Parking Fail

For our anniversary last night, I managed to get us a table at Ray’s The Steaks in Courthouse. If you’ve ever been to the shopping center on Wilson where Ray’s is hidden, you know that there are three other restaurants in the same little area, and that parking for that little shopping center is about 20 cars for what amounts to 80 to 90 tables. It creates a situation wherein parking to go to dinner is a combat sport, best undertaken with a healthy dose of bloodlust, and the luck of the Irish.

Between Guajillo, Ray’s, the Bistro and Pho 75, these are some popular little restaurants, the wait for which is usually a deterrent to actually going (well, except for Pho, where it’s crowded, but there’s always a spot at one of the cafeteria tables) and the parking situation made it equally bad. We managed to get a spot on Wilson about half a block from Ray’s, and considered it a moral victory, if not an actual one. As we were waiting for a lull in the traffic, we saw this guy in an Infiniti skulk through the parking lot looking for a departing customer, only to park his car in the no parking zone immediately outside the parking lot.

I applauded his ingenuity, treating the prohibition against parking as an invitation to leave his insanely expensive vehicle in a tow-away zone as some sort of gourmet treat for the rabid tow-truck drivers of Arlington to scoop up in their giant metal maw. I watched him head straight for the liquor store, which I thought was wise, given that his car may or may not be there when he got back. I mean, at least it gave him real options, in case he did get towed, right? Get a little Kahlua, maybe some Coca Cola, and you can get a nice little buzz on walking up to the Clarendon tow yard where they put your car when it’s snapped up by the towing company.

Sadly, we didn’t get to see how this story ended up, as we were to busy enjoying some sherried crab bisque and a giant NY Strip, and then heading off to the movies. But I’d like to think the jerk got his car towed.

Parking Fail — Originally uploaded by tbridge

12 Comments so far

  1. dcres on June 12th, 2008 @ 12:26 pm

    Usually, I don’t comment. Your opinion is your opinion. But what do you care if the guy illegally parks? Why is he a jerk? Did he park in a handicap spot? Is he in front of a hydrant? Is he blocking a driveway or entrance? If not, who cares? At some point, he decided that the risk and price of a ticket or towing was less than the cost of looking for a spot in that area, which is nearly impossible. That doesn’t make him a jerk. And if he’s only running in to buy some booze, I have even less of a problem with his decision.

    Plus, if you’re going to base your decision to call him a jerk on the fact that he drives an expensive car, then that’s just wrong. I’ve seen plenty of old, crappy cars illegally parked.

  2. Tiffany Bridge (tiffany) on June 12th, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

    This particular No Parking zone exists, as many No Parking zones do, right next to the driveway exit to the parking lot. Parking there impedes the view of drivers trying to exit through that driveway, thus endangering them AND the people in the oncoming traffic they’re trying to merge into. Endangering strangers so that he could walk half a block less to the liquor store is pretty much the definition of being a jerk- there were perfectly acceptable parking spaces that don’t endanger anyone a short walk away. Additionally, the positioning of his car meant that anyone leaving the parking lot would have to pull out perpendicular to the road, rather than at the optimal angle for merging into traffic.

    No Parking zones exist for a reason- they are not arbitrary spots designed to annoy motorists- they’re designed to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t interfere with other people. That’s why parking at a corner, or next to a driveway (not just in front of it) is illegal- because it is DANGEROUS.

  3. Carl Weaver (carlweaver) on June 12th, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

    You nailed it, Tiff. What I don’t get is why people think it’s acceptable to park in such places. I have seen people park illegally, get a ticket and then argue with the officer writing the ticket. What a bunch of dopes.

    In my opinion, if you expect to not be held liable for parking illegally, it better be because of some emergency you are helping with, or perhaps because it’s in front of the chemist’s shop and you need your insulin or something.

