fault, then backing it up by saying that SUV's are causing the problem is a circular logic.[QUOTE=stcanard]

Furthest from my point. I was trying to say that unless you were there when three vehicles tried to park side by side, there is no way to base the right or wrong of the parking job.

It is that the large SUVs are an easy target, they get the blame. Empirical or personal evidence may point blame at the SUV.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 04:36 PM
Furthest from my point. I was trying to say that unless you were there when three vehicles tried to park side by side, there is no way to base the right or wrong of the parking job.

Sorry, I misread the intent. I agree, unless you watch the vehicles park, you don't know who caused the issue. I have seen this in the extreme where one badly parked vehicle in the morning has caused everyone to line up like that, and by the end of the day the one poor vehicle that everyone is complaining about was there because of 15 other vehicles that have all left...

It is that the large SUVs are an easy target, they get the blame. Empirical or personal evidence may point blame at the SUV.

I think we are in complete agreement here. I hereby declare this thread closed!

I'm just in a bad mood today because a larger than average snowfall (in Vancouver that is defined as enough snow that there is actually white visible on the ground) means that I had to promise my wife I wouldn't bike to work today, so I'm stuck in a car grousing about traffic instead of enjoying a nice bracing ride.

EJBasile
Jan 6, 2005, 04:39 PM
Why aren't pickup trucks being yelled about. They are in many cases the same thing as SUVs except with a pickup bed.

I do find xenon headlights annoying because they are so bright, even though my car has them.

As for the height of SUVs discussion, my Range Rover has ride hight adjustment where you can adjust the ground clearence of the road. When I turn of my car the suspention automaticly lowers to make getting in and out of the car easier. It also automaticly adjusts the suspention if your going off road. If your on the highway you can lower the suspension to get better fuel economy.

I do think though if your going to buy an SUV it has to have AWD or 4 wheel drive otherwise it totally defeats the purpose. My cusin who lives in texas bough a 4X2 Jeep Grand Cherokee, so much for being a Jeep. You might as well buy a passat wagon or something.

Rower_CPU
Jan 6, 2005, 04:54 PM
When a Honda Civic is parked over the line in a spot, it is just as impossible for me to park beside it as it is for an SUV

Pedestrians are just as dead when hit by a Honda Civic as when hit by an SUV

Cyclists are just as dead when hit by a Honda Civic as when hit by an SUV

Poor drivers cause problems, no matter what they're driving.

So no, I don't think the problem is exacerbated, but I do think people are watching them more.

...

I think you're oversimplifying.

There's a difference between being parked over the line because you're a bad driver and because your vehicle gives you no other option.

Getting run over by an SUV will do more damage than being run over by a compact. The potential for injury/death is higher for the "other guy", whether pedestrian, bike, or compact car, with an SUV.

SUVs have wider turning radiuses, higher centers of gravity, and longer stopping distances due to their size - these factors make poor drivers even more dangerous behind the wheels of large cars than small ones.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 05:12 PM
There's a difference between being parked over the line because you're a bad driver and because your vehicle gives you no other option.

There's also a difference between being parked over the line because your vehicle is too big, and being parked over the line because a 25 year trend has made parking spots too small.

I'm going to cut the rest, to try and keep this on topic, since my intent was never to debate the safety or environmental friendliness of SUV's. If you look back at my original entry in this thread, I am applauding what may finally be the end of a 25 year trend to make parking spots ridiculously small. This from the point of view of someone who drives either a Camry or an MX-6, neither of which I would consider unreasonably big for someone with a family.

My problem is how many people seem to think that the current size is perfect. My guess is this is because a large portion of this board's population is young enough that they haven't noticed that the spots used to be larger (again, as referenced in the article, this is not personal opinion).

I've been trying to come up with a decent analogy, and I think I might finally have one. I live in a city (Vancouver, BC) with a transit system that is woefully inadequate. It's poorly planned, routes are politically motivated, and it's finances are so poorly managed that it is actually cheaper to pay gas, maintenance, and downtown parking costs on a car than it is to use the transit system. What's even worse is that the system doesn't even serve the 60% of commuters that commute from suburb to suburb, as it is designed as a radial system from downtown Vancouver out to the suburbs.

Now faced with declining riderships (given the choice of a 5 minute drive or a 40 minute bus-ride as I had in a previous job guess which one I used; my current choice is a 20 minute drive, a 25 minute bike ride, or a 45 minute bus, and this is a route where I don't even have to do a transfer), our transit authority has decided it's obvious that the problem is it's too easy to drive. So, instead of improving the transit system to meet the needs of the people, they are raising taxes on vehicles to try and force people into the system.

This is the same logic I'm seeing with parking sizes. After a 25 year trend of shrinking parking spots, we're now seeing people have trouble fitting into them. Obviously the problem is the cars have gotten too big.

Rower_CPU
Jan 6, 2005, 05:19 PM
There's also a difference between being parked over the line because your vehicle is too big, and being parked over the line because a 25 year trend has made parking spots too small.

Do you have any evidence/study that shows this? I'd be interested in seeing if this is, in fact the case on both side of our border.

I'm sure that parking spaces have been shrunk somewhat due to space demands as more and more cars try to occupy the same space...then again, I doubt there were too many high-rise parking structures 25 years ago. Wasn't it all just dirt lots back then? ;)

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 05:23 PM
Why aren't pickup trucks being yelled about. They are in many cases the same thing as SUVs except with a pickup bed.

My point exactly. These are different times we live in. People seem to be looking for a scapegoat. SUVs are an easy target at what we can't say at the ballot box.

Rower_CPU
Jan 6, 2005, 05:30 PM
My point exactly. These are different times we live in. People seem to be looking for a scapegoat. SUVs are an easy target at what we can't say at the ballot box.

I agree that SUVs are being targeted to the exclusion of other large vehicles - I think one reason for this is that they have seen rampant growth (both physically and in numbers on the road) over the past few years. Can you imagine seeing a non-military vehicle the size of the Hummer on the roads 10 years ago? Instead of minivans, people started driving Expeditions, Suburbans and other similarly oversized vehicles as their everyday mode of transportation.

As with all things, it's a pendulum. We're seeing SUVs targeted now, which indicates that the trend is swinging back in the other direction (e.g. the popularity of the Mini Cooper).

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 05:30 PM
Do you have any evidence/study that shows this? I'd be interested in seeing if this is, in fact the case on both side of our border.

I'm sure that parking spaces have been shrunk somewhat due to space demands as more and more cars try to occupy the same space...then again, I doubt there were too many high-rise parking structures 25 years ago. Wasn't it all just dirt lots back then? ;)

Rower, I can say that I have seen parking in the shopping centers (in open lots) get smaller. We have one store that if you are not in a Civic or an Echo; you will not be happy. This is in a county that probably leads in "big vehicles" (Montgomery County, Maryland). Other shopping centers around here may offer more width; but the "depth" between the cars has lost to be welcomed.

In the end we all pay the price. Through insurance, or through our own pockets since many of the more expensive vehicles MAY be done through a lease.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 05:34 PM
Do you have any evidence/study that shows this? I'd be interested in seeing if this is, in fact the case on both side of our border.

