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PUBLIC FORUM; POOR PARKING LOTS AND BAD JUDGMENT A RECIPE FOR RAGE.

For today's Public Forum, the Daily News asked readers to tell us about their experiences in the scramble for parking spaces. Have you been abused verbally or physically by another driver over a parking space? What's the worst thing that has happened to you while parking in Los Angeles? Do you think drivers have become more aggressive and less polite? What can be done about the parking lot scrambles?

I'VE JUST EXPERIENCED my first ``parking lot rage''; I hope it is the last. The second week in January I was cruising the parking lot at the Glendale Mall when a gentleman motioned to me that he was leaving. Suddenly, I saw this car coming toward me in reverse. This person was 50 yards beyond me and stopped at my front bumper. After failing to motion this person out of the way, the gentleman got out of his car and tried to explain that he could not leave with her parked behind him and there was no way for her to back up further and that I was in line for the space.

She refused to leave. By then, several cars behind me were honking at her. I guess we would still be there if another place had not opened up. As I was getting out of the car she was screaming at me: ``You crazy woman! This is not how we do things in America!''

Forget that I was born here a generation or so before she was. This woman was clearly in the wrong; one does not back up for 50 yards to get a space. I worry that someone one bottle short of a case is behind the wheel of a car.

- Patricia B. Adams

Glendale

RE: PARKING LOTS NEW OK CORRAL.

I'm not surprised that people are duking it out over parking spaces. Parking spaces have become too narrow. I drive a compact car, and it doesn't fit in most ``compact'' parking spaces. And the space between parking spaces is much narrower than it used to be. So, to avoid door dings, many people take up 2 spaces.

Then, you have landlords who take a perfectly good parking lot and put extra stores in it, ruining the traffic flow. Two of these parking lot nightmares come to mind: the shopping center on the northeast corner of Ventura and Topanga boulevards, and the Target parking lot at Ventura east of De Soto.

I suppose that there should be some sort of law to ensure adequate parking for commercial development, but in the meantime, we should just not patronize stores with bad parking.

- Derrick Stumpf

Reseda

I WAS IN A SITUATION at a supermarket parking lot where a driver backed into my car because they noticed an available space at the last minute. I didn't want the parking space; I was exiting the lot. I put my car in reverse when I noticed their backup lights. Unfortunately, my reflex wasn't as fast as their back-maneuver. The person stormed out of their vehicle to mine, yelling irrationally.

I tried to explain to this person just what happened, but their ignorance surpassed any explanation. I walked into the market to contact the store security. The person followed me while continuing to yell uncontrollably. She phoned a friend of hers to come to the scene and when he arrived she explained he was in the TV industry and that he would know how to handle the situation.

I laughed and responded: ``Will this become a miniseries?''

My solution for parking lot rage - park your vehicle at your home and walk to your destination. Get some exercise.

- P.M. Taguinot

Woodland Hills

PARKING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW;

The space you seek today

you'll find tomorrow.

- Fred B. Bunao

Los Angeles

AFTER READING ABOUT PARKING LOT RAGE in the Daily News, I laughed to myself. Here are two elderly men in such bad physical shape they need handicapped placards on their cars, but at a moment's notice, they can duke it out so they don't have to walk a few extra yards to the front door. I have been in that Kaiser Permanente Hospital parking lot a few times. There are plenty of handicapped spots; usually, most are empty. I hope the broken hip was worth it.

- Wayne Nosala

Winnetka

I'M SURPRISED THERE'S NOT MORE of it. My biggest complaint is people who steal handicapped parking or leave shopping carts in them.

I have a handicapped parking permit - it took me years of pain and suffering before I got one. I understand it is easy to be cavalier about another person's pain.

I bank at the Wells Fargo Bank at the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Vanowen Street. During the summer months especially, there is always someone without a permit pulled up in handicapped parking to use the ATM.

I've talked to management, called traffic control, tried courteous confrontation. It still goes on. The last time I asked a man to move he was so angry (and drunk), I thought he was going to hit me. Now I've got a nasty note I slip under their windshield wipers. That way I can hit and run (figuratively speaking).

What I'd like to see are traffic cameras installed. They would pay for themselves in a few months.

Or I may take my guerrilla tactics up a notch and carry a jar of Vaseline, greasy red lipstick and some peanut butter to further my message.

- Jaime C Jameson

North Hollywood

I READ THE ARTICLE about parking lot rage and would like to share the following incidents.

First, I was driving up a lane and found a parking space. Another driver, driving the wrong way, raced me for the space. I got there first. The driver got out of his car and yelled at me for taking his space. When I told him he was going the wrong way, he said, ``So what?'' Other people saw the incident and burst out laughing, so the driver backed off.

