In which I become an axe-wielding devil-bunny

You guys, it took me so long before I wrote about the parking/pension/lease issue. I waited months before my first post because I just didn’t feel like I knew enough to write an opinion on it.

Then I posted another yesterday in which I admitted that I don’t know what’s best for Pittsburgh as it relates to this issue, but I’d feel better if at least I knew all the data had been properly examined and all avenues considered before a route was chosen. I’d feel better if City Council and Mayor Lukey came to an agreement on it.

Today, I would like to change my position on this issue.

EFF THE PARKING LEASE.

I AM WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGAINST IT.

Why?

Well, because the Post-Gazette interviewed the CEO of the company that should the lease be permitted via vote by City Council, will be the winner of the bid.

What did the CEO say that single-handedly turned me against the lease?

Brace yo’selves. They rapin’ errrybody.

Not really. I just wanted to say that once.

The headline alone made my blood heat up enough that the devil-bunny that possessed my soul in the ScareHouse rose to the surface:

Perks?! PERKS?! Parking perks are going to outweigh the fact that we might be paying ten dollars more per day to park?

What perks, I wondered? Will we get free car washes with each day parked? Will we get our oil checked, our tires rotated? Will the parking garages become like Jiffy Lube? Will we be handed a latte going in and a bag of weed going out? What perks are going to outweigh the cost increase?

Brace yo’selves. They rapin’ errybody.

Cleaner, safer, better lit garages with friendly staff and technological innovations, he said, will outweigh price concerns. He said he’ll bring his company’s customer service philosophy, called GET 100, for “greet, engage and thank 100 percent of the time.”

Are you effing kidding me? I would park inside the very gates of hell if it was affordable and convenient to Market Square. I’d kick the pigeons out of my way and throw a [pew pew wink] to Satan, no problem.

They really think regular working Burghers are going to be all, “Well, it does now cost me $20 to park, but on the plus side, the garage is so well-lit that it makes it easier for me to find the correct credit card when I’m paying! And on top of that, I can’t tell you how priceless it is for me to be told ‘thank you’ 100 percent of the time. Not 80 percent. Not 90 percent. Not even 99 percent. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE TIME, the machine says, ‘Thank you,’ as I exit the garage. You can’t put a price on that kind of service.”

So, to be clear, the city is going to lease the garages and meters to a company whose CEO thinks that we’ll all be okay with higher rates as long as they keep the places clean, well lit, and so long as the staff has manners.

I also flag that as inappropriate. I do more than that. I reject it. I hate it. I stab it. I hack it to shreds with my bunny-devil axe before I hop away to flag more shit as inappropriate.

On top of that, the parking lease is clearly a band-aid move as it relates to the pension, and eventually, we’re going to run out of band-aids and our patient is going to bleed out and die.

Hide yo kids. Hide yo wife. They rapin’ errybody.

Now, this is a contentious issue. Please feel free to disagree with me and each other. Let’s just keep it civil. Maybe we can teach the Mayor and City Council a thing or two about manners.





57 Comments


  1. bucdaddy
    October 9, 2010 12:30 pm

    This is the city that had casino operators lined up begging to have that license to print money, the city that had them over a barrel with their pants down, the city that could have asked for the moon and the casino leeches would have said, “Would you like Mars, too?,” the city that could have asked for 20 brand new state of the art schools or 1,000 snowplows or maybe even $500 million to help the pension fund.

    Enjoy your new arena, if you can afford to park to see a game.



  2. Marc
    October 10, 2010 9:43 pm

    @KGC

    Really? A personal attack? Was that really necessary. Maybe you really should take my advice and take a few deep breaths. As @Bram R said, there is at least one other major player in private parking.
    Even if LAZ had a monopoly, those garages/spaces/meters/etc also rely on having reason to use said spaces. If they would price gouge to the point of killing off businesses, that would directly harm their products as nobody would park there.
    Also, for those talking about these perks, one such perk would be the ability to use a smart phone or the internet to search for garages with spaces available and at what price relative to your destination. Another “perk” is the ability to pay by yoru phone, having the charge go to your phone bill, I guess. This cuts down on the driving around looking for a space at a personally acceptable rate (like one might do around Carson St). The perk here is spread to those not even looking for parking–especially at major events (concerts, sports, parade routes, whatever…)–as less people are in traffic looking for spaces.
    Whether or not this is worth the impending rise to market rate is obviously a matter of personal opinion; and yes, the death-spiral that is PAT right now certainly doesn’t help, but lets just be clear that there are clear benefits and infrastructure investments to this pending lease proposal that the city would not be able to do as status quo, let alone letting the state take over.

    And for the record, KGC, yes i did graduate from a city high school, that you very much. I also went on to graduate from Georgetown University



  3. Bobby
    October 10, 2010 10:54 pm

    @Mike

    Sorry to disagree with you. We disagree on many things political. But just because “lots of local governments” do it doesn’t make it right. The path was long, long ago set in stone though, so there is no turning back now. Through no fault of their own the population just gets dumber and dumber (maybe its just ignorance) and knows less and less about what the intended role of government was to be in their lives. What we’re left with is a populace that isn’t even smart enough to leave town when they’re warned one week beforehand that a hurricane is bearing down on their city, led by a government too inept to get them on parked school buses, followed by indignation on behalf of the stupid that nobody came to get them once the waters rolled in. Only God can change things for America at this point. And he didn’t see fit to turn things around for any of the other democracies (even though we are a representative republic) so I don’t see why he might choose to chime in here. But I, for one, hope he does.

    (Oh yeah. It’s still not the government’s job to own a parking garage. Or a manufacturer of automobiles for that matter either.)



  4. Michelle Smiles
    October 11, 2010 12:31 am

    If people cared about good lighting and personal service, no one would park at the Mon Wharf. We risk having our cars float down the river because it is significantly cheaper than the garages. I just don’t understand how a city which continues to eff up public transportation options by cutting routes and raising prices can in good conscience then turn around and raise the rates to park downtown. Are they trying to guarantee that no one will ever come downtown? Are they trying to drive ALL businesses away?



  5. YinzerInExile
    October 11, 2010 11:11 am

    @ Mike: Much of your argument depends on whether the individual interprets “the intended role of government” through a Washingtonian or a Jeffersonian lens. Because even our founding fathers didn’t agree on the reach of government. Additionally, it seems a bit useless (and yet handy, I’d imagine) to defer to God in crises of parking or any other governmental function.



  6. toni
    October 11, 2010 2:26 pm

    I’m surprised you were sitting on the fence about this and for exactly the reason you published. You didn’t see this coming???? Basically boychild Mayor Lukey tried to ram his privatized parking down everybodys throats. Thanks God, his usual henchmen, City Council has supoenaed the data on the pension funds. Better sense is Controller Lamb’s plan, if it’s doable.

    Did you NOT think a private company was gonna raise rates up the whazoo??? As soon as Lukey said private and parking in the same sentence I knew exactly where this was going. No private company is going to pay the money Lukey wants for privatizing and NOT raise those rates. It doesn’t make business sense not to raise them when you break down the costs and what Luke wants for the right to privatize…the PPG broke this down in a nice column awhile back that I’m too lazy to look up and link here.

    Say HELL NO to private parking. Did you really trusat this Mayor after he wanted to tax college students and is contemplating taxing soft drinks????



  7. Dan (Not Onorato)
    October 12, 2010 8:41 am

    Think of it this way, the lease would be for 50 years, and knowing Pittsburgh voters and Pittsburgh politics, Lukey will probably still be mayor. You can vote him out (and vote in another D) then if it doesnt work.