In this case, no. I'm basing the strength of the argument on the following statement in the article:

..along with increasing the minimum width of parking spaces...Such moves are reversing a trend that began in the 1980s

And making the assumption that the reverse of increasing the minimum width would be decreasing the minimum width. Now whether the statement in the article is based on facts, or the author's personal opinion I cannot say.

I do see a number of lots with spaces that have been repainted (you can still see the outline of the original lines) narrower. I strongly suspect that the degree of movement is regionally dependent, with spaces being shrunk in Toronto or New York a lot more than they are in Houston or Winnipeg.

I'm sure that parking spaces have been shrunk somewhat due to space demands as more and more cars try to occupy the same space...

I'm betting (and this is opinion I have absolutely no facts to back it up) that given the increased value of downtown property, this has as much to do with increasing revenue by cramming more pay parking spots into a given volume as it has to do with space demands. But that's just the cynic in me talking.

then again, I doubt there were too many high-rise parking structures 25 years ago. Wasn't it all just dirt lots back then? ;)

It's a little known fact that Stonehenge was actually a multi-level parkade back when it was built. Unfortunately they made the miscalculation of putting the SUV parking on the roof and, well, you can see the results...

Rower_CPU
Jan 6, 2005, 05:35 PM
Rower, I can say that I have seen parking in the shopping centers (in open lots) get smaller.

I'm not doubting your or stcanard's claim; I just would like to see facts rather than anecdotal evidence. Parking spaces seem a lot smaller in my Tacoma than they did in my Metro, but it doesn't mean I think they've all shrunk in the last 3 years. ;)

Rower_CPU
Jan 6, 2005, 05:41 PM
In this case, no. I'm basing the strength of the argument on the following statement in the article:

..along with increasing the minimum width of parking spaces...Such moves are reversing a trend that began in the 1980s

...when small cars were popular.

Helps to finish that sentence. So the author is simply stating that parking spaces usually match the size of popular cars. Well duh.

The quote in the following paragraph is equally silly:

"A lot of us are frustrated trying to pull into compact parking spaces," says Guy Bjerke, chairman of Concord's planning commission. "My wife drives a minivan, and I drive a sedan. But even with those cars, some of those compact spots seem pretty small."

Wouldn't it seem pretty obvious that neither a sedan nor a minivan is a compact car?

It's a little known fact that Stonehenge was actually a multi-level parkade back when it was built. Unfortunately they made the miscalculation of putting the SUV parking on the roof and, well, you can see the results...

Figures. :D

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 05:46 PM
I agree that SUVs are being targeted to the exclusion of other large vehicles - I think one reason for this is that they have seen rampant growth (both physically and in numbers on the road) over the past few years. Can you imagine seeing a non-military vehicle the size of the Hummer on the roads 10 years ago? Instead of minivans, people started driving Expeditions, Suburbans and other similarly oversized vehicles as their everyday mode of transportation.

As with all things, it's a pendulum. We're seeing SUVs targeted now, which indicates that the trend is swinging back in the other direction (e.g. the popularity of the Mini Cooper).

You and I are in agreement on the basics here. What dismays me is that with gas hitting $2 a gallon here in the US we have not seen a VERY substantial slow down in the SUV market.

Sort of what is driving the housing costs to a level that most in the DC area can not afford basic housing unless there are two incomes. Micron just had a weekend job fair for manufacturing jobs at $12.50 an hour. It would be hard pressed for anyone to find decent housing for less than $1000 a month.

So there is little reason in my area that there is little "sympathy" for those that drive "larger vehicles". Not to say that vandalism is in order. But there is a greater deep "hatred" for the class society that is building.

For me I am stuck in the middle. I have associates on both sides. My upbringing is to try and find a happy place for both.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 05:54 PM
...when small cars were popular.

Helps to finish that sentence. So the author is simply stating that parking spaces usually match the size of popular cars. Well duh.


What, you want context in quotes? Well then forget about ever working in the media. Geez, informed discussion. Whould'a thunk.

On a slightly different note, I will wade into the safety issue very slightly, with a point about perspective (which I think we all agree on anyway, it seems only the reasonable people are left in this thread, what were the odds of that happening?)

As a bike commuter, my primary concern with traffic is vehicles coming out of a side street and not noticing me. Almost everything else I can predict ahead of time. So what I'm looking at is low speed collisions from the side.

In this case, I actually prefer to be hit by an SUV! The extra height and grill space spreads the impact over my body, and I can take it a lot more (hey all Canadians instinctively lean into a body hit, it's that hockey thing again ;)) and come out with a few bruises.

With a sub-compact, I am far more concerned about getting a broken leg, beacuse of where it would hit me. If you look at how my leg is attached to my hip(!) on one end and the pedal on the other, it doesn't take much pressure to snap it!

At least that's the theory, I really hope I never have a chance to find out in practice!

Peyote
Jan 6, 2005, 05:58 PM
Those of you that enjoy scratching and denting people's cars or SUV's when you feel like they parked too close to you, should sit down and think about things for a minute. What you are doing is WRONG.

If the person has a large vehicle and doesn't know how to park it well enough to leave you more room...that sucks. But two wrongs don't make a right, and they're not going to learn anything from the little "lesson" you are trying to teach them. They're going to think that someone was an @sshole and messed up their vehicle...nothing more. Also, so they inconvenienced you a little...maybe even made you have to get in through the passenger's side door. Is that justification for causing hundreds of dollars worth of damage?


Another thing you might want to think about is, they may not have had a choice. One thing I've learned is that when someone is parked too close to you, they may have not had a choice. What if you parked your car, and left it. Then later a bad driver that was three or four spaces away parked over the line. Then as the lot filled up, people had to park off center to be able to fit. Then the person that parks next to you ends up crowding you some. Is it their fault? What if there were no other spaces available, or they were in a hurry? It's not their fault that they had to crowd you, and yet you are committing a crime against them and destroying their property....is that fair to them?


Grow up people...by punishing someone like that you are not teaching them anything if they could have helped the way they parked....and you are running the big risk of damaging an innocent person's car. Way to go, big man.



EDIT: For the record, I drive a Jeep, so I never have to crowd anyone!
:D

Rower_CPU
Jan 6, 2005, 05:59 PM
As a bike commuter, my primary concern with traffic is vehicles coming out of a side street and not noticing me. Almost everything else I can predict ahead of time. So what I'm looking at is low speed collisions from the side.

In this case, I actually prefer to be hit by an SUV! The extra height and grill space spreads the impact over my body, and I can take it a lot more (hey all Canadians instinctively lean into a body hit, it's that hockey thing again ) and come out with a few bruises.

With a sub-compact, I am far more concerned about getting a broken leg, beacuse of where it would hit me. If you look at how my leg is attached to my hip(!) on one end and the pedal on the other, it doesn't take much pressure to snap it!

At least that's the theory, I really hope I never have a chance to find out in practice!

I'm a cyclist, too, of the off-road variety, though I may be doing more commuting soon. Since I'm a big guy riding a 21" frame I'm more content to roll over a compact than be hit straight on by an SUV. But hey, I never played hockey. :p

Here's hoping neither one of us has that chance...

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 6, 2005, 06:12 PM
I'm not doubting your or stcanard's claim; I just would like to see facts rather than anecdotal evidence. Parking spaces seem a lot smaller in my Tacoma than they did in my Metro, but it doesn't mean I think they've all shrunk in the last 3 years. ;)

To be honest I am looking at my relatively long life. When it becomes more difficult to park my old Civic or my current Baja, it is more than anecdotal. When I have spent a better part of my life working in malls and shopping centers and see them shrink the spaces over the last 20+ years, it is more than anecdotal by painting over the old lines and laying lines closer together, it is by definition greater than anecdotal.

We are not talking about the last three years. But more than a decade or better to justify the end profit. Ad to that the societal changes, and you end up with something that doctoral papers will done on.

Even my homeowners association is considering redoing the parking spaces. For back in the '80s the vehicles were wider. And in our neighborhood few can afford the "luxury boats". On most "streets" we are looking at gaining 2 to 4 spaces on each side of the street. And in the "new" economics of multiple families sharing a house, that can mean a parking space in the parking lot or not.

Rest assured as long as your Tacoma was not one of the "super extended" versions. You would be welcomed here.

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 06:50 PM
I'm a cyclist, too, of the off-road variety, though I may be doing more commuting soon.

I am one of the very lucky few who gets to combine them. In the summer (when I'm not "swimming" to work) 1/2 my commute gets to be over nice, tight singletrack :D

Since I'm a big guy riding a 21" frame I'm more content to roll over a compact than be hit straight on by an SUV. But hey, I never played hockey. :p

Here's hoping neither one of us has that chance...

I'm small enough it would take one heck of a bunny hop to get me over that compact! I'd do better with the Tom Cruise slide under move :eek:

So any ideas on how to convice someone who is terrified of snow to not be scared if I try to ride to work through through < 5cm on the ground? I don't want to be stuck in the car again tomorrow!

Maybe if I go for a ride tonight and prove I still have traction. Hmm, gotta go, bike calls!

Rower_CPU
Jan 6, 2005, 08:48 PM
I am one of the very lucky few who gets to combine them. In the summer (when I'm not "swimming" to work) 1/2 my commute gets to be over nice, tight singletrack :D

Very nice.

So any ideas on how to convice someone who is terrified of snow to not be scared if I try to ride to work through through < 5cm on the ground? I don't want to be stuck in the car again tomorrow!

Maybe if I go for a ride tonight and prove I still have traction. Hmm, gotta go, bike calls!

Do you do anything special for your tires (knobbies, studs, etc.)? I haven't had the chance to do too much snow riding yet (San Diego doesn't see much of the white stuff), but I've seen some ride reports on the various bike forums about off road snow rides in the nice powdery stuff that looked good. I'd be more worried about the drivers sliding into me. ;)

stcanard
Jan 6, 2005, 09:06 PM
]Do you do anything special for your tires (knobbies, studs, etc.)? I haven't had the chance to do too much snow riding yet (San Diego doesn't see much of the white stuff), but I've seen some ride reports on the various bike forums about off road snow rides in the nice powdery stuff that looked good. I'd be more worried about the drivers sliding into me. ;)

We get so little, I don't bother with anything more than knobbies (the average year here will probably see only 2 or 3 days with snow on the ground), and I'm not really experienced in it. Just tried, and it's too icy. Makes for some great mountain bike style riding, but definitely not commuting (especially since I think by tomorrow my gears and brakes will be frozen solid, really need to get a place with a garage)

Hmm, they're forcasting more snow for tomorrow. Anybody got an SUV I can borrow? I promise I'll park carefully :D

Ugg
Jan 6, 2005, 09:18 PM
Again, I remind you that the original article states that there has been a trend since the 80's to make parking spots smaller. That is the whole point of my argument: all other things being equal, I would agree that increased parking problems would have to be due to an increased number of larger vehicles.

Given that it is an established fact that parking spots have been getting smaller, I see that as having a greater influence on parking behaviour than SUV's do.

It's true that parking spaces are getting smaller, and I think the major reason for that is economics on the part of builders/developers. Local zoning almost always dictates that there be x amount of spaces per x amount of square footage in a store. Obviously land costs money so it makes sense to cut back as much as possible. However, in the 80s cars were getting smaller and even minivans are about the same size as an average full-sized sedan. So, I don't think your argument flies.

Having been run into twice and clipped a few times while on a bicycle, I can ony say that small cars are better to be hit by and I would gladly be run into by a Civic rather than an SUV. With a Civic you're more likely to go over the car, with an SUV, more likely to go under.

The run ins were by passenger cars, one sorta my fault the other the fault fo the driver. Minimal damage and rode my bike away both times. Three of the clippings were caused by SUVs because they couldn't see me over their hoods.

Doesn't Vancouver have the highest accident rates in Canada? You're a brave man!

cheekyspanky
Jan 7, 2005, 08:45 PM
What I don't understand are the people in the UK buying H2's - firstly they don't fit in loads of places - whether thats car parks or country roads and then the cost of fuel. It's around 90p a litre at the moment so thats like $6.35 a US gallon!

That H3 looks quite cool, I wonder how much smaller than the H2 it actually is?

Not many people buy an SUV because they HAVE to, thats why most of the manufacturers are now making them into soft roaders which have no real ability off road - BMW X3 etc. It's all about the image. I have no problem with people owning SUV's, just with the people who try to make out they bought it with no consideration of anything other than its sheer ability.

spikeovsky
Jan 8, 2005, 01:36 AM
i walk. ;)

Well, walking would be great if so many cities weren't designed to be used only with cars. If we want to solve the Problem of the SUV, we have to go back to the 1940s and '50s and slap around a couple of auto executives and urban planners. I'm a city mouse myself, and like living somewhere that lets me walk or bike anywhere I want to go - but I've got family in Alberta (sorta like Canada's Texas), so I know that this doesn't work for everyone.

Personally, I don't really mind pickups or SUVs if they are really going to be used. Central Alberta is truck country, but people *use* them. What pisses me off is seeing a giant, highly-polished SUV with rally lights, snorkels, etc, on the streets of Hong Kong or Beijing. That's just silly.

Beijing's an awful place to walk, though it might get better: they're building about 6 new subway lines set to open before the 2008 Olympics.

spikeovsky
Jan 8, 2005, 01:51 AM
Poor drivers cause problems, no matter what they're driving ...
I will tell you from my perspective riding my bike home, I have far more problems with Honda Civics thinking they can dart in and out of traffic, thinking "I'm narrow enough I can go around traffic in that bike lane", and driving by me at very dangerous speeds than I do with a Pathfinder trying to do the same.

I agree with your first statement. When cars drive in the bike lane, though, I don't think about what kind of car they are, simply that their owners should be taken away and shot. I think there seems to be a worldwide lack of proper traffic law enforcement, and where the law is enforced, it is often at the expense of those people most in need of its protection (read: cyclists).

