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Car2Go parked2long

January 24th, 2013 · 90 Comments

By reporter Steven Smalley

You may have seen the little white Smart cars with blue trim parked throughout the city. They were spotted here in Magnolia too, either on the road or at the curb. Daimler Corporation’s Car2Go automobiles are rented by the minute in nine cities in North America, including Seattle since December. Equipped with GPS, customers park their rental cars when they have concluded their ride, then the cars are located by computer to be assigned to the next driver as demand dictates. That is where our story begins.

One of the benefits of renting a 38-cent-a-minute Car2Go is customers do not pay for parking in Seattle. It is free at meters and residential areas around town. Daimler pays the city $1,330 per vehicle, per year for the privilege, according to published reports.  All of this looks good on paper until a car left in a 2-hour zone in the Village overstays its welcome. “We have a Car2Go that’s been parked out front since Monday at 2 o’clock,” says the bar manager at one of the restaurants. At the time of this report it had been there five days with no tickets on the windshield, according to the manager. “It’s Friday afternoon. It’s a big day for restaurants and bars. And we’re missing one parking place,” she points out.  When a customer service representative was contacted by Magnolia Voice, they asked if the business had called the phone number on the rear of the car to complain?  “We were curious to see how long they would actually let it sit,” came the reply from the restaurant manager.  Later, Magnolia Voice spoke with a Car2Go spokesperson who was contrite.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have created, but would certainly encourage any concerned business owners or residents to call us if they do have any questions about a specific car.” She continued, saying they, “Have a system in place for ensuring cars do not sit for long periods of time.” Then added, “They can always call the phone number on the back of the Car2Go if they have a question or would like more information. With cities growing,” she asserts, “There is a great need to look at ways to reduce traffic and parking congestion, reduce emissions, and find ways to help residents and businesses maintain a great quality of life…Car2Go helps to address that.”

According to the Village business, the Car2Go is now gone.

More about Car2Go can be found on their website here.

 

Tags: Uncategorized

  • DiscoBandit

    “It’s Friday afternoon. It’s a big day for restaurants and bars. And we’re missing one parking place…”

    Because drinking and driving is awesome!

    • ThurmanThug

      that makes no sense

  • magmom

    “And we’re missing one parking place…”

    Kinda missing about a half a parking place, really, or less. How big a deal is this, really?

  • http://twitter.com/lukobe Benjamin Lukoff

    There’s so much parking available in Magnolia I really don’t see this as much of a problem at all. Glad to see the cars are getting used out here.

    • Guest

      Surely you jest. Have you ever tried to park to get in and out of the post office? Takes four times as much time to find a parking space and walk as you spent at the post office itself.

      • ThurmanThug

        walk two blocks…

        • http://twitter.com/lukobe Benjamin Lukoff

          Exactly.

        • http://www.facebook.com/bradcerenzia Brad Cerenzia

          Why should I have to walk two blocks? I’m rich and entitled! Hayley! Eleanor! Get in the Escalade. We’re going to the park across the street for a play date with Savannah and Avery. AND WHO DRANK MY DOUBLE MOCHA DECAF FRAP W/ LIGHT WHIP CREAM AND A CHERRY?!?!

        • Guest

          I’m not out for a leisurely afternoon of shopping. I want to drop a package I’ve already put postage on at the counter and get to my next stop. That shouldn’t take half an hour.

          • ericsmith

            I park next to the park and get to the post office and back to my car in under 4 minutes. Are you overweight too? Or just lazy?

          • Magnolian

            Who knows? Maybe elderly, or disabled, or has trouble walking? That’s not all that rare in Magnolia. So much for anyone who doesn’t fit your image of the “right person.” What do you want to do, stick them on an ice floe and shove ‘em out into the water?

          • eric smith

            Not at all. That would be what a handicapped spot would be for,no? Perhaps that is what all the spots in the immediate vicinity of town should be…handicapped spots or spots for minutes-only cars. Anyone else should be fit enough to do the walk. Taking care of the weak among us is a priority, n’est pas?

