This morning I noticed a pile of wood and rubbish outside of Dave’s Seafoods’ front door. Gives me a bit of hope for the future as that is a sweet corner for any sit down coffee place.
According to the Washington Times, the city may consider making double parking legal. My response, no, no, no. Bad people, bad.
I’m thinking the law of unintended consequences. Imagine a church, they have a parking lot, or a hunk of land where cars park. Ya know if the city is starting to allow double parking… Sell the land, or throw up an administrative or mission focused building instead. It would take away the incentive for places that have responsible parking policies to remain responsible. More so if those places are near to others who have their irresponsible parking policies catered to by the city.
Before anyone says it’s just a few hours once a week, let me just say that some churches are more active than others, and the bigger the church the more activities. You’ve got early morning service that may be at 7:30 or 8AM. Then there is the regular time service at 10 or 11AM. Between the early and the regular there is Bible Study or Sunday School. The regular service can be over 2 hours long, depending on the domination and or if any baptisms are occurring that day. So you could have parking problems from 7:30AM till sometime after 1PM. Almost 6 hours during the day.
And under fairness would any other non-profit or a business who has peak business for 6 or so hours once a or twice week also be eligible for double parking? If the restaurant and bar owners got together and said, “hey we need more parking on Saturday night from 9PM to 2AM!” Would they also get a concession?
You know what would be helpful? A study. No keep doing what ever you’re doing ’cause I wouldn’t want to delay things for the sake of a study, but a study would help. Get the location of every single church, mosque, temple, meeting house, coven and what religious have you and map it. Find out when are their peak times (Sunday morning, Friday night, Saturday sundown, Wednesday night, etc). Map where people double park in mass (regardless of assumed reason). Detail (size, DC/MD/VA tag, if DC what ward)what cars are parked in and what cars are blocking, and for how long/ when. I’d bet that you’d find that most religious places of worship practice responsible parking practices by having parking lots and more or less respecting the laws of the city during their peak times. And where people are double parking en mass, are near a few large churches, making up a small percentage of the District’s whole worship population. A large number, maybe not a majority but a large number, of double parkers are from one of the surrounding states, possibly followed by DC residents from various Wards. A majority of the blockees would be DC residents, if there is regular parking on that street. But that’s my guess.
Wednesday’s posting sparked a fair amount of discussion. And maybe some of us come from different backgrounds different experiences, and thus a different point of view. I really don’t tend to have these discussions with my close friends. Mainly because my close friends share the same working class background (‘cept Nora) and sometimes part of the family drama that we left back home includes members who would be classified as poor. There is no need, or desire to dwell on their condition, and it may result in no desire to dwell on it here with non-family members.
To check what my background was I gave mom a call yesterday. “Poor, lower-middle, lower-middle, well compared to my family, poor,” she said. I asked her what she considered herself now. “Lower-middle.” I would call my sister to check her status but that seems a little mean. She lives in public housing.
From my aunts and uncles to my own family the American Dream, or at least parts, have been available. In some it has been lived out, struggled for, and in cases, achieved. My grandparents were North Carolina sharecroppers, my aunts and uncles went to college, putting themselves through with a mix of summer jobs, scholarships, the GI Bill and other support. Mom unfortunately mom didn’t go to college, so she didn’t go forward. From my point of view my aunts and uncles lead comfy middle class lives, and were able to provide for their children and put them through and keep them in college. Coming from the poor/lower-middle range with a combo of scholarships, loans, grants and emotional support from my parents (who mind you, didn’t save one red cent for my education) I was able to go to college. With college and then grants to go to grad school and then taking out another loan and working part time to go to grad school again, I am the woman I am today. So you have two generations that have raised themselves up.
In my background are friends and family and people I went to school with, with their own struggles. I compare notes with other friends who have similar intimate characters in their background. The movement from one situation to another, from poor to middle class is not theoretical, when it is observed closely over time in the lives of people we know on a deep level and in our own lives.
That upward movement is not easy. It takes something inside to persevere and fight, as well as opportunites that society provides. America is the land of opportunity. Pell grants, state colleges and universities, small business loans, programs for first time homebuyers, FHA loans, Vet benefits, tax incentives, social security*, etc provide just some of the opportunites. I am so lucky to be born here.
*Yes, the program will be gone by the time I get 65 but it frees up parents and their siblings from having to directly support 100% my grandparents’ living expenses. I hope that it will remain solvent long enough to support my parents, so I (and maybe my sister) won’t have to deal with all of my parents elder care expenses.