Then again, I don't like it when cyclists run red lights, either. And I say this as something of a bike evangelist.

spikeovsky
Jan 8, 2005, 02:01 AM
So any ideas on how to convice someone who is terrified of snow to not be scared if I try to ride to work through through < 5cm on the ground? I don't want to be stuck in the car again tomorrow!

Maybe if I go for a ride tonight and prove I still have traction. Hmm, gotta go, bike calls!

Tell her not to worry. I rode all winter in Toronto two years in a row on 1" slicks. Gets a bit exciting, but as long as you take it easy and brake early (front brake first, to avoid fishtailing), no problems. I fell a couple of times, but who doesn't? The only real annoyance I ever had was in a near-blizzard when a delivery truck ran me off the road - but I was wearing a helmet, so it was OK. Good luck! :)

Mr_Ed
Jan 8, 2005, 10:20 AM
...
But there is a greater deep "hatred" for the class society that is building.
...
You keep bringing up this whole "social class" thing and I just don't see it. I might possibly see the price of a vehicle as something that splits the population between those who can afford it, and those who can't, but SUVs (like most other vehicle classes) include vehicles in a range of prices. Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/new/type/suv/index.html?tid=edmunds.n.mainindex.content..1.*) shows a number of SUV's priced under $20,000.

If someone can't afford a low end SUV, they can't afford anything but a compact/subcompact anyway. If someone can afford a $55,000+ Hummer H2 (ie a "large" SUV), they could just as easily buy a Porsche Boxster, or any number of coupes/sedans from Infinity, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, BMW, Benz, etc. and many of those would not fit into a "compact" parking space either. If many of those expensive SUV owners had opted to buy an expensive sedan/coupe instead, would you even be aware enough of the numbers to still be talking about a "social class gulf" in this thread? Is it possible that the fact that you see more of that one class of vehicles on the road is making it easier for you to associate the SUV with "social class"?


Back to the point on the parking space discussion, large vehicles (such as the Suburban to pick one example) have been around for a LONG time. Take a look here (http://www.classictruckshop.com/clubs/earlyburbs/history_page-2.htm), here (http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/generations/articles/46027/article.html). Large coupes and sedans have been around a LONG time. When it comes to the history of the automobile (particularly in the United States), compact/subcompact autos are relative "newcomers," not the other way around. The situation we are discussing in this thread only became a problem when the size of parking spaces became smaller. "Stretching" parking spaces now is merely correcting a situation that should not have occurred in the first place.

OutThere
Jan 8, 2005, 11:45 AM
The Bernardsville, N.J. city council voted last month to increase the size of parking spaces. It is reversing a trend that began in the 1980's to accommodate compact cars. The need is growing to accommodate the large SUV.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-01-02-parking_x.htm

This is sickening, Americans are just getting fatter and fatter and more scared of everything, increasing their 'need' for fat SUV's to protect them from the heathen invaders, and, well, **** the rest of the people who have small cars. "I'm single and have a ten minute commute through the center of the city, and I never carpool, thus, I need a hummer. This world is dangerous! Can't you see that without my hummer the terrorists would get me?" :mad:

Ugg
Jan 8, 2005, 01:38 PM
If someone can afford a $55,000+ Hummer H2 (ie a "large" SUV), they could just as easily buy a Porsche Boxster, or any number of coupes/sedans from Infinity, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, BMW, Benz, etc. and many of those would not fit into a "compact" parking space either.
Back to the point on the parking space discussion, large vehicles (such as the Suburban to pick one example) have been around for a LONG time. Take a look here (http://www.classictruckshop.com/clubs/earlyburbs/history_page-2.htm), here (http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/generations/articles/46027/article.html). Large coupes and sedans have been around a LONG time. When it comes to the history of the automobile (particularly in the United States), compact/subcompact autos are relative "newcomers," not the other way around. The situation we are discussing in this thread only became a problem when the size of parking spaces became smaller. "Stretching" parking spaces now is merely correcting a situation that should not have occurred in the first place.

Not all parking spaces are for compact cars so your argument doesn't fly. Also, it's not merely the width and the length that is the issue here but the HEIGHTH!

Yes, the Suburban and other such critters have been around for a long time. It's not how long they've been around it's the sheer numbers that's the issue. Isn't it something like 50% now?

Why should a community be subsidizing the parking for monster sized vehicles? Shouldn't they be paying a premium for on street parking? A couple of subcompacts could easily fit into the same space as an extended cab pickup. Maybe we should alllow drivers of small cars to park free, thereby encouraging common sense over fear.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 8, 2005, 02:07 PM
You keep bringing up this whole "social class" thing and I just don't see it. I might possibly see the price of a vehicle as something that splits the population between those who can afford it, and those who can't, but SUVs (like most other vehicle classes) include vehicles in a range of prices. Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/new/type/suv/index.html?tid=edmunds.n.mainindex.content..1.*) shows a number of SUV's priced under $20,000.

But it is not the lower priced ones that people get worked up over the most.

If someone can't afford a low end SUV, they can't afford anything but a compact/subcompact anyway. If someone can afford a $55,000+ Hummer H2 (ie a "large" SUV), they could just as easily buy a Porsche Boxster, or any number of coupes/sedans from Infinity, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, BMW, Benz, etc. and many of those would not fit into a "compact" parking space either. If many of those expensive SUV owners had opted to buy an expensive sedan/coupe instead, would you even be aware enough of the numbers to still be talking about a "social class gulf" in this thread? Is it possible that the fact that you see more of that one class of vehicles on the road is making it easier for you to associate the SUV with "social class"?

Probably so. If the luxury coupes/sedans were to grow to the width of some of the SUVs out there. "Compact" parking spaces are used in this thread; but the issue is that it is the "normal" sized spaces that are the real discussion point here.

Keep in mind that when I brought of the "class" issue, it came from the POV of living in the DC area. We are probably more skewed towards higher incomes than many other areas of the country. So we might have a greater number of the super SUVs on the road than in less urban areas.

Keep in mind too that we now have more wealth in this nation that probably any other time in our history. By some accounts the Middle Class is shrinking, and moving further down the ladder.

How else do you explain the very deep feelings that some have against the larger SUVs?

Back to the point on the parking space discussion, large vehicles (such as the Suburban to pick one example) have been around for a LONG time. Take a look here (http://www.classictruckshop.com/clubs/earlyburbs/history_page-2.htm), here (http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/generations/articles/46027/article.html). Large coupes and sedans have been around a LONG time. When it comes to the history of the automobile (particularly in the United States), compact/subcompact autos are relative "newcomers," not the other way around. The situation we are discussing in this thread only became a problem when the size of parking spaces became smaller. "Stretching" parking spaces now is merely correcting a situation that should not have occurred in the first place.

