CONTACTTRAFFICABOUT TOM VANDERBILTOTHER WRITING CONTACT ABOUT THE BOOK

The Ugly American

Sometimes I weep for my country, I really do.

From the Shropshire Star:

A motorist caused traffic chaos at one of Telford Shopping Centre’s busiest car parks today when she launched a protest against paying – by blocking off the exits.

The motorist trapped cars in the centre’s Red Oak car park at lunchtime by parking her 4×4 vehicle across the exit barriers.

Eyewitnesses said she was “raving” and “shouting” about having to pay for the time she had parked in the town centre car park.

Drivers stuck in the jams caused by the woman’s protest said she seemed to be a tourist visiting from America and claimed they did not have parking charges in her country.

They also don’t drive on the left, let’s hope she didn’t try to protest that.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at 8:45 am and is filed under Parking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “The Ugly American”

  1. Jack Says:

    Perfect. Our cultural “melting pot” produces ugly Americans.

  2. John Says:

    On more than one occasion I have been mistaken for being Canadian and once someone thought I was British. I’ve never been mistaken for an American (at least no one has told me). I take all of this as a compliment.

    I had to take my daughter to a medical specialist adjacent to the hospital. There was no free parking. It ended up cost a whopping $1.50 or so. But as we were leaving there was a woman raising holy he!! that she wasn’t paying for parking and they were going to validate her parking ticket or else.

    It’s great to be an American.

  3. Gary K. Says:

    The interesting thing about this story that surprised me somewhat is just how many people in the comments defended the woman as some king of parking rate fighting hero. As the realities of how expensive it is to own and maintain private automobiles set in as the economy contracts, I imagine we will see more of these self styled motorist revolutionaries spouting distorted and ill informed notions of libertarianism.

  4. MikeOnBike Says:

    Free parking is in the Bill of Rights, isn’t it? It’s right there in the First Amendment: Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of parking. ;-)

  5. Bossi Says:

    The judge should require her to read Donald Shoup’s book :)

  6. Aisha O'Brien Says:

    When in Europe, do as the Europeans and take the bus!

Leave a Reply

Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Slate.com Transport column to me at: info@howwedrive.com.

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage: krunde@randomhouse.com.

For editorial inquiries, please contact Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency: zoe@zpagency.com.

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Upcoming Talks

April 9, 2008.
California Office of Traffic Safety Summit
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May 19, 2009
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
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June 23, 2009
Driving Assessment 2009
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June 26, 2009
PRI World Congress
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July 13, 2009
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Fondo de Prevención Vial
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Royal Automobile Club
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Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
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American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
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Attitudes: Iniciativa Social de Audi
Madrid, Spain

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January 30, 2013
University of Minnesota City Engineers Association Meeting
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Metropolis and Mobile Life
School of Architecture, University of Toronto

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ISL Engineering
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Australian Road Summit
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New York State Association of
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