Second, in the parking lot of the AMC theaters, a driver took up four parking spaces because he was apparently concerned someone might ding his precious, huge truck.

Third, many times, drivers block an aisle, because they are waiting for someone to pull out of a space.

So here is my solution: Make all of the above a traffic violation, and have owners of private property issue citations to the offenders. The fines would pay their salaries.

By the way, the category three violators are the same ones who block supermarket aisles with their carts or forget until all of their goods have been rung up that they have to pay for them, and only then attempt to find their credit card or checkbook.

- Bobert Schoenburg

West Hills

RE ``RAGE IN PARKING LOTS'':

I've had five cars, yet prefer walking.

Anger, discourtesy or lack of genuine love for fellow humans - i.e. selfishness - are three underlying causes. Costco had a customer parking lot fight and also one right in their stores. Until we greet each other civilly or respectfully, alienation and mistrust will further poison us. (Remember ``Sounds of Silence'' by Simon and Garfunkel?)

At grocery stores, I am rushed by others' aggressiveness while in line. California's reputation for being the ``car capital'' is breeding desensitization of normal human emotions (capacity to love).

At one store in Van Nuys, I've been cursed because I pulled into a space. I don't know if we fail to use our signals or blindly choose not to budge or forgive.

A happy hiker.

- Janet Marquez

Van Nuys

< WALKING IS THE KEY WORD to parking. A few feet of walking after parking your car can help in many ways healthwise. Park as far away as possible from the place you want to enter; try not to get close. A few feet away is no good.

Many people with oversize vans park in the compact spaces, taking up two spaces instead of one. Also, some people park at an angle, taking up two spaces. Thinking of the next person is the key word when parking your car.

- Eli Moonitz

Encino

WE HAVE PONDERED and discussed the question of parking lot rage at length, and these are our final conclusions: We are forced with two major problems in parking lots today; one is physical and the other psychological.

The physical problem is easy to remedy. For a number of years businesses have been allowed to skirt statutes requiring a certain number of slots in their lots by creating the class of parking places allegedly reserved for compact cars. At the same time, the auto manufacturers have been building ever-larger vehicles. The two conflicting concepts meet in the parking lot, when people insist on trying to park their larger and larger vehicles in the smaller and smaller slots. The solution to this problem is the easy one. Stop making small slots. Businesses could simply be required to re-stripe the lots for slots, which, realistically, would allow vehicles to fit. On the other hand, it would also be possible for some sense of sanity to return to the automotive industry and have it stop this size race, which is rampant.

The psychological problem is the more difficult one. People everywhere these days are so bound up in their own needs and desires that they have lost any semblance of human consideration for one another. What ever happened to manners? Why do people drive at breakneck speeds in congested parking lot slots and structures? The mental picture of two old men ``duking it out'' in a parking lot over a slot is too ludicrous to contemplate. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule, in which people treat the other person as he or she would like to be treated? There is the solution to parking lots and, at the same time, the solution to most of the ills of the world. But then that would be the hard one. The task of getting people to practice that oldest of bits of good advice may well be an insurmountable one that is, in our opinion, the only one.

Until it happens, we can only try to practice the Golden Rule, and use the utmost care when entering and exiting parking lots.

- Richard and Corrie Warren

Van Nuys

TO SAY THAT DRIVERS have become more aggressive and less polite is quite an understatement. Anyone who disagrees should not be driving, since they would have to be driving with their eyes closed. I have witnessed many incidents of parking lot rage, surprisingly, all involving women.

Since I never argue with or confront aggressive drivers, I have had only one incident of parking lot rage, about 17 years ago when there was no name for it yet. I was circling a crowded parking lot for 15 minutes, looking for a place, when I finally saw a car backing out of a space. After making sure no one else was waiting for that space, I waited for the driver to back out, then just as I started to pull into the space, a moron in a truck coming from the opposite direction cut in front of me, almost hitting me. I said to him: ``Thank you for being so polite and considerate.''

He unleashed a torrent of profanities, causing his already-too-low IQ to plummet. I simply drove away wondering, ``What the hell was his mother thinking?'' In retrospect, it was not a good idea to say anything to him at all.

It always takes two to escalate any conflict, whether it's road rage, shopping rage or parking lot rage. Therefore the best policy is to simply drive away. A parking space is hardly worth ending up with holes you weren't born with.

- Tony Nathanson

Encino

PARKING LOT RAGE IS JUST ANOTHER EXTENSION of the same rude, aggressive behavior manifested by tailgating, speeding, dangerous lane changes and other reckless driving actions.

Any form of courtesy is fast disappearing from our streets and freeways, so why not just barge into a parking space someone has been waiting for? When people can get away with numerous traffic violations with no fines, or meaningless fines, stealing a parking space is nothing. As long as we accept reckless drivers, operating an automobile will become more and more dangerous.

Our lawmakers are too gutless to impose fines that no one is likely to ignore. The fine for going around a railroad crossing gate is $100. Make it $500 and things will quickly improve. Do the same for speeding and reckless lane changes and running a red light. Raise the fine to $500, and don't give in when someone complains about financial hardship. Admittedly, traffic law enforcement is difficult, but painful fines would work miracles.

- Harlan Campbell

Tujunga

I DRIVE A MINIVAN, and there are not enough large parking spaces. I think we should eliminate the compact parking spaces and go back to making all parking spaces the same size.

Another thing I find annoying is that many businesses put all the large parking spaces near the entrance and the compact spaces farther away, then what happens is that compact cars take up all the large spaces and those of us with large cars must squeeze in the compact spaces farther away. Mini-malls are the worst places to park. I will not shop at mini-malls for this reason.

- Sharon Lott Person

Mission Hills

SAVE A LIFE

Over the years, I have observed the lack of safety measures on the road. Why don't people drive at least three car-lengths behind, use signals and allow entering traffic to merge?

I am so tired of hearing and seeing needless crashes that cause harm to everyone involved. Slow down, people. Allow yourselves a chance to save a life - not destroy it.

- Lisa D. Davis

West Toluca Lake

POLICE PRIORITIES

Question to Chief Bernard Parks and Sheriff Lee Baca:

Why am I sitting in rush-hour traffic on the freeway for hours waiting for the traffic to break when, lo and behold, the car-pool lane has cars sailing along as fast as they can - cars with one person driving, and even motorcycles . . . not a patrol car in sight? Aren't these lanes monitored? I know if I tried that, there would be a police car right in back of me.

(By the way, I did see a policeman giving a pedestrian a ticket on the freeway off-ramp. Guess they do have their priorities.)

- Ruth Rademacher

Panorama City

CONTRIBUTES TO RAGE

There is another aspect to the HOV lanes, besides whether they help reduce traffic congestion, and that is their contribution to road rage.

I can deal with the tailgaters and the lane-changers, but nothing makes me see red faster than the single-occupant car speeding (and I do mean speeding) down the HOV lane during heavy traffic. These are the same idiots who ignore the HOV diamond lanes on the on-ramps and run red lights, and is there ever a policeman around to nab them? No!

I think in theory the HOV lane could work. However, as long as you have all the scofflaws out there (and you know who you are!), this and other like ideas will only serve to enrage the law-abiding driver.

- Margot Trasatti

Sherman Oaks

AIRPORT AS NEIGHBOR

Re ``Go Ahead and Move,'' (Public Forum, Dec. 17):

There are plenty of homeowners, such as my family, who bought property in the Granada Hills area as far as possible from the airport, paying more for the property and property taxes. Eighteen years later, with airport expansion, we have jets screaming overhead, some at approximately 1,000 feet or less, at all hours of the day and night. No doubt the flight patterns have changed as well as the airport expansion.

Van Nuys Airport is a far cry from being a responsible business owner for our community and is an accident looking for a place to happen, and no doubt it will, probably sooner (rather) than later.

- Sheila Winn

Granada Hills

WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?

Four children were injured in a shooting by an avowed neo-Nazi fanatic, which led to thunderous cries in the media demanding more laws restricting the private ownership of firearms. County Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina and Councilman Mike Feuer, as well as Police Chief Bernard C. Parks and Sheriff Lee Baca, constantly issue strident calls for the extension of these police powers.

Now I read that 19 children died in the Los Angeles County foster care system in 1997, and 15 more in 1998. 1999 appears to be on track for a similar toll. The same article indicates that much of this toll stems from abuse in the foster care homes. And 150,000 complaints a year is more than an indicator that something is wrong. Where is the outrage? Can it be because these children are largely from minority and low-income homes that lack the high visibility of a Columbine High School or a Jewish Community Center with aroused parents? Or is it because our leaders bear some responsibility for oversight of the foster care system and do not care to have a spotlight turned on it? Calling for an investigation is not an adequate response.

- Joe Bott

West Hills

NEEDS COMMERCIAL BREAK

Am I dreaming or are commercials taking charge of TV? I've been clocking commercials, and they dominate all half-hour programs. One sitcom, which runs half an hour, had 12 minutes of commercials.

On NFL games, there seems to be a commercial after every couple of downs.

On many of the cable channels that show movies, TNT for example, there is almost a commercial every five minutes.

Thank goodness for the mute button. I wonder if the sponsors realize how valuable the mute button is.

- Earl D. Horwitz

North Hills

CAPTION(S):

Cartoon

Cartoon: no caption (Comic cars with angry faces)

Margaret Scott
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 22, 2000
Words:2972
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