          • Magnolian

            Not for you, ericsmith! It’s obvious that you don’t like anyone who can’t run or walk. Just remember: No one gets out of here alive. You too will be old and frail. Will a future “ericsmith” spit on you?

          • ericsmith

            Since I have volunteered for several years helping the disabled that is obviously not true. And if you read what I said above, I said that the spots around town should be for the handicapped. I think that is called helping people who cannot run or walk, no? You are right, no one gets out alive. And anyone with heart disease goes sooner. That comes from dumb eating and no exercise.

      • snakeeyes12

        Parking used to be okay seven years ago in Magnolia. Now, it’s always bad. Sorry you have to walk to drop your package but that car2go stole your spot, sister!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Slugspit Stacy Williamson White

    I saw that car parked there, and was very excited to see one in the village. And come on – who has EVER left the village to go dine in another neighborhood because of lack of parking???

    It would not kill most people to walk an extra 50′ from aarking spot to a Village business if need be anyway. For those who truly cannot walk that distance – get a handicapped permit. They’ll give you one if you truly need one.

    We are going to go down to a one car household partly because of Car2Go and ZipCars.

    • Guest

      Always nice to see the bicycle types and their sympathy for the disabled, who you’d just as soon have die so they can get out of your way?

    • Numbers Nerd

      At $82 for an afternoon’s rental, all I can say is that you must have all kinds of money to burn. For that rate, don’t you think Car2Go ought to at least clean it between uses like Hertz does for half the price?

      • lee colleton

        Really, $82? I thought it capped out at $70-something.

        • NotFan

  • Numbers Nerd

    Car2Go is owned by Mercedes, which needs a way to get rid of surplus cars at a high markup. (38 cents a minute? That’s $23 an hour, which if you ask me is kinda high for a rental car, especially seeing as how they don’t even clean it between users).

    For the city government, it’s just another front in their war on cars. They want to fill available parking spaces so people will give up and take the bus, or ride a bike. I know, it’s crazy, but that’s the way McGinn and his friends actually think.

    • http://twitter.com/TroyJMorris Troy Morris

      Car2Go has a $14 max hourly limit. It’s incredibly efficient for those who don’t (want to) own a car.

      It also takes up a 1/3 of a traditional parking stall. We have more problems with vans and trucks taking up more than their fair share of parking, or people who are just bad at parking.

      I also highly doubt it’s a “war on cars” to fill up parking spaces. It seems to me that this is more “staying up to date with progress.” Most of my doubt stems from a lack of any real data to back it up, but a ton of data from Seattle and other major US cities proving that “war on cars” argument is a myth.

      For a “numbers nerd,” you don’t seem very keen on numbers outside of simple multiplication.

      • http://twitter.com/kilodelta Will Green

        Some of that data, courtesy of a just-released poll from the Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates polling firm: http://www.thestranger.com/images/blogimages/2013/01/24/1359059076-seattle_voter_attitudes_on_bicycling_and_the_so-called_war_on_cars.pdf

        A three sentence summary, from the fist page:

        “The survey results show that Seattle
        voters have broadly positive feelings about people who ride bicycles in Seattle and support
        policies like greenways and protected bike lanes to increase opportunities to bike safely in
        Seattle. The survey findings also provide strong evidence that few voters perceive there to be a “war on cars,” that negative sentiments toward biking tend to be concentrated among a small minority of voters. The survey results also show that voters would welcome more opportunities to ride bicycles though many voters already ride on a regular basis, and a majority of all voters say they would like to ride even more than they do now.”

        • Numbers Nerd

          I saw that survey. Some ultra-liberal polling outfit that didn’t disclose the polling details, and which asked all kinds of leading questions. McGinn and his friends are really pulling out all the stops now.

          • ericsmith

            And what if they did. If your job and personal life were satisfying enough to you, you wouldn’t be risking a coronary ranting about McGinn. Perhaps you are the gentleman on 34th with the delightful signs in his front yard against everything? Or do you own a home?

