Parking. It's stressful. There are never enough spots, other drivers park poorly, and it seems to cost more than rent.
So it's not surprising that a recent spike in parking-related conflicts has created a new driving crisis: Parking rage.
On Wednesday, a Winnipeg man was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation for pinning a woman between two vehicles as a response to her poor parking job. Apparently he wasn't satisfied with just leaving his passive-aggressive "learn to park" note.
This sentencing follows a series of similar incidents around the globe:
In 2010, Bristol resident Ronald Pemberton made headlines for shoving the car blocking his garage — and having the incident captured on camera:
Last month a Seattle man intentionally struck a motorcycle while parking — then pulled out a gun when questioned about his cruel move.
In Greece, a man turned his trapped car into a battering ram, shoving a vehicle out of his way in a crowded parking lot. Like Pemberton's rage before him, it was captured on camera:
And last week in Australia, an elderly couple waiting for a disabled parking spot were beaten because they were "blocking the road."
Cities are scrambling to address parking frustrations. In San Francisco, networked sensors monitor parking-space availability, helping drivers find spots quickly. The SFPark program hopes to cut down on both parking rage and carbon-dioxide emissions with the strategy, reducing the time cars circle the block in search of an available space.
Los Angeles is looking to implement a comparable sensor-parking program.
Similar to SFPark, smart-parking company Streetline is proving parking information to drivers in an easy-to-use smartphone app. GreenBiz.com reports Smartline already has deployments in "California, Indianapolis, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington D.C."
Canadian drivers don't have a system quite that sophisticated yet, but can use Parking In Motion, "a free app that recommends the cheapest and closet parking around you" that currently contains data for over 30 Canadian cities. Unfortunately, the app doesn't indicate number of available spaces in those lots at this point.
Even if it did, it still wouldn't correct other drivers' poor parking habits.