If you drive a hybrid, alternative-fuel, or zero-emissions vehicle in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – you’ll soon get the privilege of parking in the most convenient spots in the city’s garages. One of the city’s engineers, Sandy Pumphrey, says he hopes it will make people think twice about bringing vehicles like a HUMMER downtown. But is that an appropriate policy?
In addition to the posh spots, the city is also installing electrical lines for electric vehicle owners to recharge their batteries at the City’s (read: taxpayer’s) expense.
First let me say that I’m not against hybrid or all-electric vehicles, and in fact, I’m quite excited that development is already underway of alternative-power HUMMER vehicles. What I am against is cities and governments giving preferential treatment to anyone on the basis of a vehicle purchase in order to bring about change.
If the city of Cedar Rapids was really concerned about bringing change that people care about, maybe they should look at what citizens are actually concerned about and adopt a parking policy around that.
Below are the results from a CNN poll that asked participants what they thought was the most important issue facing America today.
1) The Economy – 47%
2) Health Care – 17%
3) Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – 12%
4) Federal Budget Deficit — 11%
5) Education – 6%
6) Terrorism – 4%
7) Energy Policy—2%
Based on these results, Cedar Rapids should give preferential treatment to:
1) Any business owner who has created 5 or more local jobs in the last 6 months
2) Doctors, Nurses, and other workers that save lives
3) Military Men and Women, both current and former
4) Anyone who pays more than $20k in taxes
5) Teachers, school counselors, and their support staff
6) All federal and local agencies (homeland security, police, fire, EMS) that would help during a terrorist attack.
These are six groups that are taking on issues that 97% of Americans think are more important than energy policy. Most would agree that each of these groups is more deserving of preferential treatment, (even though the jury may still be out on #4), regardless of what they drive.
Even though these groups may be more deserving, they are the groups that would never ask or even suggest they should get preferential treatment based on what they do. Unfortunately, it’s apparent the same cannot be said for many hybrid owners who have adopted a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude.
Seems fair to me. 🙂
Guess the people driving those Dumbcars (oops Smartcars) will not be able to get those “preferred” spots also. LOL.
Wow… For the first time in my life, I am actually ashamed of my home town. I grew up in Cedar Rapids — the home of Quaker Oats’ Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries, FMC’s cable crane plant (until 1984), Intuit (Quicken), Collins Avionics (maker of Space Shuttle navigational parts), MCI, and the list goes on… I literally grew up right across the river from the Quaker Oats plant, which could easily be seen from my bedroom window. On the days they made Crunchberries, my neighborhood smelled awesome! But, alas… My hometown has changed considerably in the fifteen years since I left. I guess no one is safe from liberalism — even in a quiet unassuming state like Iowa.
Semi off-topic: Always fun having a good-smelling factory nearby. Used to work at a place near a bread factory that always smelled great. The only two plants that had any odor growing up around me were a dog food factory and an ethanol plant — neither of which had a very satisfying aroma.
They can have what they want. I dont want to park next to their asses anyway. For what? So they can key my car. I have the satisfaction of knowing that if they keep looking down at their milage display and hit me I will be okay. Them. Not so much.