          • Numbers Nerd

            Eric, unlike you I actually live in Magnolia. And yes, I own a home. Single family, the kind you and the mayor and all your friends despise and want to eliminate, along with our ownership of automobiles. Have you considered moving back to Berkeley?

          • ericsmith

            I live in Magnolia. I own a home. Single family. Nice one. You are rarely correct in your observations. I wasn’t educated in Berkeley. Try hard, you might be accurate on one thing.

          • Mag Resident

            “ericsmith,” didn’t you write elsewhere that you are from California? I think it would be better for everyone in Seattle if the Californians who have moved here would turn right around and go back where they came from.

          • ericsmith

            Such a tired old diatribe. I contributed for years to the Seattle economy with the sharpness of my intellect and my world class skills. Without people from elsewhere Seattle would be a backwater…half the people at Microsoft are from elsewhere because the local education can’t produce students good enough for the jobs.

          • Mag Resident

            If arrogance is a world class skill, then you’ve certainly contributed

          • ericsmith

            Thank you. I am arrogant for a reason. What I have accomplished helps the rest of you process information, monitor the health of your children, get from point A to point B. I am not afraid of being proud of being educated and articulate. I am arrogant because I get tired of the complacency of Americans. Half the places I’ve worked in Seattle area have to go overseas to find competent workers. That means your kids will not qualify if they went to school here. It is a tragedy and I am sick of the uneducated acting like the educated are guilty of something or should apologize for it. I am despair for the future of your children if they are educated locally. As for the local adults, you don’t show up on my moniter of importance all that much.

          • Mag Resident

            Eric, thanks much for your insights. I am always glad when superior beings such as yourself so generously share their wisdom with the rest of us, who so clearly need it.

          • ericsmith

            I am in no way superior to you. I am in no way superior to anyone. But I tell the truth, and am usually attacked for it, especially in environments where people who are proud of being uneducated like to rant. I just will not back down when I am sure I am correct…and on the issues of poor education, overweight Americans, laziness regarding walking, and caring for the less fortunate among us I believe strongly I am correct. As long as you see people like me as “acting like they are superior” you are seeing yourself as being accused of being inferior. You are not. You just believe in different things I do. If you felt you were right, you would see yourself as my equal. And maybe you think you are right…who knows. I believe I am right and am proud of what I believe. Once in a while a poster who has a different viewpoint than I do engages in a great repartee with me…as equals. He would never accuse me of thinking I am superior because he has the self confidence to really believe in his views.

      • Numbers Nerd

        Wow, $14 an hour! Rent a car for the afternoon and it’s only $70! Such a deal! But it’s a free country, so if they can convince people to do it, then as P.T. Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute I guess. My only objection is having these blobs stashed where residents want to park. The city will stop at nothing to make it harder and harder to own a car in Seattle.

        • ericsmith

          Its supply and demand. People who need a taxi pay exorbitant rates too…but they are paying for a convenience. The convenience is what is attractive about this “product” and why it is a new trend. People who don’t want to pay gas or other car expenses pay an amount for their convenience. Like you may pay for an overpriced latte or gym membership or whatever else you consider a priority for your life. The city isn’t something evil against you. People who talk like you are generally not business owners, land owners, or successess in much of anything…but love to rant.

          • Numbers Nerd

            By the way, you lied about their rates. It’s a max of $14 an hour plus 17.2% tax. That’s $16.41 an hour. An afternoon (five hours) wouldn’t cost $70. It would cost $82.

            My, my! I guess McGinn and his friends are fine with $82 for an afternoon in a tiny car, and calling that some kind of progress. Well, if Car2Go can sucker people into this sort of deal, I do salute them!

        • MagnoliaNorm

          But you don’t generally rent these cars for the afternoon. The average rental period for these cars are less than half an hour. If I need to get downtown quickly without worrying about parking my own car, I take a Car2Go. I’m downtown from Magnolia in 15 minutes more or less and it only costs me around 7 bucks. LESS THAN HALF THE COST OF THE EQUIVALENT TAXI RIDE.

          • ericsmith

            Bravo. Perfect logic. Perfect response. “Numbers” is fun to play around with, but your response is just lucid and spot on.

