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Don't be shocked if the electric-vehicle crowd gets touchy about its parking spaces

Vehical in the South End

Matt Karolian spotted this note on the mirror of a gas guzzler parked in the space next to an electric-vehicle recharger at the South End Whole Foods. Either the note writer is from down South or was so annoyed he couldn't be bothered with the niceties of spelling.

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Comments

Teh elektrik kar wil runn 0ut ov battaryies and ned 2 b toed beck hom!

Can't decide if I should join along in the fun of laughing at the slipshod spelling or laughing at the golf cart drivers' inevitable vexation at having nowhere to plug in.

Also, you try typing that on a phone.

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The chargers that service these spaces reserved for electric vehicles are smart devices, and are supposed to show live whether spots are occupied or not through use of the charger.

When a conventional vehicle that doesn't use the charger occupies the space, this simple attempt at internet-aware parking availability and greener vehicle use fails. Like many good ideas, it fails because of Massholes, especially if the offending driver thinks like you, and is not just being inattentive.

Oh and for the record, one of my vehicles is a gas-powered only conveyance. My other vehicle is my bike.

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Many attempts at greener whatever fail upon contact with human nature. Especially when done with an undercurrent of coercion, which frequently happens when Green True Believers run the show.

Oh and for the record, both of my vehicles are gasoline-powered. And no, I don't park in spaces properly marked as reserved for handicapped or EV-only.

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How is a charger station and its accompanying space(s) coercive? Or were you referring to some other eco-forward initiative you don't like? If it's the latter, I doubt many care to read over a screed. So maybe try to be specific, man.

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How is a sign that essentially says "No Parking Unless You Buy The Kind of Car We Like" not coercive?

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Coercion requires threat of force. No one is forcing you to shop or park at Whole Foods. If someone is, I'd like to meet this Mr. or Ms. Grey of yours.

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And remind you of it next time some guy refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding or issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. After all, no one forces anyone to patronize any particular bakery or get married in any particular state.

But to your point, you're missing the part where the car gets towed if it is parked in one of the magic spaces. That's the threat of force for violating the policy.

I may add that it is at best disingenuous to say that the policy isn't coercion even though it's backed by enforcement, which is technically distinct from the policy itself.

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If you run a store that sells cakes to the public, then you're a public accommodation. As such, you have to be accommodating. It's not coercion as you agreed to the rules of what it means to be a public purveyor when you signed up for the license necessary to allow you to sell to the public. It's not coercion to force you to abide by the rules you agreed to when you took on the responsibilities of store ownership.

If you handle the public's business in handing out marriage licenses, then you're a public servant. As such you have to serve. It's not coercion as you agreed to do your public job when you signed the employment contract that the public handed you based on the laws the public made and the courts defined for you. Not coercion.

Finally, it's not coercion to tow your car for parking in a space that's marked for electric vehicles if you're not an electric vehicle. Putting laws in place to maintain order and enable the functioning of society defines the normal. We all agree to these laws or we change them. The only way that a law that says "you can be towed if a lot owner deems your car to be parked against their rules" could be coercion is if you're a sociopath who doesn't understand that society has bounds on EVERYONE'S actions for the functioning of that society. Otherwise, it would be coercion to lock you up and tow your car away for ramming the front door, running over 10 people, and parking it in aisle 3 of the store because that's where you damn well pleased to park it.

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Sorry, I had better things to do last Friday night. But Kaz said it best.

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I'm the last guy on this forum to say laws that are duly on the books can be disregarded for convenience or politics (*ahem* Clinton *ahem* emails, *cough cough*, excuse me, must be the ozone in the air from all those gas guzzlers).

My point is that just like 'no one forces you to go to the cake decorator' isn't a valid argument for discrimination against gay couples, 'no one forces you to shop at the South End Whole Foods' isn't a valid argument for discrimination against non EV owners.

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Whole Foods has 95% of its lot available to non-EVs. Stop trying to equivocate state coercion which gives us a society, vs a few spots in a parking lot set aside for electrics cars.

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Sure. Let's "segregate," if you will, a small choicy section of the parking lot for the EV-owning minority at the expense of the IC-owning majority. Stop trying to make excuses for automotive apartheid!

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You can't be a "conservative" these days without feeling victimized about anything and everything that somebody else might be getting or doing that isn't what you are getting or doing.

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I mean, why else would you hunt down my comments on a week-old story?

Anyway...

Yeah. Complaining about policies you don't like. That counts as being aggrieved? I thought that was a microaggression if it's not a leftie doing it.

Hmm. How about that. Firefox says 'microaggression' isn't a proper English word and suggests 'nonaggression' as the first single-word substitute. That's gotta be some kind of racist, amiright?

