Friday, January 11, 2013

Bipolar disorder hits Road Warrior

The sanest way to get to Manhattan is by bus or train, not car.

Editor's note: In a column about parking in Manhattan, the Road Warrior failed to explain city officials deliberately made signs confusing to raise as much ticket revenue as possible, and they did so for decades. Even so, the column is filled with inaccuracies, as a concerned reader's e-mail to management points out.

As if his inaccurate reporting is not bad enough, The Record is unable to decipher the true bipolar meaning of Road Warrior's Jan. 10 column about NYC City parking since it is titled:

1)  "New signs may point to easier parking" is the headline in its printed newspaper of happiness, BUT:

2)  "NYC's parking signs not simple enough" is the headline in its online version of sadness and gloom.

Like many, I prayed for the Road Warrior to dump the unclear, long-winded, mistaken gibberish that has been leading readers astray for nearly a decade. 

Unfortunately, the Road Warrior did not meet our prayers, as he started to report the good news about simpler NYC parking signs, but quickly got off track when trying to confuse us into thinking that it was really bad news, while providing more mistaken gibberish and an advertisement and biased report for a ticket fighting service.

The Road Warrior also FAILED to address the elephant in the parking lot, which is that there will no longer be individual parking signs directing drivers to muni-meters on each block that have replaced individual parking meters.  Drivers will have to figure out on their own to use these muni-meters or suffer the wrath of the parking meter brigade.  

This missing information could almost take up a separate column.

A highlight of Road Warrior mistaken reporting that should be addressed or corrected is noted below.

1)  Misleading statement due to key omission - "When the city DOT introduced two new sets of signs in midtown....."

CORRECT FACTS - New signs are being installed thru this spring NOT just in midtown, but in Manhattan parking areas, including 60th to 14th St. and Second to Ninth Ave., Lower Manhattan, and the Financial District.  Other city areas will follow.

2)  Biased misleading false statement - "They'll make more money from us than ever," said the president of a ticket-fighting service. "These signs are just as confusing as ever."

CORRECT FACTS - New signs are much easier to understand/read without different size typefaces and conflicting information.  That president tries to confuse others in order to avoid losing money due to fewer clients since signs will no longer be "indecipherable".

3)  Baseless, confusing claims - Road Warrior lists many baseless claims by the president of the ticket-fighting service about pertinent parking nuances that go unaddressed.

CORRECT FACTS - No person with common sense and reasonable driving experience should be stymied by these baseless claims, as shown below.

- "Commercial vehicles do not include taxis, livery and ambulettes."

The very definition of commercial vehicles is that they cannot be used to transport others, which is what taxis, a livery, and ambulettes do.

- "There's no definition of 'standing' either"

Experienced drivers learn about these terms.  Standing means waiting with a parked vehicle.

- "Passengers may still be dropped off and picked up in commercial vehicle zones if it's done expeditiously."

As long as parking sign does not indicate "No stopping", this practice is allowed. Don't try to further complicate something that everyone does.

- "Sunday parking or parking after midnight is legal"

If a parking sign restriction clearly does not cover a certain day or time periods, then common sense and the law means there are no restrictions on those days or time periods.

4)  Baseless, false conclusion - "But even in daylight, I doubt that you'll be able to wade through all the legalese you need to absorb within the five-minute grace period necessary to beat a sharp-eyed meter attendant."

CORRECT FACTS - There will be no legalese to decipher or wade thru since the parking signs are written in clearer, simpler English with more common traffic terms that anyone, who is planning to spend much time in New York City had better learn.

I defy the Road Warrior to provide any example of new parking sign legalese.

5)  Be careful what you wish for advice - "What about adopting uniform municipal standards for parking signs throughout the nation?"

BETTER ADVICE - Let's not end up creating another unfunded liability for overtaxed municipalities to comply with.


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