First there is no mandate that spaces had to stay the same. They shrank with the gas crisis and the need for more fuel efficient cars. Which made them smaller. To say the spaces should not have been made smaller to begin with is short sighted. We then have the issue of social responsibility, from the manufactures, the politicians, and the people. There is no reason that we have so many vehicles that no longer fit in a world that was making sense.

i say lets widen spots, but put them on the far end of the malls and such.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 8, 2005, 02:22 PM
They can be placed lower in the grill, they can be aimed farther down. In both cases it is a design flaw of the lighting system, not an inherent problem in the vehicle. Xenon headlights also show that such design flaws are a general problem, not specific to a single class of vehicle.

Correct. The issue is that the manufactures are using a loophole by basing SUVs on trucks. And the government has their hands so deep in to the manufactures pockets, they won't doing anything about it.

Hmm, I think you misread my meaning. I read ChipNoVaMac's statement as saying whenever he sees a misparked car next to a misparked SUV he always assumes it's the fault of the SUV. I was pointing out that is a fallacy. Saying whenever you see a misparked car you assume at some point an SUV was at fault, then backing it up by saying that SUV's are causing the problem is a circular logic.

I am sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I have given up trying to fix blame on bad parking. I was pointing out how I think many people see the issue.

If I have problems with larger SUVs is that they are not friendly to the environment, to the infrastructure, and to public safety. Many of these issues could be tackled by a stronger Congress.

I also have a problem with the "me first" attitude that seems to prevail in todays world. I remember way back when you showed courtesy when in a parking lot and someone was trying to back out. With so many SUVs and Minivans out there now, you rick life and property trying to back out.

Mr_Ed
Jan 8, 2005, 02:31 PM
Not all parking spaces are for compact cars so your argument doesn't fly. Also, it's not merely the width and the length that is the issue here but the HEIGHTH!
How does it "not fly"? Not all spaces are labeled as intended for compact vehicles but if parking spaces were not smaller today (labeled or not), the "stretching" of parking spaces would not be a "news" story and we would not be having this discussion, would we?

Where I live there are some shopping areas where they have areas with smaller than average (by today's standards) spaces and they post signs that say "Compact Vehicles". Guess what? Not even people in compact vehicles like to park in them if there are other spaces open. In the end, everyone would like to enter/exit their vehicle in relative comfort and safety (where vehicle damage is concerned) regardless of what size vehicle they drive. Just make them all larger like they used to be and don't worry about what kind of car parks in which spot.

As for the height, how is that a parking space problem unless you are in a parking garage?

Yes, the Suburban and other such critters have been around for a long time. It's not how long they've been around it's the sheer numbers that's the issue. Isn't it something like 50% now?

I think your comment is completely ignoring my basic point: SUVs are not the first, nor the only large vehicles in regular use in our roads. What percentage of vehicles are SUVs are of little consequence when we are talking about the size of parking spaces.


Why should a community be subsidizing the parking for monster sized vehicles? Shouldn't they be paying a premium for on street parking? A couple of subcompacts could easily fit into the same space as an extended cab pickup. Maybe we should alllow drivers of small cars to park free, thereby encouraging common sense over fear.
What is your definition of a "monster sized vehicle"? How much wider and longer than the average does it have to be for you to refer to it as a "monster"? One person's "monster" could be someone else's "normal" . . .

How exactly is a community "subsidizing" parking for large vehicles? Presumably the larger vehicle weighs more and spends more on gas (ie. more fuel tax revenue to the state). In most places, the yearly "tag/registration" fee is based on value of vehicle which seems fine, so in reality, the owner of a larger vehicle is paying more taxes on a yearly basis (given similar distances driven, of course).

Mr_Ed
Jan 8, 2005, 03:05 PM
Probably so. If the luxury coupes/sedans were to grow to the width of some of the SUVs out there. "Compact" parking spaces are used in this thread; but the issue is that it is the "normal" sized spaces that are the real discussion point here.

Keep in mind that when I brought of the "class" issue, it came from the POV of living in the DC area. We are probably more skewed towards higher incomes than many other areas of the country. So we might have a greater number of the super SUVs on the road than in less urban areas.

Keep in mind too that we now have more wealth in this nation that probably any other time in our history. By some accounts the Middle Class is shrinking, and moving further down the ladder.
I understand where you are coming from but I hope you understand where I am coming from: I have difficulty tying the actual size of a vehicle to anything related to "social" or "economic" standing. In the first paragraph of your response quoted above you made it strictly a "size" issue (meaning you would take notice of other vehicles if they were to increase in size) and that is precisely what I think a discussion on parking space dimensions should be about.

How else do you explain the very deep feelings that some have against the larger SUVs?
This is explained by some of the posts here and it has nothing to do with "social" standing. You hear people complaining about SUVs with comments like:
- Visibility ("I can't see around them like I could other vehicles.")
- Intimidation ("I don't feel like I will be safe in my car if I collide with an SUV and there are lots of them out there now.")
- Annoyance factors ("Their headlights are too high for my vehicle and they blind me when they are close behind me.")
- The blanket "Moral Superiority" statement ("Those SUV drivers are jerks because their vehicles are big and wasteful.")

These (and others) are not invalid complaints but they have nothing to do with "social" or "economic" standing of the driver of an SUV with relation to some other driver.

First there is no mandate that spaces had to stay the same. They shrank with the gas crisis and the need for more fuel efficient cars. Which made them smaller. To say the spaces should not have been made smaller to begin with is short sighted. We then have the issue of social responsibility, from the manufactures, the politicians, and the people. There is no reason that we have so many vehicles that no longer fit in a world that was making sense.
Let's be clear about this. They didn't shrink in direct response to the gas crisis. After a number of years with availability of smaller vehicles, someone (or some group) decided parking spaces should be smaller. I would argue that making smaller spaces when so many vehicles in use would not fit properly was "short sighted." As for the "world making sense," I must say, it made more sense to me when we had larger spaces across the board. Much simpler :) Without claiming actual knowledge of this, I would guess the trend started in commercial parking areas and the motive came down to dollars and cents (more shoppers parking?), not anything more "noble" than that. I believe that logic was flawed because:
a) Larger vehicles still constitute a significant portion of the vehicles on the road
b) Some "shoppers" might drive somewhere else (as I do) if they don't find satisfactory parking. Mind you, I don't drive a truck or SUV but I often find parking spaces that are not to my liking in commercial areas, and I drive on. It's the business' loss.


i say lets widen spots, but put them on the far end of the malls and such.Yes, but why not make them all the same size? And why would you want to penalize someone just for driving a larger vehicle than you choose to drive? What do we gain by doing that? Instead of folks with small cars complaining on a thread like this one, it will be folks with big cars . . .

OutThere
Jan 8, 2005, 03:25 PM
And why would you want to penalize someone just for driving a larger vehicle than you choose to drive?.

Because large vehicles (read Suburban, Hummer, and Excursion), are extremely wasteful, and extremely rarely necessary. There are only minimal situations when a) You need such large quantity of people space and b) You need the four wheel drive / off road capabilities. There are people who fall into one of these categories, but there are very few who need both. Most of the time people who have lots of children use that as an excuse for buying a suburban, but, I ask, what is wrong with a minivan? You might say that it doesn't have the same power and strength, but how many of the people who say they need it for people space, also need it for its four wheel drive?

