On a recent trip home to New York City I made the mistake of – gasp – bringing my car! Big mistake. Driving to Manhattan is basically impossible, because once you get there, there is nowhere to stow your vehicle. You will spend hours searching for a parking space. You will waste long mornings moving your car from one side of the street to the other to comply with street cleaning schedules. Or, you will spend hundreds of dollars on a garage. Forget about having a car if you actually live in the city on a permanent basis. I can’t even imagine.
Luckily for residents of (and visitors to) Pittsburgh, parking here is not nearly so complicated. In most neighborhoods there are plenty of spots available. Street cleaning generally takes place only once a month. But the really fun thing about parking here is observing all the interesting ways that other Pittsburghers have parked. The general consensus of the natives seems to be that if a spot is not available it’s no problem, because one can be created.
Let’s take a look at several common reasons why parking spaces may not be available, and examine the ways that industrious Pittsburghers overcome these impediments:
1. Problem – Street is too narrow to park. Solution – just borrow a little space from the sidewalk. Go ahead, drive right up on the curb. Problem solved.
2. Problem – Street is really too narrow. Solution – See above, but park entirely on the sidewalk. Who said pedestrians have the right of way?
3. Problem – There is a parking spot on the left side of the street but my vehicle, since we are in America, is traveling down the right side of the street. Solution – Simply cross over from the right side to the left side and park. Do not bother to make a U turn so that your car is facing in the proper direction. Do not bother to yield to oncoming traffic.
4. Problem – All the parking spaces on the right and left sides of the street appear to be full. Or, they are marked by pesky meters. Solution – Be a pioneer! Simply create a new parking settlement in the middle of the street.
5. Problem – I have a great parking space but need to take my car on a jaunt. Solution – Not a problem at all. As anyone knows, a parking space can be reserved indefinitely simply by filling it with any common household item.
Let’s face it, parking can be a total pain. But in Pittsburgh, not so much. Almost any parking-related problem has an ingenious solution. And those of us not bold enough to try the solutions ourselves can still be amused by the ingenuity of others.