Monday, March 26, 2012

You know how I know you're not from around here?

This is one of the Letters to the Editor in today's Express-News:

Last week, I decided to take up the mayor and City Council and go downtown and see the sights — free parking meters on Tuesdays, they exclaimed!
The thing is there are no parking meters close to the Alamo, so I had to pay $10 to park.
After I got ripped off at the gift shop, I headed over to the Tower restaurant. Hmm, no parking meters around there either, so I paid $8 to park and $5 to go up to the observation deck.
My affordable trip downtown not only cost me gas at $4 a gallon, it cost me over $35 just to say I visited a couple of places downtown.
Haven't been there in years and will probably be longer before I return.
— Chris Mitchell
Erik read this to me, and I immediately knew the dude (dudette?) was full of shit, 'cause, well:

See those things over to the right of the photo?  Like the one right in front of the red truck?  That thing that looks suspiciously like a parking meter?  That's 'cause it is a parking meter.  Been there for years.  See that rock lookin' thing over to the left of the photo?  That, my friends, is the wall of the Alamo.  But there are no parking meters near the Alamo.

But wait, there's more! Our intrepid newspaper reader didn't just go to the Alamo, s/he went to Hemisfair Park as well and paid again to park!  Now, a reasonable person may ask themselves "Self, I'm pretty sure the Alamo and Hemisfair Park aren't that far apart.  I mean, they're both in downtown San Antonio, right?"

Well, Mr. Reasonable Person, you'd be absolutely correct.  Check this out:
This is the Google Maps version of how to walk from the Alamo to the Tower.  Says it's 6/10 of a mile, but in reality you can cut at least 1/10 mile off that by not sticking to the sidewalks along the street and cutting through the mall.  I've done it bunches of times.  And even if you stayed to the sidewalks, is a little over half a mile really that far to walk?

Also, I can't ignore the issue of the little twit paying TWICE to park downtown when visiting places only half a mile apart.  Last picture, I promise:

This, boys and girls, is a city-owned parking garage at Commerce and Bowie streets, where parking is also free.  The monstrosity off to your left in the photograph is the Grand Hyatt hotel, behind which by about a block is the Tower of the Americas.  You can't see it in the photograph, but if you were to turn right and cross the street and go maybe three or four blocks, you'd get guessed it, the Alamo.  Also, please note the cars parked beside the garage, along Commerce.  There are no longer individual meters there, but it is metered parking, and is close to the Alamo.

In short, Chris Mitchell is a whiny little fucker without a clue as to what s/he's talking about.

We'll leave the relative intelligence of taking advantage of an offer that starts at 5pm to visit an attraction that closes at 5:30pm for another time, but let's just say I highly suspect the entire letter is BS.

(In case it's not obvious, all my "pictures" are in actuality screen shots courtesy of Google Maps and Google Street View and of course are copyright to my blogging overlords.)


Albatross said...

Yeah, I called B.S. on that letter to the editor, too. There are actually a bunch of parking meters (and new "metered" spaces that don't have actual meters) around the Alamo, if you just look a little. Of course, on a newly popular Tuesday night (popular because City parking is free!), then it's entirely possible that all of those meters already have cars at them when you get into downtown, and it's just your dumb luck that you have to pay at an overpriced, private lot.

No open meters is a far cry from no meters at all.

BobG said...

Probably from southern California. At a national park I've been to in southern Utah there is a trail that is 2 miles long and has such things as mid-19th century graffiti, places where pioneers did things, etc. In the visitor book at the trailhead there are a lot of complaints because they had to walk instead of drive in, bitching about the fact that there were no restrooms or drinking fountains on the trail, etc. Almost all of the whining in there was from Californians.

Mattexian said...

I recognized that first pic, as we parked about a block further away (just past the Masonic Lodge) and walked, with me pushing my wife's wheelchair. The distance gave my best friend some time to point out interesting sights along the way, like the brass plaques that mark the outer boundaries of the original mission walls. I joked that since it was my wife's first pilgrimage to the Alamo, she'd be standing in the same place where Ozzy pissed on it many years ago! Since my bud works down there, he was fairly certain the meter maids wouldn't be out checking on a Sunday afternoon.

Albatross said...

I think most meters in downtown San Antonio, if not all of them, are free on Sundays anyway.

Murphy's Law said...

You rock. LOL!