Mr_Ed
Jan 8, 2005, 04:28 PM
Because large vehicles (read Suburban, Hummer, and Excursion), are extremely wasteful, and extremely rarely necessary. There are only minimal situations when a) You need such large quantity of people space and b) You need the four wheel drive / off road capabilities. There are people who fall into one of these categories, but there are very few who need both. Most of the time people who have lots of children use that as an excuse for buying a suburban, but, I ask, what is wrong with a minivan? You might say that it doesn't have the same power and strength, but how many of the people who say they need it for people space, also need it for its four wheel drive?
The "SUV vs. Mini-van" argument was beaten to death in some other threads so I won't get drawn in to that.

As for your justification for penalizing owners of SUVs, refer to the end of my reply to Ugg. Owners of large vehicles already pay more in fuel taxes to the state for the very reasons you mentioned. Some (though I won't :)) could argue that if you are going to segregate parking areas into "small" vs. "large" vehicles, then those who pay more in taxes should get the more convenient parking spots. My solution is simple. Make all spots large.

Then maybe we can stop having these pointless discussions where we pretend we can assess a complete stranger's need or motives for owning a particular vehicle. Just this past Wednesday I went to lunch with some folks from work. One of our admins drove us in her new Mazda mini-van. One of the passengers politely asked why she owned a mini-van. Knowing the person asking the question (and having read this thread earlier) I was pretty sure I knew why he was asking. You see, the admin and her husband have only one 14 year old daughter.

She replied:
a) when they go on vacations they always drive because her husband won't fly and they need space for "stuff" for the trip.
b) She seems to spend a lot of time driving her daughter and her friends around so her previous car was not cutting it.

Is she being "wasteful" when a small car can carry three passengers? It sure looks that way if you don't ask "why" as my colleague did. It's a matter of opinion and you are entitled to yours regarding large vehicles. But it's one thing to have an opinion and quite another to talk about penalizing (or otherwise treating some group inequitably) based on that opinion without taking anything else (like reasons/motives) into account.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 8, 2005, 04:56 PM
Is she being "wasteful" when a small car can carry three passengers? It sure looks that way if you don't ask "why" as my colleague did. It's a matter of opinion and you are entitled to yours regarding large vehicles. But it's one thing to have an opinion and quite another to talk about penalizing (or otherwise treating some group inequitably) based on that opinion without taking anything else (like reasons/motives) into account.

I assume that the Mazda is the MPV. Not what I would call a large vehicle. Just about 6 inches wider than a Civic. Personally I would like to see better highway mpg, yet that could be obtained by a station wagon design. Cargo, that is another matter. An E-Class wagon has nearly the same volume as the MPV does, and gets better milage. And is about the same size.

As to penalizing one group over another. The same can be said that those that choose smaller cars would/will be penalized, for they will either have to park further away themselves or pay higher parking fees since there would be fewer spaces. Just seems to fit "I got mine" attitude that grew in the '90s.

Mr_Ed
Jan 8, 2005, 05:35 PM
I assume that the Mazda is the MPV. Not what I would call a large vehicle. Just about 6 inches wider than a Civic. Personally I would like to see better highway mpg, yet that could be obtained by a station wagon design. Cargo, that is another matter. An E-Class wagon has nearly the same volume as the MPV does, and gets better milage. And is about the same size.

As to penalizing one group over another. The same can be said that those that choose smaller cars would/will be penalized, for they will either have to park further away themselves or pay higher parking fees since there would be fewer spaces. Just seems to fit "I got mine" attitude that grew in the '90s.

Yes, and an Expedition is "only about 6 inches wider" than an MPV (72.1 vs. 78.7 inches). The question of what is "too big" is highly subjective. That's the reason these discussions seem to drag on with no one actually being persuaded to change their point of view in the end :) I don't think you will find anyone who would disagree better gas mileage is a good thing. Once upon a time, station wagons were very common. Ironically, the station wagon probably fell out of favor with the public for the same reason some started buying small cars: the gas crunch of the 70's. As sales of certain models fell, the auto manufacturers ceased production. The problem is that many still felt a need to have that much room in a vehicle, so they started buying trucks with cabins and "SUV-like" vehicles like the Jeep Cherokee in droves. Other manufacturers took notice and here we are. Worse yet, some bought a small car for the commute to work but kept a large second vehicle (like station wagon, truck, SUV-like) to do other things the compact is simply not well suited for. Even though there are some station wagons out there, they are few and far between so most look to SUVs or mini-vans.

As for the availability of "fewer spaces" unfairly impacting small car owners, I don't see how. If you make all spaces equal then any potential lack of parking affects everyone equitably. If you meant to say that small car owners are unfairly affected because the "compact parking" areas might disappear, then I would say the compact car owners upset about that are displaying that "I got mine" attitude you talk about.

Gotta go. Going to take a shower (after all, it's Saturday :D) and go park my car in a big, fat parking space behind "Tom & Jerry's Lounge" and have a pint. Catch you all on the flip side . . .

EJBasile
Jan 9, 2005, 12:26 AM
This is sickening, Americans are just getting fatter and fatter and more scared of everything, increasing their 'need' for fat SUV's to protect them from the heathen invaders, and, well, **** the rest of the people who have small cars. "I'm single and have a ten minute commute through the center of the city, and I never carpool, thus, I need a hummer. This world is dangerous! Can't you see that without my hummer the terrorists would get me?" :mad:

Alright that makes no sense and actually hummers are not very common to see. How do hummers or SUVs relate to being scared of terrorists.

Ugg
Jan 9, 2005, 01:34 AM
Alright that makes no sense and actually hummers are not very common to see. How do hummers or SUVs relate to being scared of terrorists.

My take on it is that Americans fear things in general way too much. Whether it be 2 inches of new snow (I'd rather be in a front wheel drive sub compact than an SUV then), the sky falling, their neighbors, etc. How else can you explain gated communities, guns and SUVS? Fear, pure and simple.

virividox
Jan 9, 2005, 01:56 AM
its not so much big cars that bother me, its people should LEARN HOW TO PARK PROPERLY!!! if they maximized the available space then everyone could find a parking slot, i hate ppl who park to close to the line they make it impossible for the adjacent slot to be used!!! gah i guess its a good thing i dont have my car with me in uni or else id go nuts trying to find parking!!!

takao
Jan 9, 2005, 02:51 AM
i didn't knew that there were seperate "compact car" parking spaces in the US...

how big are american parking spaces on average ? are there any numbers ?

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 9, 2005, 05:46 AM
i didn't knew that there were seperate "compact car" parking spaces in the US...

To be fair, the "compact" spaces I have seen are shorter than normal. Though they could be a few inches narrower too.

how big are american parking spaces on average ? are there any numbers ?

I can say that in my TH community we have what I think are the "old sized" spots of 103" (measured from the center of the white line to the other center of the white line.)

Mr_Ed
Jan 9, 2005, 10:20 AM
i didn't knew that there were seperate "compact car" parking spaces in the US...

how big are american parking spaces on average ? are there any numbers ?

