The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

89° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Parking over the line

    I came out of the bank and saw this beautiful silver Mercedes roadster – one of those cars that has a starting price of about $125,775 – parked right next to my car.

    The car was so beautiful that for a half minute I was too busy drooling over it to realize what the driver had done. OK, so maybe it was more like a whole minute before I realized that he had parked in two spaces.

    Are you really that important? You know who you are.

    You are the guy who parked the cute silver Mercedes in two parking spaces, even though the vehicle is just slightly bigger than a kid’s soapbox derby racer.

    This tiny Mercedes is almost half the size of my car, yet the driver took up two full parking spaces, or as much as he could considering the size of his vehicle.

    I can’t stand these types.

    If that guy can’t afford to maintain a new car, with things like, say, a new paint job, then he shouldn’t get a car he will lose sleep over if it gets scratched.

    It’s a harsh fact of life that if you take a vehicle out it will eventually get dinged and scratched. That is only if it doesn’t get stolen, as Arizona has been the No. 1 state for automobile theft for at least the last two years.

    Sometimes the dings and scratches happen by accident, because someone has their hands full and accidentally opens his or her door too widely. Sometimes it’s intentional, like the punk who keyed my car across two panels on the driver’s side a few years ago for no observable reason.

    Now the thing to keep in mind is that my car isn’t winning any car shows and hasn’t been in that condition for a very long time. Something about baking in the Arizona sun for 15 years will do that to a paint job.

    But the question remains: Why is my car not worth the respect that this brand new Mercedes is given? My paint job is trashed, but that is only because I can’t afford a new one. You would think that someone with a brand new Mercedes could.

    If that guy can’t afford to maintain a new car, with things like, say, a new paint job, then he shouldn’t get a car he will lose sleep over if it gets scratched.

    Take the roadster out to a nice restaurant, or even Park Place, and have it valet-parked. Then there will be no worries about it being dinged, because the valet company can always be held liable, or park in the back of the parking lot.

    But this guy didn’t want to burn in the heat while walking to the bank entrance from the back of the parking lot, so he took up the third and fourth spaces from the door of the business.

    It doesn’t much matter to me where I park or how long I have to walk in the burning sun to get to my destination. My car doesn’t have air conditioning, so I’m hot until October.

    And if it isn’t people who intentionally park in two spaces, it will be someone who accidentally parks over the line and then refuses to back up and repark. Like the girl who parks a little red Firebird in the same spot in the same lot – at least, she did over summer.

    I squeezed my old, oversized Pontiac “”Wider is Better”” Bonneville right next to her car. I didn’t ding her vehicle, and I did have a hard time getting out of my vehicle, but there were no other available spots. What a surprise.

    I have a very large car, and the UA has obnoxiously tiny parking spaces, just to eke one more space out of a given lot and charge another hapless soul $250 or more for it. I may have to back up two times to make sure my car is positioned correctly.

    This is especially true in places like the Cherry Parking Garage, where my car fits in the space only if I am perfectly positioned. My tires will then sit directly on the yellow lines. Sometimes I have to back up more than twice.

    But I do it. And I promise you that I am not reparking because I am worried about one more ding or scratch in the paint.

    Kara Karlson is a journalism senior. She can be reached at

    More to Discover
    Activate Search