To the editor:
Daniel Shenise spouts the bizarre notion that parking spots are a subsidy for the “storage of private property” (i.e., cars). That if you own a car, you should “sit it on your own property or the 405, just don’t force the rest of society to have to indulge your choices.”
Who is this “rest of society” that doesn’t depend on a car? A tiny minority of green fanatics.
The vast majority of Angelinos ride in cars, either their own or that of family members. Even Angelinos who don’t own cars ride in taxis, Uber cars, or shuttle vans dedicated to seniors, the sick, children, Meals on Wheels, or to the airport.
Nor are parking spaces for the use of “private property” any more than are bicycles racks or sidewalks. Any member of the public can use sidewalks, bicycle racks, parking spots, or roads. This means that, by definition, they are being used by the public, for public purposes. Only a parking spot reserved exclusively for one person can be said to be private.
Car owners are subsidized? Not! Unlike bicyclists, car owners not only pay the usual taxes (property, income, etc.) but we also pay gas taxes and car registration fees — taxes and fees that should go to the roads, but are instead diverted to the general fund. And did Mr. Shenise forget about all those parking meters? I don’t see bicyclists paying to chain their private property to racks, signs, or lampposts.
All Angelinos have an interest in wide roads, with plenty of parking spots and free-flowing traffic. Only a comparative few hobbyists use bicycles. Only a comparative few ride trains.
It’s the duty of public officials to serve the public, which are mostly car users. Instead, our city leaders are increasingly catering to haters who sneer at “car culture.” City leaders look for ways to make life increasingly unbearable for those who depend on cars by reducing traffic lanes and parking spots.
It may surprise Mr. Shenise to know that I’m a hardcore pedestrian who walks over 8 miles a day for exercise (despite bicyclists who invade the sidewalks and zip past me when I’m in the middle of a crosswalk). I’ve owned my current car since 2006, yet it only has 8,400 miles on it. (You do the math.) Yet when I drive, I’d like to move at a decent pace and find parking when I get to my destination — something increasingly difficult to do in our car-hating city.
It’s time city leaders served the majority. We are California. We are car culture.
Thomas M. Sipos