I spoke to a friend of mine who is a civil engineer just last night. Had to talk about something while downing that pint :)

He told me that at least in the state of Florida, the county usually sets the requirements for parking space dimensions. In Orange county (Orlando) the minimum is 9 ft. width and they specify the area of the space (don't recall the number he told me), so you can play with the length and width as long as the minimum width is met.

He told me Seminole county (where I live) requires a minimum of 10 ft width. I told him about some of the "Compact parking" spaces in some shopping plazas and he told me Seminole county had increased their width requirements but apparently existing parking areas are not necessarily compelled to change immediately (if at all, not sure). But the regulations would apply to any new parking areas. So, maybe some of those "compact parking" areas I have run into in some shopping areas may be the last of their kind in Seminole county (woohoo!!). :D

[Edit: Sorry, I didn't really answer your question about the "average" american parking space. Don't really have any figures on that. These numbers are from the area where I live.]

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 9, 2005, 10:45 AM
I spoke to a friend of mine who is a civil engineer just last night. Had to talk about something while downing that pint :)

He told me that at least in the state of Florida, the county usually sets the requirements for parking space dimensions. In Orange county (Orlando) the minimum is 9 ft. width and they specify the area of the space (don't recall the number he told me), so you can play with the length and width as long as the minimum width is met.

He told me Seminole county (where I live) requires a minimum of 10 ft width. I told him about some of the "Compact parking" spaces in some shopping plazas and he told me Seminole county had increased their width requirements but apparently existing parking areas are not necessarily compelled to change immediately (if at all, not sure). But the regulations would apply to any new parking areas. So, maybe some of those "compact parking" areas I have run into in some shopping areas may be the last of their kind in Seminole county (woohoo!!). :D

[Edit: Sorry, I didn't really answer your question about the "average" american parking space. Don't really have any figures on that. These numbers are from the area where I live.]

Man, based on my view of the parking spaces in my community; yours are "huge" by comparison. Makes one wonder about the size of the vehicles down there. For at 120" that leaves 42" if two Expeditions were to properly park side by side. More than enough room for even the largest of vehicles IMO. Even with 9' between that leave 32" . Even more in both cases if smaller cars are taken in to account.

Based on some of your comments, just how much space is needed by you all down there?

takao
Jan 9, 2005, 11:03 AM
i googled a around a bit and only found regulations towards size of parking spaces in austria/germany

the only 'required' one was concerning parkign spaces for handicaped drives (wheelchairs etc.)
minimum width: 3,5 / 3,3 meters (austria/germany) thats makes 11,48' / 10,83' in imperial

ecept that i only found recommendations which spoke about 2,25m - 2,50m (7,38' to 8,2')
on your private property or company ground size can be used as needed or demanded by customers/amount of traffic etc.

edit: jsut found out that 2,3m is mimumum requirement for garages etc.

Mr_Ed
Jan 9, 2005, 11:12 AM
Man, based on my view of the parking spaces in my community; yours are "huge" by comparison. Makes one wonder about the size of the vehicles down there. For at 120" that leaves 42" if two Expeditions were to properly park side by side. More than enough room for even the largest of vehicles IMO. Even with 9' between that leave 32" . Even more in both cases if smaller cars are taken in to account.

Based on some of your comments, just how much space is needed by you all down there?

Yeah, it leaves 42" if both vehicles are parked in the middle of a space. The parking spaces have to account for the fact that not everyone is as good at parking between the lines. In "a perfect world" where everyone parks exactly between the lines every time, a smaller space would indeed suffice.

I would also point out that while 42" sounds like a lot, that depends on the type of vehicle as much as it does the actual width of the vehicle. Example:
My car has a max width of 72". It's a coupe and the length of the door is about 56" (by my tape measure in the garage a few minutes ago :D). The door is not attached at the point of maximum width so I estimate we can use a width figure of 68" for this example. When opened, the door extends about 40" (again by my rough measure) from the door sill. This means my car needs about 148" to have both doors fully open. Suddenly, this 120" 'Jumbo' parking spot doesn't seem so huge and I'm just driving a coupe, not an SUV.

For us guys, we may not need the door fully open to get in and out but surely we would still prefer a fully open door. But when I'm out and about with a lady friend who might be wearing a dress or a skirt, I MUST be able to open her door fully if she is going to have any chance to get in and out with any kind of grace and modesty. :p

takao
Jan 9, 2005, 11:29 AM
For us guys, we may not need the door fully open to get in and out but surely we would still prefer a fully open door. But when I'm out and about with a lady friend who might be wearing a dress or a skirt, I MUST be able to open her door fully if she is going to have any chance to get in and out with any kind of grace and modesty. :p

or of course you do it like the people else where and let everybody out before you drive into the parking space
;)

edit: or buy the small peugeot 1007 which has doors like those vans have i nthe back ...

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 9, 2005, 12:16 PM
Yeah, it leaves 42" if both vehicles are parked in the middle of a space. The parking spaces have to account for the fact that not everyone is as good at parking between the lines. In "a perfect world" where everyone parks exactly between the lines every time, a smaller space would indeed suffice.

I would also point out that while 42" sounds like a lot, that depends on the type of vehicle as much as it does the actual width of the vehicle. Example:
My car has a max width of 72". It's a coupe and the length of the door is about 56" (by my tape measure in the garage a few minutes ago :D). The door is not attached at the point of maximum width so I estimate we can use a width figure of 68" for this example. When opened, the door extends about 40" (again by my rough measure) from the door sill. This means my car needs about 148" to have both doors fully open. Suddenly, this 120" 'Jumbo' parking spot doesn't seem so huge and I'm just driving a coupe, not an SUV.

For us guys, we may not need the door fully open to get in and out but surely we would still prefer a fully open door. But when I'm out and about with a lady friend who might be wearing a dress or a skirt, I MUST be able to open her door fully if she is going to have any chance to get in and out with any kind of grace and modesty. :p

Now this is getting to be fun. :D

My Baja is juts over 70". And the door width is just 43" (same here by your challenge). I figure that I need just 24" or 28" in order to get in to my car in a parking space. Keep in mind I am also a 250-300 pound male. I would ask you to take the tape measure and see just how much space that you really need to comfortably enter and exit your vehicle.

Keep in mind my car before this was a Honda Civic Coupe with larger doors. I never had a problem in my parking lot. And that is with many of my fellow residents having the "larger" SUVs that I have commented on. In regards to the "lady", I think that time has shown that they have been able to adjust.

To be honest in my case there was no way to exit gracefully from a Civic "t-top". The issue then becomes how do we address the needs of a few for the needs of the many?

For in most minds the car you are driving fits the new reality of the "compact" car. So there is little reason for you to "complain" about "shrinking" car spaces. It seems to me that you fit into a "responsible" category.

To be honest based on the numbers you and I have posted, I have a greater issue with vehicles greater than 72". Now we could argue to till the cows come home about whether SUVs or or Minivans "block" the view of other drivers. But that was not the point of the original thread. I had a Toyota Camery Coupe that was a challenge at time depending on the the lot I was in. Never did I think they should change the size of the space however. For if the spaces were "too" small, I parked where I thought I could be better off. Hell, what a concept. But it doesn't fly with my view that "I got mine, to hell with others".

