Friday, December 08, 2006

And now, this word about System Parking, Incorporated

You're driving around downtown Milwaukee. It's early in the morning, say, 7:25 or so. You're in the vicinity of the historic and charming Pfister Hotel, and you're looking for a parking space. Then, on the corner of Jefferson and Mason Streets, you spy a surface lot. A large sign reads:

Parking: $2.00/first 1/2 hour
$1.00/each hour
There are lots of spaces, and it's directly across the street from the hotel where you're due in five minutes for a meeting. Looks like a great place to park.

Don't do it.

Don't park there.

Because when you emerge from your meeting, an hour later, System Parking Incorporated will have placed a sign by the lot entrance (not the entrance by which you entered the lot, mind you) that reads
"Early Bird Special: In before 9:00, out after 2:00 - $6.00"
You won't think this sign applies to you. "After all," you think, "I'm not leaving after 2:00. An hour will cost me $3.00 to park. It's not the greatest bargain in the world, but about what I'd expect to pay. I mean, the lot isn't kept up especially nicely, but I suppose it's better than parking my car in the Milwaukee River."

And yet, System Parking, Incorporated interprets the sign to mean, "If you park here before 9:00 a.m., we'll charge you $6.00." The friendly and helpful parking attendant explained the policy further as follows:

"Hey, man, it's six degrees out. Read the sign. Either pay the six dollars or we'll send you a ticket."

Ah yes, that'd be the sign, posted after the cars were parked there, at an entrance facing away from the hotel, in apparent conflict with the two other permanent signs posted on the lot.

"But what else bugs you about 'System Parking, Incorporated'?" you ask, provided you're still even reading.

We're glad you asked. System Parking, Incorporated is, naturally, the kind of company that doesn't print its phone number on its receipts, yet conveniently has a website in which the "contact us" feature is disabled. We did learn, however, that its chairman, Thomas Phillips, is a member of something called the International Parking Congress, a legislative body which we're definitely going to have to lobby.

In the meantime, as you continue to circle the block, looking for parking near the historic and charming Pfister Hotel, allow me direct you to a different Parking System: the meters on Jefferson Street.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jay Curtiss, Division Manager
770 N. Jefferson Suite 206
Milwaukee, WI 53202