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It just means "not for cars" or "not for this or that car".

You really are a piece of work.

Perhaps you should spend some time this weekend actually reading the Bill of Rights - see how few mentions of parking are in there.

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Wouldn't it be better to place a weight sensor in the space and if it detects weight, mark the space as occupied? Then, even if a normal combustion car parked there, it would at least register it.

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Who pays for the weight sensor, for the excavation to place it, for the patching, and the eventual maintenance?

You can report if a vehicle is plugged into the charger with a couple of lines of code.

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who thought he could cheap out and "fix it in software" with a couple of lines of code, only to discover that spaces can be occupied by cars that aren't plugged in.

Incidentally, what do you do if an EV is parked in the EV-only space but isn't plugged in. Do you also report the space as empty?

Typical software-weenie thinking.

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Every EV driver would plug their car in. It's etiquette, and it's easy. Your language still shows you think like a jerk. "Software weenies."

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So we're relying on the good nature of all EV drivers instead of doing our due diligence to make sure the space is empty before reporting it empty.

Wow. Out of curiosity, when you saw the picture in the post, how did your mind process it? Do you see an actual SUV in the space, or is it like one of those medieval maps with 'here be dragons' in place of this thing that isn't an EV but is in the EV space?

OK, that was a little mean, but still I have a point to make: not everyone out there thinks like you and shares your priorities. Operating on the contrary assumption, especially when it comes to cutting metal, will only lead to unfathomably occupied parking spaces and other similarly disappointing experiences. Skepticism, on the other hand, is a much more sensible policy for life and business. People who think they can fix something in a few lines of code are, I have found, almost always insufficiently skeptical for their own good.

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...about handicapped spaces? Do they also bring out the bratty five-year-old in you?

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Equating the needs of someone who is disabled and requires a handicapped parking space close to the entrance of a grocery store with the 'needs' of driver who is not disabled and yet is gifted with a dedicated space because of a specific type of car they drive is a little silly. Seriously, can't you see that? For the record, I typically walk to the Trader Joe's on Boylston and on the rare occasions in which I do drive out of the city, I would NEVER in a million years park in a handicapped space, nor would I park in one marked for car share or electric vehicles or motorcycles for that matter.

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Seriously, can't you see that?

You say "specific type of car" as if you were talking about the color or kevlar vs. chrome bumpers or something like that, but what differentiates these cars is that they are PLUG INS. So yes, it does matter where they park.

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But we're not talking about able-bodied people taking up handicapped spaces. We're talking about pushing objectively inferior vehicles via back-handed methods like reserving parking spaces for the super-rich and otherwise mentally handicapped people who drive EVs at the expense of spaces for normal people who drive normal cars for normal reasons.

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objectively inferior vehicles

...can only be spoken by someone who hasn't actually driven a Tesla.

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But I grade a car on more that just its 0-60 time and whether or not it can (sort of ) drive itself. Teslas are a rich man's toy and will be until you can fill them up in under a minute and with liquid fuel. Oh and when they cost under 25k, of course.

The IC engine is here to stay, my friend. The fuel might not be pumped from the ground in fifty years (or maybe it will), but one way or another it's going to look a lot like it does now.

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Contrary to what the naysayer's agenda they were pushing during the development phase of this project, there are plenty of people who drive here resulting in very few parking spots for those that don't skateboard to the grocery store.
On any given day this parking lot is jammed. Very few take the MBTA to this store. So much for transit oriented development. Parking in the "electric car charging" spot is not a sin.

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If there is not enough parking, they have to come back when there is or come back without a car.

Parking is not sacred or special. Cars are not sacred or special. You have to share. Get over it.

My local Whole Foods rarely has enough parking, so I bike or go at an off hour (8pm when it shuts at 9). Trader Joe's doesn't have much parking, so I go at 8pm. Market Basket lacks parking, so I bike to Somerville or drive to Chelsea at an off hour.

This isn't difficult to figure out, schedule or arrange, even if you have a family and a full-time job. All it takes is awareness, planning ahead, and dropping the "I deserve parking when I want it" attitude. Been doing it for years - and, it is less stressful, too!

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That totally misses the point. Of course parking is scarce, we accept that as a part of living in the city. The gripe over parking that goes to waste for a questionable cause like EV charging. It's not even like a 5-mile trip to your local Whole Foods is going to drain your EV battery. You charge your car at work and home.

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It's private property, and they can do what they want with parking, including 'wasting' it on an EV only spot.

Considering the lot is so crowded they let people park on the (private) sidewalk, it's not surprise they don't enforce the EV only space...

