Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tiny tires time

Parking spots just for Smart cars? Are half-price car washes next?

October 06, 2005
The subcompact city of Duncan, B.C. is home to "the world's largest hockey stick" -- and 12 of the world's smallest parking spaces. The hockey stick -- 62.48 m long -- dominates an entire wall of the local community centre. You'd think a city of almost 5,000, blessed with such an outsized piece of lumber, would have nothing else to prove, but Duncan is a forward-looking place. It has seen the future, and it is the Smart car -- an automobile so abbreviated it would take 25 of them lined bumper-to-bumper just to carry the world's longest hockey stick. In early September, the Smart car inspired Duncan to create what may be Canada's first mini parking spaces. They are three metres long, just big enough for a Smart or transportation device of similar size -- motorcycles, scooters, or maybe a pair of those boat-sized running shoes worn by teenage boys.

Other municipalities, including Vancouver and Victoria, may follow Duncan's lead. Smart car owners may roll lightly upon the Earth, but they are an assertive lot. As if filling up for under $20 isn't reward enough, they're rearing up on their tiny tires to claim that their diminutive 2.5-metre-long vehicles warrant cheaper parking and discount ferry rates. B.C. Ferries is studying the idea, with muted enthusiasm. What's next, half price at the car wash?

Complete article here.

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