Opinion

Michaels: A bit of public shaming for Kelowna's worst parkers

Poor parking efforts rewarded with public shaming in Kelowna.  - contributed
Poor parking efforts rewarded with public shaming in Kelowna.
— image credit: contributed

For a brief period, when I was a pregnant Barbapapa-like thing, I'd dream of parking right outside the front door of the stores where I needed make purchases, and waddle to my destination in style— rules be damned.

It would have reduced the herculean effort required for the journey to get groceries in the hot days of an Okanagan summer.

"Dreamed" is the operative word, though. In reality, I'd park at the furthest stall so nobody would have to suffer through watching me remove myself from a deep-seated Honda Civic at a pace previously not known to man.

Thoughtful, I call that. My detractors would call it another symptom of a martyr complex, but that's neither here nor there.

Other than one summer, I've never had a reason to park like a selfish jerk.

Of course, not all people share my love of orderly behaviour. One need only drive through the various parking lots across this city to realize that.

If I were to be generous, I'd say there are a significant number of pregnant women driving Lamborghinis, other sports cars and white trucks this time of year and I feel for them. Really, I do.

When I'm being realistic, which is most the time, I think, "man, there are a lot of selfish twits driving around this city."

Then I curse, shake my fist in the air and go about my every day business with an elevated heart rate.

Potential for a parking related coronary may be the biggest downside of an Okanagan summer, other than forest fires, of course.

Luckily, there's a silver-lining to this tale of woe. I'm not alone in my frustrations and an effort to publicly shame people who park poorly is well underway.

On a Facebook page titled S*it Parkers of Kelowna, 1,600-plus people are posting photos of the worst offenders and then offering a verbal flogging.

It's a beautiful place for catharsis.

Maybe a bit of vitriol. Definitely home to some colourful language.

And, why not? Don't these words of frustration deserve to be vented somewhere?

Isn't public shaming a tried and true way to rehabilitate errant behaviour?

Take a look at the offenders in the photo I pulled off the site this morning.

These are clearly people in need of a bit of rehabilitation.

And, the admins of the site would agree. Through a series of fiery expletives, they explain exactly why breaking the social mores associated with parking can be a problem for everyone.

I tried to figure out some way to translate the message into newspaper appropriate speech, but failed.

Instead, I will offer some loose guidelines for those who may not know what constitutes a "s*it parker" and wish you all "happy parking."

•    Taking up two or more spaces.

•    Using handicap space without a permit.

•    Parking facing the wrong way on a street.

•    Parking sideways in a lot for straight ahead parking.

•    Straddling two parking meters.

•    Parking in a fire lane.

•    Using a no-parking zone to go into a coffee shop.

•    Parking too close to adjacent vehicle.

 

 

 

 

 

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