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Not so long as people like you drive everywhere.

You have three choices:
1. drive at a less busy time
2. walk or bike
3. drive somewhere else with more parking

Those few spaces make no difference - particularly when they are full with EVs anyway.

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Thanks for dictating our choices to us. I found your comment amusing. Drive at a less busy time in the city of Boston during regular store hours? Walk with 2 weeks' worth of groceries? Bwahahaha! Clearly written by a single person who does not live or drive in the city and has never walked to a grocery store to shop for his/her family ever. Cute.

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The poster above delineated the alternatives you have when there isn't sufficient parking.

Dictating is when I tell you get Peapod, Amazon Fresh, Google Express, Instacart, whatever. Don't have access to those services? Tough: I was dictating, not delineating your choices. See a difference?

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Three teenage boys. Hate crowds.

Shop biweekly.

Alternatives exist - just use your head for something besides self-affirmation.

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People who don't have driver's licenses, don't live in the City, don't have kids or a life always telling Bostonians how and where to drive. If I wanted to be dictated to, I'd be living in North Korea.

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one purchases one of those shopping carts, and walks with it to the grocery shop around the corner. Then, when the grocery bags the groceries that one has paid for, put them in your 4-wheeled shopping cart and walk back home with them.

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I have chosen #3. I drive to Dedham for Whole Foods and Wegman's in Westwood. Sure I use more gas going to Dedham and Westwood but I cannot be bothered to fight for a parking lot.

For all the people saying "go at a better time" - you have a lot more free time than I do. I have limited windows during the week when I can go food shopping. Guess what? They're the same hours that most other people have to go food shopping. C'est la vie.

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Orbiting a parking lot searching for parking uses quite a bit of fuel compared to a few more minutes at more reasonable speeds.

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We're talking about the difference between a two block detour in a car I'm already driving to and from work and a couple of times around a small lot vs. driving on a highway for an extra 14 miles past my exit.

Fuel and parking aside - Wegman's leaves every other supermarket in their dust. It's worth the drive.

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Groceries are a big reason that I own a car.

I've been known to drive to Woburn because it is really about the same amount of time as driving to Chelsea or even Somerville. I mix that with other errands or hit it on the backswing when out sportsing.

Usually I pick #1: 4pm on a weekend day or Monday to Wednesday evening runs are usually sane times to shop all around. Thursday? Friday? forget it.

#2 only works for infill orders or if I have a BOB trailer given our weekly grocery take. I did manage to provision the household via bike for a bit over a week when our car was in the shop, but that won't really work until the boys fledge.

When my boys were on travel teams, we would shop the burbs afterward. We were not the only parents doing this. Week after week I would see other Medford parents raiding MBs in the North Middlesex league area, and plenty from Somerville and Malden and Melrose, too. Easy to tell when the kids are labeled! I was shopping in Wilmington once, essentially following a Somerville family around a rather quiet store where I had parked with ease. We get to the two-deep lines at the checkout, only to hear a local talk about how "busy" the store was today. Somerville Mom and I exchanged glances and burst out laughing.

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food-shopping, if I need to go to Costco or Whole Foods ( I generally go to the Whole Foods on River Street, in Cambridge, or, if I just have one or two things I wish to get, I'll walk to the one over in the Bunker Hill mall, in Charlestown, since that one's within walking distance from where I live.

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Most apartments in Boston don't have EV parking. Most companies don't have EV parking. If I drive 30 miles to work in Needham, then 30 miles back into the city on my reverse commute and end up at Whole Foods to pick up groceries to make dinner, then I've got 60 miles missing. The best Teslas only get you about 300 miles. That's nearly a "quarter tank down" and if I park at home before getting up to do the 60 miles round trip again tomorrow for work, then I might lose a bit of charge overnight and end up at half a tank in 2 days. Meanwhile, while I'm in Whole Foods, my car is just sitting in a lot for 30-60 minutes. Even a weak charger might get me enough to top off and save me the hassle of waiting at a supercharger on the Pike for 15-30 minutes while it could have been charging while I got groceries instead.

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I am not trying to be a jerk/troll, but I cannot figure out from where in the City it can possibly be 30 miles to Needham with any kind or reasonably direct route. Even if we're talking from the furthest reaches of Eastie, taking the Pike to 128, I'm still only coming up with about 18-19 miles.

What made me think of this was that I have to drive 32-35 miles each way once or twice a week from near Needham out to northeastern Worcester County, and I was just doing a quick comparison in my head.

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There are lots of 30 mile commutes around Boston. I wasn't given a personal example. And even if it's a 15 mile commute to Needham, it just means if I go to the grocery store every 4 days instead of 2 that I need the same fill up.

