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Traffic Talk: Pitiful parking puts the squeeze on drivers

Don Gammill: Leave room for other drivers and everyone does better
By DON GAMMILL Published: May 6, 2012

My friend, Bubba, has a new gripe about drivers. Well, actually, it's not a new gripe. It's an old gripe with new examples.

“If people think they have to park across two spaces to protect their pretty new cars, then maybe they ought not to drive 'em,” he called to tell me. “Maybe they ought to just leave them at home and let everyone just look at 'em.”

He's not alone in his thinking. I imagine many of you are thinking something similar. I've thought the same thing; sometimes, worse.

In fact, just recently, when I took my wife to lunch, I found myself in that frame of mind.

Just as I slowed and started to turn into a parking space right up front, I discovered why it was open.

A large sport-utility vehicle was on the line to my right and a fancy shmancy luxury car was over the line on my left.

I squeezed into the spot, allowing enough room to get the passenger door open, but it was too tight on the driver's side, so I had to crawl over the console and exit to the right.

It's interesting how many potentially guilty looks you see on faces through the window of the restaurant when you have to make that type of maneuvering. I'm fairly certain that one of them was the over-the-liner, hoping I wouldn't open the door and ding their expensive vehicle.

“Wonder what kind of reaction you would have gotten if you had faked like you had hit their door and chipped the paint?” Bubba asked.

I suspect someone would have come rushing out to find out what kind of damage I supposedly had caused, I said. But no sense causing a problem, even though they had inconvenienced me.

To make a long story short, both vehicles had gone by the time we finished lunch, and I found no indication they had banged our vehicle.

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