    • jilly

      I agree about that. Parking is awful downtown now. It doesn’t push me toward the bus but toward not going downtown for dinner anymore.

      • Numbers Nerd

        That’s part of the idea, actually. McGinn and his ultra-radical friends don’t want you leaving your own neighborhood. Besides hating cars, they don’t much like mobility in general unless you’re walking or on a bicycle. Tough luck for the elderly and disabled, but that’s not their problem.

        They also don’t like single family housing, which is a big long-term problem for Magnolia. They’ll eventually want to choke Magnolia in four-plexes, “mother in law” apartments, “accessory dwellings,” split lots, and gigantic apartment buildings.

        It’ll take a while, but mark my words, they are gunning for our neighborhood.

        • ericsmith

          Since you enjoy leaving so many outrageous comments I’ll make you my fun for the afternoon break. You are wrong. The city planning is clear and it does not have some secret cabalistic conspiracy against the neighborhood of Magnolia. If you’ve been on this blog for a while you will see that where the city planning shows there is a need for multiple family units, it is favoring them, favoring high density within areas close to the city and larger lots where there is less density, up north, down south. Magnolia lots have been split up into postage stamps long before McGinn. Now on to your next one…

          • Numbers Nerd

            It’s a real shame that you and your friends despise our city as much as you do, and want to ruin it every chance you get. What made you hate Seattle and Magnolia so much?

          • ericsmith

            Calm down, numbers. No one hates Seattle. What is it in life you are really angry about? What is so unsatisfying for you that you are berserk with anger?

    • ericsmith

      They are making a profit by offering a service and product people want. It is called running a profitable business. If you have ever taken an aspirin, put on a shirt…I don’t know, done ANYTHING.. I imagine you are paying for a product that has value for you. Mercedes has correctly identified the need for this product. Your tiny little focus is about a car left on a Magnolia street. Riding buses and bikes are better for the environment and for peoples health. I take a car because I teach over in Bellevue and Redmond, so I am not one to preach on the necessity of everyone riding the bus or a bike. But anything done that makes it easier for people to do it makes it one step closer to less pollution and a healthier public. If you are so outraged at the lack of cleanliness of these little cars inside, ask for a job cleaning them, if you are looking for work.

      • Numbers Nerd

        Wow, you really hate anyone who’s not as rich as you are, don’t you?

        • ericsmith

          You aren’t witty or sharp enough to get a read on me numbers. I am not rich, and yet I own a home. I live in Magnolia (many years) and yet am not in agreement with you. Many people aren’t in agreement with you. Or with me. And yet I am quite calm….

  • mrobvious

    First of all, most of you have probably never owned a business. Secondly, during 5 to 8PM it can be very hard to find a parking spot in the village. When there is no parking I go other places. Removing even one parking spot DOES have a negative economic impact on merchants. These cars should be parked on the edge of the village but I am not sure how that would work.

    • kl78

      I agree that it’s very hard to find a spot in the Village even during day time, not just between 5-8pm. I’ve stopped looking for parking in Magnolia and run errands in other parts of the city on my way to and from work. It’s just easier and faster that way.

    • http://twitter.com/TroyJMorris Troy Morris

      Maybe Magnolia Village should invest in a parking structure if one spot is so powerful.

      • Numbers Nerd

        I doubt you even live in Magnolia.

        • ericsmith

          Read my posts below. Snide remarks are just worthless air on a blog. What exactly do YOU do that improves Seattle or Magnolia in any way. Who cares where Troy lives. If you live in Magnolia we’d all enjoy reading the list of improvements you’ve made to our village during your years of productive living here.

          • Numbers Nerd

            I still don’t think you live here. By the way, my name is on the list of swimming pool contributors, plus I made sure that someone else contributed a multiple of what I did. You? Looks like all you want to do is follow McGinn and the city council’s lead and destroy every neighborhood in this city.

          • ericsmith

            I am not a fanatic, that is all, and since I educate people I really groan when I hear ravers. I hear you loud and clear that you detest McGinn. None of which has anything to do with the absurd notion of destroying every neighborhood in the city. No one takes you seriously when you rant like that.

