May 5, 2009

Paying for Parking? Fuck Off!

Of all the insipid, horrendous things we are made to pay for in this world, there is one I hate above all others: parking. Australia is a country that is its own continent, with wide expanses of unused land and incredible urban sprawl. The landmass of Japan could fit into Australia 20 times, yet their population is 16 times bigger than ours. All this space and most of our population live in 5 major cities, none of them peopled over 4.5 million. This ridiculously big, stupidly under-populated country thinks we should pay for spaces to park our cars. What a load of horse shit.

"But Simon," you might whiny. "Paid parking ensures the fair flow of traffic so that I can get a spot!" To this I would reply RUBBISH and deliver a swift and accurate kick between your thighs. We only need time-limited parking to ensure a fair and steady flow. If people don't leave when they're supposed to, they cop a fine. The systems and rules in place for free, time-limited parking work - Christ knows the parking inspectors that police these rules are vigilant enough. The money a council rake in from naughty parkers is substantial (the links I provide most likely embellish, because journalists always do). $40 million is a good haul and I think is enough to take from motorists as is, especially when you consider the moolah you're handing over when getting a car on the road in the first place.

Thousands go into your new vroom vroom. Extra goes to the government in tax, even more if it's brand new. Hundreds go to the Government once again when you register your car. More hundreds get forked out for insurance. You pay VicRoads again for your L then P then permanent license that must be renewed and repaid after every few years. Finally, you get onto the road, skint as all buggery but free to enjoy freedom. The wind whips through the hair you have left after selling locks to wigmakers for extra bucks to pay $70 for petrol for the week. Then you have to pay another $50 to park at Nana's. That parking fee is the slap in the face that drives me crazy and makes me wonder why motorists don't take to the streets smashing window shopfronts and burning multi-levels. And when you look at all the different fees, charges and fines council and government rip out of us, honestly, do you think it's fair to charge for space? It's so unnecessary.

In the city, you can pay up to $70 for a day in a multi-storey. People get charged for parking in their place of business. You have to park there, but are expected to pay. I work at Channel 10 in South Yarra, an area you'd expect to charge out the rear end. I have to park in the undercover spots. I get charged $10 flat rate because there's a stamp they give me at the desk. If I didn't get that stamp, I'd be paying $40 a day. Lots of you suffer this stupidity. I'm getting paid, yet it's coming out of my wage. What foolishness! Simply don't make me pay for parking when I have to park there!

I can't really complain about the privately owned multi-storeys. If people are willing to pay for such things, Wilsons and their lazy, exploitative ilk are clever to take advantage of it. I rage and rue that the streets we pay for - the roads our taxes pave - are then rented back to us at higher rates the more we need them, the closer to the city we get.

Don't get me started on the infuriating situations where supermarkets are selling off once-free car parks to private bastards.

Think about it. Think about it really hard. Why should we pay for parking? Is there any other reason aside from the council making money?
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