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Wait, you don't have an EV charger at home OR at work, and you still bought an EV? Now that's just weird.

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Hence they are so dependent on the charger at Whole Foods or other places. My ex is in such a position, currently, until he starts his new gig.

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http://www.plugshare.com

There are becoming chargers everywhere in the Boston area. Tesla has superchargers all over the northeast highway system too. Plus with a Tesla, if you use the navigation system to tell it where you're going, it'll tell you whether you need to charge on the way and where that would be to cause minimal delay. So, not charging overnight isn't the nerve-wracking experience it used to be (or it may be for less-sophisticated EVs, most owners of which will just use apps like PlugShare to figure out similar info on where they'll need to charge at and when).

While home and work are obvious places and times to charge, shopping, restaurants, and lots of other times are equally as useful.

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as indignantly suggesting that those who don't drive, must skateboard, and are therefore, implicitly, children (or at least not regular people).

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I'm sorry but expecting people to not drive to the grocery store is a load of crap.

I normally get around everywhere on my bike, but I always make it a point to borrow someone's car to go grocery shopping, because I can't go to the store every day, and there's only so much I can fit in my backpack. It is simply too much to ask people to forgo buying anything in bulk, and if you only bought what you could fit in a backpack, then you'd have to go every day.

Now, sure, I could theoretically take the T there instead, but that would involve two buses and take about an hour, and I'd still be limited to at most what fits in 2 bags and my backpack.. It's a 15 minute drive, tops, and I can buy things in bulk.

Also, this is the only Whole Foods in Boston that doesn't suck. My closest one, the JP one, is very small and hit-or-miss whether they'll actually have what I want. The Ink Block one always has everything I want. So I drive to the Ink Block one.

Also, this Whole Foods' parking lot is still almost completely full at 9 pm. So obviously there are plenty of people who decide to go at an "off" hour.

Finally, no, trying to get groceries home without driving is in no way shape or form possibly less stressful than driving.

I'm normally the first person to argue for it not being necessary to drive places, and a huge supporter of public transit, but the one exception to this logic is grocery shopping.

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You need to actually read that comment that you are replying to and get over yourself. She said she drives - just not at peak times.

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She said to drive at an off hour, or go by another mode besides driving.

I addressed both of those ideas - by pointing out the impracticality of biking or taking the T, and by pointing out that from my experience that lot is full right up until the store closes.

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The Somerville MB has parking from 7-9 PM on weekdays. It's not necessarily right next to the store, but the parking lot isn't that big. Those times are also the best to find yourself lucky enough to not have to wait in line at the deli counter. The closer to 9, the better. Also, they lock the doors at 9, but you're given a good 15 minute grace period to get your basket/carriage to the register.

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Somerville Market Basket may run out of parking but I have never seen the Chelsea Market Basket run out of space... You may have to park on the outer edges of the lot the week of Thanksgiving but there are always spots! Although I have waited in line to enter the store because so many people are entering at once and there have been times when even with 60 registers running that I was standing in line that backed into the aisles.

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The horrific parking situation there not withstanding, the aisles are quite narrow, and it's particularly crowded on weekends, plus the food is overrated.

I went there a couple of times, which was more than enough for me. I haven't gone back since.

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Sometimes I want to simulate the "there's a blizzard coming tomorrow, also it's SuperBowl Sunday and Thanksgiving somehow all at the same time" feeling that you get at grocery stores in traumatic times, and Somerville MB is a great place to get that feeling all the time.

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..drive 4 blocks from their underground parking condo to Whole Foods, waiting in a long line to get into the parking lot (engine running of course), buy their overpriced food and then drive back 4 blocks to their parking condo. They could walk but it's too much trouble and they might encounter an unwashed person or cause themselves to perspire.
It's all true.

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If parking is so important to you and your ilk, why don't you just move to the suburbs where there is a ton of parking?

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I don't understand why people complain about crowded stores and lots and fighting for a parking space at a nearby place when they are in a vehicle designed for long distances of travel.

Get on the highway, go outbound a few exits, and shop there.

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Both Assembly Row and South Bay Center have plenty of parking for those who are revolted by walking/cycling/public transit.

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And who pays for the property the parking spots go? Everyone, including the non lazy people who walk or bike. Those people shouldn't have to pay more to eat to subsidize entitled drivers.

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each time even a single red cent of your tax dollars go's to pay for road maintenance, doesn't it.

But of course everyone else is supposed to shut up and pay their fair share for free stuff for "the poor."