  4. Tom Bridge (tbridge) on June 12th, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

    I’m calling him a jerk because he was unwilling to park legally to get his booze. That he drives a model of car I consider the province of total douchebags just happened to be a pleasant bonus for my writing. Expensive cars do not grant you the ability to park wherever you please, especially when it messes with the flow of safe traffic.

  5. dcres on June 12th, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

    I know that spot. I used to live right there. It doesn’t impede the view because it’s a one way street. I’ll give you the perpendicular thing. And I guess I’ll agree that it can make for things to be slightly more dangerous – slightly. But then again, so can speeding, which is also illegal and which I’m sure you’ve all done.

    Also, while I generally don’t have a problem with people parking illegally (as long as it doesn’t block traffic or take up a handicap space, etc), if you get a ticket you have to deal with it. If you bitch and moan after you knowingly parked illegally, you are a jerk and deserve to be ridiculed.

    Finally, Mr. Bridge, who the hell are you to call somebody a douchebag for driving an Infiniti? Get off your damn highhorse. Acting like a douchebag makes you a douchebag. It has nothing to do with your car or your house or your clothes.

    And before you comment, I drive a beat-up 2000 Civic.

  6. Tom Bridge (tbridge) on June 12th, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

    Look, you break the parking laws, I’m gonna make fun of you. It’s just one of those things that I do. Like it, don’t like it, that’s fine.

    And I’m not on some high horse about Infinitis, I’ve just come to associate them with people who like to throw good money after bad, have a popped collar, and drink shitty scotch.

    I’m sure there are a ton of things you could find about my choice of a VW Jetta that you could make fun of me about, and I heartily encourage you to try.

  7. Don (dc_don) on June 12th, 2008 @ 4:11 pm

    Finally, Mr. Bridge, who the hell are you-

    He’s a guy with a blog. You thought you’d never see some hyperbole around here? Are you from the past?

  8. Tiffany Bridge (tiffany) on June 12th, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

    So what… he’s not a jerk because it’s less dangerous than it could have been, but still dangerous?

  9. dcres on June 12th, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

    No more than you are for speeding.

  10. David (dkoran) on June 12th, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

    However, this doesn’t beat the "douchebaggedness" at the Greenbelt Metro parking lot where a hick (bear with me here) drove his jacked up North Carolinian Ford pickup truck (gun rack, dixie stickers, pissing Calvin, etc… see where the hick gets it’s label) up in the green grassed parking island because : 1) he didn’t understand the rules [aka park in a spot] 2) was too lazy [there are plenty of parking spots further in the back of the lot, not more than 30 yards away] and 3) somebody who doesn’t know any better [should I go park my car all over your lawn when I feel #1 or #2 above?].

    Karma does come back… he did have a ticket on his windshield as I came by. I made the comment to my wife, she said "why should you [me] care?"… well, it’s just the principle of it. I guess we’re all just irked by the fact that, if we play by the rules, we marginally get ahead, while other flaunt them, usually get away with being an asshat/douchebag/jerkoff because less people in our society nowadays actually give a crap. I think that’s the crux of this discussion… we’re not always fine and upstanding citizens, but when somebody just flaunts breaking the rules/laws, it does get your goat, and in this format, enough so, just to blog about it… that’s what it’s here for.

  11. Tiffany Bridge (tiffany) on June 12th, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

    In order for speeding to make someone a jerk, he’d have to be going at a significantly higher speed than the other cars. Going at a speed similar to the cars around you is safer, because it keeps you from becoming an obstacle for others to navigate around.

    As opposed to parking in a No Parking Zone, which does nothing BUT make you an obstacle for others to navigate around.

  12. David (dkoran) on June 12th, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

    I was a jerk on the GW a few weeks ago, and I got a ticket… served me right.

    I think it’s the fact too many people don’t admit to the wrong doing and shrug their shoulders. I’m sh*ting bricks because, since it was the Park Police, it’s Federal. I consider the entire episode as a severe lack of proper judgement on my behalf and only hope for mercy on the court to allow me to pay the stiff fine, not to have points nor go to jail.

    So, why should somebody get off for less?

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