WTF is up with that? Seriously? Are there really that many members of volunteer fire/rescue teams who simply cannot spare the 0.47 seconds extra it takes to back out of a parking space that nearly half of my office building-mates feel the need to back into their spaces?
"Well," says Dear Reader, "what's the big deal?" An excellent question. There are a couple of big deals with this, which I will ennumerate below.
- People, by and large, have excruciatingly poor spatial sense. They have no idea how to turn the wheel in the proper manner to ensure their vehicle is placed roughly equidistant between the two lines differentiating that parking space from those on the other side (and/or in front) of it. This problem is magnified exponentially when one is trying to drive in reverse. It is raised by factors of 10 when one is backing into a space that is between two previously-parked cars.
- People, by and large, do not know how to drive in parking lots. You've seen it: two people are travelling at intersecting routes through a parking lot where they will, eventually, intersect. Who has the right of way? Hell's bells, the people I commute near can't figure this out at a traffic signal.
- People, by and large, do not know how long their vehicle is from their rear tires to the end of their car. As a result, long trunks often impede the sidewalk that runs in front of many of the parking spaces in my office building's lot, thereby, rendering it unusable for the pedestrians for whom it was placed.
- People, by and large, impede other traffic when they back into parking spaces. This is particularly true for those lots that have one-way traffic and diagonal parking spaces. Those (and all other parking spaces) were designed to be pulled into head on. It's really amazingly simple genius: you pull straight in, and then you can (usually) back straight out. You hardly even have to touch your steering wheel. It is truly incredible when appreciated for its simplicity. But no. Some of you out there think nothing about holding up traffic in parking lots. Imagine this: you are on a two-lane street downtown, that has parallel parking on both sides of the street. Traffic is flowing in both directions. Suddenly, the car in front of you signals right, comes to a stop, and then puts his/her transmission in reverse. 9 times of out 10, your first thought is not a particularly charitable one, is it? But, that is how parallel parking is done. You really do have to impede traffic, if there is traffic to impede. Not so parking lots. Pull head in. That is how they were made.
- People, by and large, look like self-important twits when they back into parking spaces. Even you. So stop, really. Just pull head in. It's easier on you; it's easier on those around you. Parking lot real estate is going to become exceedingly rare very soon. We all need to do our best to reduce the inconvenience we place on everybody else during the upcoming holiday season. Cutting out unneeded parking lot moves is, IMO, an excellent way to start.
(Now, of course, because Karma has an awesome sense of humor, someone will post a brilliant, unarguable reason why backing into parking spaces should not only be allowed, but required. I, quite frankly, am a little hungry for some pie right now, so if it must be humble, so be it.)