          • Magnolian

            I N.N.’s defense, I think it’s fair to say that Michael McGinn detests Magnolia, which is probably why he’ll never win this neighborhood’s votes. Why should anyone here support a guy who hates cars, single-family homes, and even wanted to require everyone to hire a landscape architect and file a plan with the city before replanting their garden?

            Good thing the nurseries laughed McGinn’s “green code” for gardens right off the table. Could you imagine what that would have done to us? These people downtown are totally in hock to real estate developers and crazy bicyclists. If you own an automobile in this city, McGinn has been trying to put a target on your back.

          • ericsmith

            Could you elaborate on the landscape architect angle to your post? I have an extremely elaborate garden, am a devoted gardener, and really cringe at the plant torture around here called topiary…clipping plants into ridiculous shapes out of fairy tale books. What is it that the mayor wants to change about our gardens? I’m just curious.

          • Magnolian

            ericsmith, you seem to specialize in calling your neighbors fat and lazy, so why don’t you get off your lazy backside and do your own research?

          • ericsmith

            I’m so slim that people take me for 15 years younger than I am. So much for fat. I never am commenting on people’s research numbers. I’m commenting on laziness and on idiot posters who have conspiracy theories.

          • ericsmith

            Inspiring. Contribute to the school. That is where the real need for contributions is here in Magnolia. I donate my time, which is worth a lot…all free, because education is what matters. I always feel a little disgusted with all the baseball and sports emphasis in Magnolia when the schools here are so bad. When I moved my family here from California I looked up the 10 best public schools and selected one and the neighborhood that went with it, to raise our kids. It sure wasn’t Magnolia. Terrible schools here. Glad there is a great pool.

          • I Live Here

            Eric, have you ever considered doing us all a favor and returning to California?

          • ericsmith

            Nope, I’m here for my pleasure and have lived in Magnolia for years now that my children have their careers thanks to the great schools in Bellevue. And I live here to cancel out your vote.

          • Mag Resident

            Judging from your comments, I don’t think your time is worth very much.

          • ericsmith

            Helped me retire early, so you are quite wrong there. I do volunteer things now and don’t need the money.

  • Sandra Lipo

    A 2 hour limit should MEAN 2 hours, no matter what type of vehicle it is. “Free Parking” should NOT also mean “Unlimited Parking”, making parking more troublesome and difficult for the rest of us.

    • Numbers Nerd

      Yeah, you’re right, but Car2Go has purchased the city government like any rich guy can. The rules don’t apply to them. Only to you and me.

      • ericsmith

        Your victim mentality is a dead give away that you see yourself as a have not. Are you a have not because you’ve failed at something or because you are just jealous because someone else or some else’s business or idea or plan does achieve something and succeeds at it?

        • Numbers Nerd

          A different posting identifies you as a school teacher. Have you ever had a job that didn’t entail being a remorrah fish on the taxpayer?

          • ericsmith

            I am not a school teacher. People hire me to teach other people. I have always worked for myself.

        • Guest

          Your posts have been extremely rude recently. Try responses that don’t attack the other person as fat, lazy, failures, or jealous (etc.), and instead stick to the facts.

          • ericsmith

            Being fat, jealous, lazy are exactly what the posts are evidence of. Don’t shoot the harbinger. Sorry about the word failure.

          • Guest

            Don’t confuse a desire for efficiency with laziness. Don’t confuse economic consciousness with jealousy.

          • ericsmith

            Well put. What I was calling lazy was the behavior of people who want to park right up close to the post office. As I said, I manage a round trip from my car parked next to the old Mieko’s to the post office in back in under 4 minutes. (I don’t stand in line, obviously. That takes an afternoon committment) People who insist on parking right next to something and complaining about it when they cannot are lazy, because anyone with any iota of knowledge knows the walk is better for them them just a few steps into the place. I realize people are in a rush…again, 4 minutes. As far as jealousy goes, once I baited the rabid “numbers” poster you can clearly see how he accuses me of being a poor teacher, then a rich homeowner. It is stereotypes I love exploding. Like the fact that my being liberal means I went to Berkeley. I didn’t accuse him of going to OralRoberts, or wherever conservatives only go for education.

