One of the ideas you hear from time to time is that Park City should be make it so painful to drive a car that we’ll all jump into buses. I envision parking on Main Street at $30, comparable to what you’ll find on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. I envision one lane traffic on 248, with the other lane dedicated to buses. I envision painfully unfortunate ideas that someone thinks will force drivers off our roads.
Frankly, making something so painful that others don’t want to do it just never made sense to me.
With that in mind, you may have read or seen news reports about recent issues at airports where TSA checkpoint lines can be almost two hours long. It appears the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) had to reduce their budget, so they reduced staff and hoped that travelers would go through the TSA-PRE process. The PRE process requires travelers to submit fingerprints, go through a background check, pay $85, and go to the airport for an afternoon of interviews. For that inconvenience, you get to keep your shoes and coat on when going through security. You also get to go through metal detectors versus the RAPI-SCAN Machines (that’s actually what the body scanners are called).
Unfortunately, it appears enough US citizens weren’t willing to trade their personal information for convenience. So, not enough people signed up with TSA-PRE. So, the feeling is that the TSA further reduced staffing and changed rules to PROVE how painful it can be to go through the airport, unless you get TSA-PRE.
Sound familiar? We are going to make something so painful that it will cause change!
Will it work? It’s probably too early to tell. Early reports are that TSA-PRE are up a bit. However is that because every single media source in the US is now suggesting you sign up for TSA-PRE (oh the power of media connected to government). Does it cause long term changes? It’s too early.
However, what it has done for sure is paste pictures of 2000 person airport lines on the front page of every major paper in the country. All you read is about how BAD the TSA is. TSA Sucks. TSA horrible. TSA is ineffective. For instance:
Chk out this monster TSA tangle at Washington Reagan Airport today.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) May 20, 2016
There is obviously a difference between the TSA and Park City. However, our paths likely converge if our city follows the same route as TSA.
Hypothetically, if Park City decided to remove half of its parking spaces, would people happily conclude, “Wow. We should ride buses” or would they complain to their friends, neighbors, and anyone that will listen about how hard it is to visit Park City? I’m betting on the latter… if we were successful enough in making Park City such a hard place to get around.
I know we are not at the point where we are implementing these type of ideas in some sort of wide scale fashion yet … but you can never start too early with raising awareness in Park City. Hopefully our leaders won’t consider tarnishing our city’s image in order to (likely unsuccessfully) convince people to ride buses. If they do, they need to know the consequences.
People don’t always like being treated like a rat in a maze.