Wait, what?

I have two hours to kill before heading to an event, so I stop by Venice Beach to hang out with my cousin and some friends. Venice is packed, and -- surprise, surprise -- there’s NOWHERE to park. Every lot I pass says $40 per car -- who’s paying that much for 2 hours?!

Street parking? Nonexistent. People had managed to squeeze into every ounce of parallel parking available. 45 minutes later, I call it quits, extremely annoyed, and make my way to my other event. I never even meet up with my cousin. All that wasted time and gas spent circling around. I could've just stayed home for a couple extra hours.

We’re in two separate cars pulling up to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk on a Cali family vacay. It’s the middle of the summer -- peak vacation season -- and the parking lot can’t even hold a fraction of the people in town. Cars are clogging up the streets as everybody searches desperately for parking, making it impossible to move. It takes 20 minutes to drive a single block.

My car decides to look for street parking a few blocks away. No luck. BUT we find an empty spot at a motel with a sign saying “$20.” Huge score.

After we park, the owner raises it to $40. Of course, we’re pissed, but what can we do? He’s got a monopoly here and at this point, we’re just thankful to avoid the hassle of parking lot traffic. We’ve already inched around aimlessly in traffic, and we just wanna hurry and get to the beach.

By the time the fam from the other car makes their way to us, we’d already set up at the beach, bought our fair tokens, and are almost finished eating lunch. Their parking mission ended in a sad defeat to a grossly overpriced, further away, bumper-to-bumper lot. I don’t even wanna tell you how long it took them to squeeze out of that lot at the end of the day.

What do these stories have in common?

  1. Parking taking away precious hours that could have been enjoying spending quality time at the beach
  2. Patience running more thin by the second

  3. Passing by a bunch of empty driveways and private spots that no one is using

  4. Did I mention wasting time and gas while getting increasingly pissed?

If that motel owner hadn’t posted that sign--and then stood out in the sun waiting for people to park there--we’d still be searching for a spot. And we’d still be upset. Just like I was in Venice.

Wait, what was the question again? Oh yeah. I believe someone asked me: “Tay, what made you want to start ParqAvenue?”

© taylordmills 2017

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