      • Daryl

        I’m going to bring a stack of Car2Go’s out to magnolia. Can you tell me where the most inconvenient place for them to be left would be?

      • Guest

        There was one parked on Thorndyke near Magnolia Blvd yesterday, in the 4 hour or neighborhood permit required spaces. Is it gone yet?

        • Magnolian

          I was over in the U District today and there were TWO of them parked within 50 feet of each other, in an area where it’s really hard to find a space. If they’re trying to get any support, they’re not winning with me.

        • NosyNeighbor

          The Thorndyke one was still there today. At least two days in a four hour zone.

          • Mag Resident

            Seems like Car2Go has a friend at city hall!

  • http://twitter.com/TroyJMorris Troy Morris

    First and only, this thing is 1/3 of a parking spot. There’s also a $14/hr max charge limit

  • http://www.facebook.com/bradcerenzia Brad Cerenzia

    Oh my god .. THANK YOU so much for sharing this heart-wrenching tale of humanity in action. HOLY COW. I had no idea the folks on Magnolia had to suffer such … utterly … humiliating circumstances … ! Is there a Bank of America fund that I can go donate to? Do I need to call the Red Cross to come serve coffee and wrap you in blankets? I’ll be sure to share this story with my grandchildren … if they are able to find parking in my neighborhood, that is …

    • ericsmith

      I enjoy your irony and sense of humor. It is worse than even that. Most American men have some form of heart disease past 40, and almost all Americans who can afford a car recoil at the idea of walking four blocks to a post office or a mall opening from a parking spot. They are not just spoiled, they are, in effect, killing themselves and ruining the health of their kids by behaviors that make people fat and unfit. Park next to the park and walk into town. Everyone in Europe laughs at AMerican tourists…they are the obese ones that can’t walk to anything.

  • downtown

    Please, please do as the car2go representative suggested. If a car2go is parked unused for an inordinate amount of time, just call the number on the car, so they will send someone out to drive the car to some area where people appreciate having a random car at their spur of the moment disposal so much that there are actually fewer available than there is demand for them. (e.g. downtown)

    • Numbers Nerd

      Why should people have to do their job for them? If they’re charging $14 an hour to rent these tiny cars, you’d think they could hire people to keep them out of the way, and to clean them between uses.

      • ericsmith

        They don’t consult you regarding their business strategies because they don’t need your opinion. Use your opinion to start a better business than they are running…put your outrage to some use that can help your life.

      • Mag Resident

        I agree, Numbers Nerd. Maybe “downtown” and “ericsmith” would like to come pull the weeds out of my lawn this spring, if they’re so keen on working for free for the betterment of the community.

        • ericsmith

          Your yard is not as important to me as the volunteer work I do for communities less spoiled than Magnolia. Nevertheless I live here because it is safe and quiet. I will admit to that much. I have a wonderful yard I care for with joy…and caring for yours is your job, obviously.

  • Zach

    Typical magnolia whiners. Get a life. There is parking all over downtown magnolia if you go a single block off mcgraw… Its all legit and covered by the city. Take it up with them not the company.

    • ericsmith

      Exactly. Whiners with time on their hands. Its fun to check into this blog once in a while, but actually the content is pretty vapid (that means of no substance, numbers).

      • http://twitter.com/Foggs Tony Marshall

        The next time I rob a bank in the Village, I am going to get away in a Car2Go.

      • Mag Resident

        Why yes, you are so much better than everyone else, aren’t you? Your excellence just stuns us — in nausea.

        • ericsmith

          Read above. You have more important things to be nauseous about than my confidence in myself. Enough for now…I have fun on this site when the number of people who log on gets over 60. Now its boring so I’ll leave you to yourselves.

  • lee colleton

    If it’s really worth so much to have that parking space available, the bar manager should give someone a discount on their tab if they drive off in the offending vehicle. Problem. Solved.