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I guess it's ok to assume that one who misspells words is from the South. If I were to point out commonly held beliefs that people from other area act in a certain manner, I'd risk being called a bigot. Did we forget about our responsibility to maintain sensitivity to our fellow humans?

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I made the Southern connection because people south of the Mason-Dixon line sometimes pronounce the word "vehicle" as "vee-hick-il," which is how I might pronounce "vehical." It's kind of like the giant yellow ads all over South Station right now talk about Sprint being "smahhhht;" it's not that Bostonian don't know how to spell "smart," they just pronounce it differently.

So that's all I meant; no offense meant to Southerners.

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I totally understood your shot at some humor. A little bit funny, actually. I was jokingly trying to point out how ridiculous people can be with all the sensitivity nonsense. Seriously, if you were to make sport of the way certain people talk, spell, drive, drink, etc., in this day and age, "I was only joking. I meant no offense..." Doesn't cut it anymore. Very ridiculous times we live in. I had my shot, so I took it. I meant no offense, Adam.

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with a master's degree from one of yall's yankeefied high falutin schools where I got me a proper learning, and I weren't affended.

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To tell my favorite joke.

It seems that there was an Aggie who was visiting friends in New England during break, and his friend took him to a college mixer where students from the Ivies were present.

The Aggie, being an outgoing young man, approached a group of young women.

"Hey, ladies, where you go to school at?"

Frosty sigh. *eye roll* "Yale."

They Aggie shruged. "OK. WHERE YOU GO TO SCHOOL AT?"

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Oh please, Southerners aren't offended at digs at our accent or our spelling prowess. Do you think we show up at Larry the Cable Guy's concerts and protest that he's perpetuating a stereotype?

(Git R DONE)

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I agree with you. I just saw a shot to make a point of how ridiculous the sensitivity crowd can be so I figured I give them a little taste of their own medicine. Just having a little fun. Happy 4th(when it gets here).

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I commented about the same thing earlier. They pick and choose which comments they post, as mine didn't make it. Even independent media censors the truth

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No idea what your comment said, but I probably deleted it because it duplicated what somebody else said.

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So when it turned out to be about a common southern pronunciation of vehicle, it made perfect sense.

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Technically the note is true. It should read "THIS is not an electric vehical".

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That car would be a perfect candidate to stick a couple of slices of bird-attracting bologna on top of, if only it weren't $34.99 a pound

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When an Internal Combustion Engine car fills an EV space, it's called getting ICE'd.

All an EV owner has to do is tell the manager and they use the PA to find the owner or have it towed. No note needed.

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The idea of having "reserved" parking spaces (EV, expectant mothers, veteran, even handicap) breaks down when parking becomes scarce. They work okay at a suburban WalMart with a parking lot so huge that RV's can just park at the end and hang out. But in a crowded urban area where people have to circle like vultures to find a spot, they just waste valuable resources too much of the time.

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If the EV spot has a charging station that's the ONLY spot the person can park and charge. It's not like "families with children" spots in which the driver is no worse off parking elsewhere.

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You don't have to charge an EV every time you park it.

EVs are well-defined. But they're not always identifiable. And there's no law requiring them to have EV plates.

Other preferred parking spaces are a big grey area. Who exactly is allowed to use a fuel-efficient vehicle space? Just a Prius, or also a hybrid SUV? What about a small non-hybrid car that gets better gas mileage than the hybrid SUV? The only reason these exist is to get LEED jollies -- there's no proof they accomplish anything.

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When people feel entitled to a piece of private property to store their private vehicle.

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I'm a bit confused. It looks like a space NEXT to a charger. And a non-EV car is parked in front of him too. There is no sign saying "EV parking," but I don't know what's painted on the ground.

So how is this wrong? Shouldn't an electric vehicle park in front of the charger?

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No because chargers can sometimes support multiple plugs. That means they're in between spots because they can charge two vehicles or maybe even 4 at a time.

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It's off frame, to the right, nestled next to planter bollards on either side. There are 4 EV spots there, with 2 dual-head chargers.

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problems.

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I mean, people complaining about grocery stores in the city not having enough parking, as if there ever could be enough parking AND still have that grocery store actually BE in the city.

Clearly blow ins who weren't around in the 90s when you had to leave the city to shop.

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Star on Boylston and Symphony Whole Foods were in operation in the '90s, also IIRC Central Square Market Basket, Stop & Shop on Washington in Brookline, Brookline Whole Foods. FYI.

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Which side will prevail as the conservative-on-conservative mass hole slug fest over parking heats up ? Stay tuned, it's going to be a long summer !

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People fail in spelling and grammar these days when they are without the help of MSWord and Google and forced to use pen and paper.

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