Snow Rant #2

It's time for my other annual rant on the topic of snow. Once again, it's all about being considerate to other people.

Parking between the lines is one of the things that separates us from the animals. Even during the LA riots in 1992, when people would drive to a store in order to loot it, they parked between the lines in the parking lot. Why you feel a little snow should give you just cause to park like a barbarian is totally beyond me.

Here's what I do: before I pull into a spot, I put my car in park and get out. Then, I use the heel of my shoe to scrape a trench in the snow until I find two lines that define a parking spot. Then, I park between those lines. Thus, even during an extreme weather event, I maintain my humanity.

Again, this is about consideration to other people who have to use the same parking lot. People who know me know that (in general) I am not a "law and order" type, so this insistence on rigidly following the imposed grid system might seem contradictory, but it is not about obeying commands, but observing the social contract and being efficient in the use of resources.

In a civil society, we try to be fair to our fellows. Parking in more than one spot signifies that your convenience (parking quickly and without having to spend extra time in the cold) is worth more to you than mine (I have to park farther away because all the closer spots are occupied by randomly parked cars).

In a rational society, we try to make efficient use of our resources. If there are 100 convenient parking spaces, filling them with fewer than 100 cars is a waste. If everybody parked randomly we'd need bigger parking lots, and have fewer grassy meadows.

Please, think of others and think of the world when it's snowing and you pull into a parking lot. I know it's probably taken you twice as long to get there in the first place, but spend a little more time and be kind. thanks.

2008.02.14 at 12:00am EST