Dec 20, 2008

Signs Say Hybrid Vehicle Parking Only

(Toledo, OH) I came across an unusual sign today outside the University of Toledo's Savage Arena. As you can see from the photograph, the sign marks preferential parking spaces for hybrid vehicles. The spots are quite close to the east entrance to the facility, and in fact are better closer than a number of spots designated for vehicles with handicapped permits.

What I found interesting was that none of the half-dozen parking spaces was filled with any vehicles, let alone hybrid or green vehicles.

I asked one of the uniformed UT Police offices about the signs, and he informed me that they can indeed ticket the owner of a non-hybrid vehicle for parking in the space, but that for the moment he was unaware of tickets being issued on this infraction. The university's parking violation fine schedule does not list a fine for a hybrid vehicle parking violation, but I suppose that the fine would be akin to those for "failure to observe posted parking restrictions" or "illegally parked in reserved space," both of which are $35.

Interesting, this. I wonder if we will see more of this sort of institutional pressure or inducements to shift our vehicular choices toward "green" vehicles. Of course, shelling out $30K or more for a hybrid vehicle is out of the price range of many folks, so the preferential parking will wind up going to a handful of well-heeled, upwardly mobile yuppies, the sorts of people who can actually afford to go green in an expensive fashion.

Me? When I'm feeling green I walk, take the bus, or ride my bike, but that owes as much to my unwillingness to loosen my tightly-clenched fists and let go of my hard-earned cash on purchasing a new car than it does any with unselfish green impulses on my part. Besides, I get better gas mileage out of my 13-year-old Hyundai than most of the hybrids, quite a few of which post uninspiring fuel efficiency numbers.


dr-exmedic said...

So now there's a special spot for the hybrid Escalade, while the poor schmuck driving a 35-mpg non-hybrid Civic gets screwed. Great idea, that.

Anonymous said...

Instead of denigrating those have chosen a green lifestyle and have worked hard to earn it, you might inquire from a reputable source (not the university rent-a-cop) as to why UT has instituted this policy. In fact, a note to Lloyd Jacob would surely get an interesting response that would permit a more nuanced dialogue rather than a benighted diatribe.

historymike said...

"Benighted diatribe" and "denigrating those who have chosen a green lifestyle"? Hardly. And Dr-Exmedic raises an interesting point about hybrid SUVs vs. highly fuel-efficient but not-hybrid veicles, like my 1995 Hyundai, which gets 35 MPG on the highway.

Anyways, I applaud those who go green, and I incorporate green philosophies into my own life, like growing my own gardens without pesticides, biking/walking when possible, no chemicals on my lawn, and faithfully recycling all glass/plastic/metal/cardboard/paper.

Our contribution to the landfills is less than half what is was before we began recycling 8 or 9 years ago, and is even less than the weekly trash output some of my single neighbors.

The only "denigration," if you can call it that, in my post refered to those who can afford the very green but quite pricey hybrid vehicles. "Well-heeled yuppies" is hardly a pejorative, and was meant to illustrate that lots of other equally hardworking folks cannot afford to plunk down many tens of thousands of dollars for such a vehicle.

Besides - if I rolled up to Savage Arena in my old 1981 VW Rabbit with its 50-60 MPG, I might argue that this beast is worthy of a privileged parking spot, since it was able to far outperform many new vehicles in fuel efficiency.

Of course, I sold said vehicle a decade ago, but that's another tale for another time.

Carrie said...

Yeah, I just went to our new library yesterday and saw similar signs (about 3 or 4) right in front of the door (with a few handicapped spots beside them): "Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking". I was baffled.

We're in a small rural county and there has been a lot of "growth" in the past decade or so with a gated community taking up half of the population. I'm really surprised to see this at a library that caters to small children. What about pregnant women and parents with multiple small children?

I understand the desire to promote more environment-friendly behavior, but like you said, not everyone can afford such vehicles. And in front of a "free facility" in a farming community that's open to the general public...a library?

And in our case, how do you define a "fuel efficient vehicle"? Does that mean "hybrid" or do you have to get so many miles per gallon to qualify? I asked the lady at the circulation desk and she couldn't tell me. She said she couldn't get a straight answer either. We assume bikes qualify, but that's an awfully big spot for a bicycle.

Crazy, if you ask me.

steven kidman said...

I does not currently the facilities provides by parking places in your cities for Hybrid vehicles. And that vehicles ar are available the list of Hybrid vehicles. however in my town parking places provides automotive wash whereas parking at cheap rates.Not during a one place at completely different locations of the cities. Whenever i visit the yank bowl to observe the Baseball matches. i did like the personal parking place in Yankee Stadium Parking Map. when clearing my due, automotive is look alike a brand new one. Well polished cleansed.