I’m an elitist. I frequently enjoy lattes, chardonnay, Surry Hills and leftism. These are all good things and should be partaken in with a great degree of hubris. However, I object to this new wave of ‘parking elitism’ sweeping the city.
In Chatswood last week, a suburban hub excelling in mediocrity, I noticed that Westfield had reserved a number of parking spaces for ‘hybrid vehicles only’. What is this?! They weren’t just any odd parking spaces either; they were practically inside the entrance, paved in an elitist green hue, and naturally, empty.
Meanwhile, the commoners were left to circle the six stories of hell that make up this complex, fighting for the one or two spaces not already sequestered by an enormous North Shore Land Cruiser.
I’m willing to concede the disabled spaces might have some merit, although they always seem to be oversupplied. The ‘parents with prams’ spots have always irked me, as they must surely infuriate everyone bar gratuitous new mums with an overblown sense of entitlement. Never mind the baby bonus – get a kid just for the parking perks.
Priority parking should provide assistance to the disadvantage. But what legitimate handicap can hybrid car owners possibly claim? Constant derision and judgment by the rest of society, perhaps, but surely they foresaw that when they bought the thing. There’s the possibility the engine might not cope with climbing the ramp to Level 2, but again, you get what you give.
The theory behind it all has got to be motivation, but you are never going to incentivise the soccer mums of the Shore to buy a hybrid car. Even if Armageddon struck tomorrow and the beloved Nissan Patrol was taken off the market, possible fallback options could include Jeeps, Trucks, and decommissioned Sydney Buses. Anything with room for the hockey sticks, plasmas and egos.
This development also sets a dangerous precedent for future avenues of segregation. Parking for ‘Premium Unleaded’ users only? Spaces for those with more than 6 points left on their licence? A row reserved for those who work in the not-for-profit sector? Bad-hair-day parking? Whatever happened to the time-honoured tradition of attaining superior treatment by paying for it?!
After all, hybrid car owners already enjoy the lavish benefits of cheap running costs and extreme snootiness. It’s only fair they be forced to park three suburbs away and walk like the rest of us. That’s much better for the environment too.