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Omdahl: Parking Between the Yellow Lines

By Staff | Nov 27, 2015

Universities and colleges have capitulated to online courses after years of insisting that hands-on physical presence was the only way for teachers to teach and learners to learn.

So “Turn Signals 100” went online to teach a remedial course for drivers who hadn’t conquered the challenging responsibility of using turn signals. As for attendance, the course was a success but the percentage of motorists baffled by turn signals has remained the same.

This failure disregarded, we will try the online approach again to respond to major retailers begging for a remedial no-credit graduate course for slow learners on parking between yellow lines.

Traffic planners found that an unmarked parking lot accommodated 20 to 30 percent fewer cars because vehicles were skewed everywhere without visual guidance. (The figures are subject to verification.)

The need for yellow lines first appeared at wellness centers where patrons insisted on parking right next to the front door. They explained that they were so eager to get on the treadmills that they didn’t want to waste their time walking in parking lots.

In this preliminary course, we won’t be able to change behavior with superficial answers. Some of our delinquent parkers may be struggling with serious neurocognitive disorders and are unable to grasp the complexities of squares marked off with yellow lines.

Some drivers park crosswise to be belligerent. It isn’t that they are mean-spirited but it goes back to their difficulties with potty training. Months of constant failure made them anti-social for life.

Then there is the guy with the Macho Rambo Supercharger truck with chrome crash bars across the front, three rifles across the rear window and a Confederate flag on the aerial.

His mother told him he was the most important person on earth and he could do or take anything that pleased his little heart. And he believed her.

Some of his kind end up in prison but there are others who spend their lives just taking more than their share at every turn, including two parking spots to let the world know that they are going to take what they deserve.

Next are the folks who can’t find glasses strong enough to offset 90 years of reading by candle light. For them, there are no visible yellow lines and automobiles appear as blurry hulks.

With the help of relatives and optometrists, they have escaped the driver licensing people, which is easy in North Dakota where retesting will not occur until an innocent pedestrian is killed while standing behind a power pole.

The kids won’t let grandma near the kitchen knives at Thanksgiving but think nothing of letting her terrorize everyone on the Interstate.

Finally, there are handicapped parking spots. Most of the vehicles parked in these spots are driven in by sprightly people who do a 100-yard dash into the store, making it fairly obvious that the real handicapped person is not driving or some compassionate doctor got conned into authorizing an undeserved permit.

In the final analysis, yellow lines have been helpful in bringing order to a belligerent and disorganized population but they have not done the whole job. Active supervision is required.

I hear that Walmart has commissioned a parking drone that soon will hover over the parking lot and bark instructions to those who should be driving horses instead of cars.

So expect to hear a loud voice on your next parking adventure. “Get your back end over, Jerk!” “One spot per vehicle, Smarty!” And a few other directives than can’t be printed in a family newspaper.

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