[sarcasm] Hope you can find a place to park your "boat".[/
sarcasm]

Mr_Ed
Jan 9, 2005, 02:27 PM
or of course you do it like the people else where and let everybody out before you drive into the parking space
;)

edit: or buy the small peugeot 1007 which has doors like those vans have i nthe back ...
With all due respect, I was raised to always assist a lady in and out of buildings, vehicles, etc. I've always done so and considering my age, that behavior is not likely to change. Oh, and I'm not trading my Porsche in for a Peugeot any time soon. Ok, so they both begin with the letter 'P', but honestly!! :D
Now this is getting to be fun.

My Baja is juts over 70". And the door width is just 43" (same here by your challenge). I figure that I need just 24" or 28" in order to get in to my car in a parking space. Keep in mind I am also a 250-300 pound male. I would ask you to take the tape measure and see just how much space that you really need to comfortably enter and exit your vehicle.
I conceded in my last paragraph that I don't need the door fully open for myself but I'll say that the degree to which I require the door open seems to be relative to how low the seats are. With that in mind, I actually find it easier to get into a good size SUV with the door barely open than I do in my own car. Different vehicles will have different requirements for safe entry/exit.
Interestingly, the doors in my Porsche C4S have an extra "detent" position as you swing open before you reach full open position. I can get in and out with the door in that position. By the way, I'm in the same "weight class" as you :D That position seems to put the door about 28" from the sill. That's pretty good when you are talking about a 56" long door with considerable heft/thickness to the door itself, but it still means 124" to open both doors without taking into account the female passenger situation I wrote about. And that was my point: It's not as if a 10' parking spot gives you lots of clearance in real world (with imperfect parking habits) situations, let alone the smaller ones.
Keep in mind my car before this was a Honda Civic Coupe with larger doors. I never had a problem in my parking lot. And that is with many of my fellow residents having the "larger" SUVs that I have commented on. In regards to the "lady", I think that time has shown that they have been able to adjust.
That "adjustment" you are referring to is that women are buying SUVs in droves :) They still like to wear skirts or dresses and most;) don't want to put on a "show" for strangers in a parking lot when they get in and out of a car.
To be honest in my case there was no way to exit gracefully from a Civic "t-top". The issue then becomes how do we address the needs of a few for the needs of the many?
The question isn't just whether we should make more "small" spaces or "fewer" large spaces. Based on just that, the answer is pretty straightforward. The limiting factor has to be the size and entry/exit requirements for cars actually on the road. Somewhere along the line someone decided that parking space dimensions should be decreased based on some fleet average showing a decrease due to more small cars being sold. But by definition, an average implies a significant portion of the sample is above and a significant portion is below. This is why I've said shrinking dimensions in the first place was ill advised.

For in most minds the car you are driving fits the new reality of the "compact" car. So there is little reason for you to "complain" about "shrinking" car spaces. It seems to me that you fit into a "responsible" category.
Well, I don't want them any smaller and I would like them to do away with areas labeled as "Compact parking only". Is that a complaint?
To be honest based on the numbers you and I have posted, I have a greater issue with vehicles greater than 72". Now we could argue to till the cows come home about whether SUVs or or Minivans "block" the view of other drivers. But that was not the point of the original thread. I had a Toyota Camery Coupe that was a challenge at time depending on the the lot I was in. Never did I think they should change the size of the space however. For if the spaces were "too" small, I parked where I thought I could be better off. Hell, what a concept. But it doesn't fly with my view that "I got mine, to hell with others".
I'm like you when it comes to crowded areas. I tend to head for the "ass" end of the parking lot when I can but that is not always a solution. I don't mind the extra walk as long as the weather is good. Again, in a "perfect world," everyone parks exactly in the middle of a space, and the weather is always nice :)

[sarcasm] Hope you can find a place to park your "boat".[/
sarcasm]
Well, I can always find a friend with a Hummer and have him "clear the way" for me :D

takao
Jan 9, 2005, 03:35 PM
With all due respect, I was raised to always assist a lady in and out of buildings, vehicles, etc. I've always done so and considering my age, that behavior is not likely to change.

you always do that in the parking lot ? why not stop before driving in the parkin space..let them out and then drive it finally into the space
that way you even have more space for running around your car for opening the door
(and it would take you less time with a peugeot because it's smaller than your porsche ;))
i normally do it that way ... (but i think in the year 2005 opening the door on their own is fine)

Interestingly, the doors in my Porsche C4S have an extra "detent" position as you swing open before you reach full open position. i have met no car without that yet..even our old citroen BX had that (not sure about the mazda in the 80ties)

They still like to wear skirts or dresses and most;) don't want to put on a "show" for strangers in a parking lot when they get in and out of a car.

depends ..those who are used wearing skirts and dresses have less problems (perhaps depends on length of skirt...;) ) anyway...
but as far as i have seen climbing out of higher/big car (renault espace here) isn't very easy either (the skirt sometimes don't want to leave the seat behind) while with the other (mercedes c from my father) it's no problem at all
so exactly the reverse
(but most girls i know/knew don't/didn't wear skirts except on rare special occasions

Mr_Ed
Jan 9, 2005, 04:22 PM
you always do that in the parking lot ? why not stop before driving in the parkin space..let them out and then drive it finally into the space
that way you even have more space for running around your car for opening the door
(and it would take you less time with a peugeot because it's smaller than your porsche ;))
i normally do it that way ... (but i think in the year 2005 opening the door on their own is fine)

I actually do what you suggest sometimes. Other times I hesitate to do it if there is a long line of cars waiting behind (Yes, I do think of others once in a while :)). Kind of depends on the situation. I also sometimes valet the vehicle when that is available.

i have met no car without that yet..even our old citroen BX had that (not sure about the mazda in the 80ties)
I'm sure you are right. I probably never took notice of it before this thread came along . . .

depends ..those who are used wearing skirts and dresses have less problems (perhaps depends on length of skirt...;) ) anyway...
but as far as i have seen climbing out of higher/big car (renault espace here) isn't very easy either (the skirt sometimes don't want to leave the seat behind) while with the other (mercedes c from my father) it's no problem at all
so exactly the reverse
(but most girls i know/knew don't/didn't wear skirts except on rare special occasions
Yeah, shorter skirts/dresses are more of a problem if she's not the 'all-out exhibitionist' type :D And in that regard (short ones) they have a much easier time in a taller vehicle like a mid to full sized car or even small to mid sized SUV, as long as it's not too tall of course (I'm not talking American style "Monster Truck" (http://www.monstertruckracing.com/) here :D). Long skirts/dresses do cause other problems in pretty much any vehicle, as you said. Many of my lady friends like wearing skirts on a fairly regular basis to go out on the town and they are usually short so that was my primary concern. I guess I could ask them to wear a longer skirt/dress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yeah. Right. :p

EJBasile
Jan 9, 2005, 04:40 PM
Small Car Drivers- think of it this way- you now have more room to get out of your car.