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Musings of a Parking Guru

Photo Courtesy of the Limo King

Photo Courtesy of the Limo King

When most people’s minds wander, they think about things like what they’re going to have for lunch, or if that girl or guy is interested in them, or if coconut water really is the magic cure for hangovers. My mind often wanders effortlessly to parking and transportation thoughts. Here is a real-time linear recording of my mind wandering.
 
Sixty-five thousand tickets were give out in SF last year for not curbing vehicle wheels. When’s the last time anyone can remember a car breaking free and barreling down a hill because of not having its wheels curbed? Just curious. Let’s not test it. I probably shouldn’t write about that. Everyone should always curb their wheels, if for no other reason than just to not get a ticket. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t happened, because of the fear of getting a ticket. If you drive a stick shift vehicle, the strongest gear to park it in is reverse.
 
If everyone waiting at a red light was paying attention and stepped on the accelerator as soon as the light turned green, traffic would flow so much more efficiently.
 
What would be really cool is if there were a Mini Cooper, Fiat, or Smart Car stretch limos. I’ve never seen one.
 
The average number of tickets given out daily by parking enforcement officers is fewer than 30. Seems crazily low, but true.
 
When all of the petroleum is gone, and cars are all solar powered, what will the asphalt streets be made of? David Byrne’s song "(Nothing but) Flowers" comes to mind.

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I wonder who earns  the most money in a year in SF, cabbies, parking enforcement officers, or MUNI drivers?
Cabbies: $38k
Parking Enforcement Officers: $37k (not including tips)
MUNI Drivers: $80k

In San Francisco, you are allowed to park at a broken meter for the time limit of that meter up to a max of two hours. In other cities you can’t park at a broken meter legally. That's because in those other cities, people went all "Cool Hand Luke" so they could park for free. Way to keep it civil, SF.
 
On each meter in SF there is a number to call if it is broken. Has anyone ever called that number?
 
Completely unrelated to meters, and meaningless to those born in the internet age but I’ll share it anyway...remember the number that you used to be able to call to get the exact time? It was POPCORN, 767-2676. It was disconnected in 2007. That’s because if you Google the phrase “exact time” there are literally 705 million results. I wonder if anybody has that number now? (I dialed it in ten different area codes. That number isn’t functioning in any of them. I think the phone company is saving it. Just in case.
 
They should use that phone number in movies now instead of the fake 555- one they use.
 
The number of cars in operation on Earth exceeded 1 Billion in 2010. That's about 1 car for every 7 people. Three hundred million of them are in the U.S. That’s a 1:1 ratio. In San Francisco, it’s a little less than a 1:2 ratio...380,621 cars, 806,696 people.

Back to the music.

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David LaBua is a psychotherapist, systems theorist, and transportation consultant. He is the author of Finding the Sweet Spot and is the founder of VoicePark, the mobile app that guides you by voice to the closest available on-street and off-street parking spot. Each use of VoicePark on average prevents one pound of CO2 from being emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere.