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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Stagg

When Parking Disputes Turn Deadly

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

Empty Underground Parking Garage
Photo by Tareq Ismail on Unsplash

In the big scheme of things, small disputes over parking may feel pretty minor. But in the heat of the moment, they can feel anything but for many people. In an article by CityLab, the potential for parking lot altercations to spill over into violence is investigated further, with insight from Donald Shoup, UCLA professor and parking policy expert.

"To Shoup, parking disputes that turn deadly demonstrate why cities must pay closer attention to these contested spaces, by setting up meters and enforcing restrictions."

While Shoup argues that "free" parking in urban spaces is the ultimate culprit, in reality, there are a lot of factors that go into the buildup of violence in parking lots. Unsafe driving practices is definitely one of them.

"One thing that seems to amplify the odds of violence: the presence of automobiles. Butts pointed to taxi drivers who dangerously speed up behind cyclists, or pissed-off motorists who run other cars off the road."

The way we conduct ourselves when we drive is picked up on by other drivers; small aggressions or heedless maneuvers can feel threatening to other drivers, especially in areas where room is limited. When we practice consideration for others, we do ourselves and everyone around us a great service, and we help to reduce the possibility of things spinning out of control.

For more on the phenomenon, and for academic takes on the roots of parking lot violence, check out the article in full from CityLab.


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